These days, the Italian Senate is debating a new decree about vaccines. Professor Alberto Mantovani, scientific director of Humanitas University, spoke about this for two Radio 24 and Rai Radio 1’s programs.
Professor Mantovani is in favour of compulsory vaccines. “We have to remember that this is an emergency, and the World Health Organization has repeatedly reprimanded Italy. Moreover, the US Center for disease control recommended travellers going to Italy to pay attention because Italy is now considered to be a country at risk.
Over the last few months, there have been more than 3 thousand cases of measles. 30% of these patients needed to be hospitalized, and 180 of them were younger than 12 months. In the last 18 months, three people died from measles, and they have been only three people thanks to the competence of the healthcare institutions. Thus, we are in a certified emergency situation”.
Compulsory Vaccines, Education and Information
The introduction of vaccine obligations is more than justified. Nevertheless, there also have to be activities of education and information of the population about this topic.
“I am a strong supporter of vaccines, but I take my proper share of the blame. In fact, doctors are confused about the role of vaccines because of those who teach at universities, like me. For this reason, I give a lecture at Humanitas University about the importance and the social responsibility related to vaccines.
Then, vaccines are victims of their own success. We don’t remember a polio epidemy anymore because the disease disappeared after we started vaccinating. Then there are lies. The one related to autism, and the more recent one about the link between the vaccine against papillomavirus and fatigue syndrome. Some people even think that natural diseases are good for one’s health. They could not be more mistaken.
Obligatory vaccines would not exist if our vaccination coverage was good.
In Sweden, there is no obligation, but their coverage is about 98%”, Prof. Mantovani points out.
Do Vaccines Compromise our Health?
Vaccines do not compromise our health. The diseases that vaccines protect us from, do. Vaccines are the best training we can get.
Many Years After a Vaccine, may our Immune System be Compromised?
“No. There are no such problems in the long run. However, our immune system forgets vaccines, and we have to get re-vaccinated from time to time”.
What is the Difference Between live and Killed Vaccines?
“There are vaccines with live components, such as the one against measles (with a weakened virus), and vaccines containing parts of the virus, such as the one against hepatitis B. Due to health issues, some people can’t get vaccinated with the former kind of vaccines. Such people are, for instance, the 1.500 children in Italy who suffer from cancer and have a compromised immune system. The protection of these children against measles depends on the fact that people around them are protected. This is the so-called herd immunity (or group immunity, as I prefer to say), and it is important to limit the spread of the virus and protect non-vaccinated people. It is a very important act of solidarity”, Professor Mantovani highlighted.