Vaccines defeat diseases and reduce their spread. These diseases are unfortunately returning due to a drop in vaccination coverage. This is a situation that worries and alarms. It is therefore important to once again reiterate the benefits of vaccination. To do so, Professor Alberto Mantovani, Scientific Director of Humanitas, spoke as a guest in the studio of Elixir on RAI-3.
“We received a yellow card from the World Health Organization, because of the diminishing coverage of immunization in Italy. In Italy there are mandatory vaccines such as polio, diphtheria, tetanus and hepatitis B, and there are strongly recommended vaccines (measles, mumps, rubella, HPV, meningitis, shingles, pneumococcal, influenza), that are just as important as those that are mandatory” emphasizes prof. Mantovani.
The Influenza vaccine
“The flu vaccine protects in an important way, last year we had a higher mortality rate, this is partly attributed to the decline in vaccine coverage. Here again there is an element of solidarity: when the doctor is vaccinated against influenza he protects his patients who may have a compromised immune systems and therefore have problems if they encounter the influenza virus. This meeans, we vaccine to protect the weakest: it is social solidarity. For example, to protect the 1,500 children in Italy who have cancer and a compromised immune system and can not be vaccinated. Whoever vaccinates against Influenza protects themselves, and generally children with immunodeficiency or children with chronic diseases of the blood”.
Why are people afraid of vaccinations?
“I think there are several reasons. The primary reason is the lies that circulate. A former doctor (he was expelled) has distorted a clinical study, where they attributed a link to autism with vaccinations. This was completely denied. Then, the success of vaccines made us forget these diseases were once widespread, and the problems that entailed.
Recently, the belief that it is better for our immune system to be vaccinated when sick has appeared. Of course, the opposite is true. These diseases are associated with a profound suppression of our immune system. As a result, our body has difficulty fighting the disease. The best thing for our health is vaccination before illness”.