Immunization is saving children’s lives
SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina - 30 March 2009
UNICEF is deeply concerned about Ms Jagoda Savic’s statement in media implying that imported vaccines can threaten the lives of children in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
At all times UNICEF buys vaccines from the World Health Organisation list of pre-qualified suppliers, which means that the supplier's production facilities have undergone a rigorous technical evaluation to ensure the highest quality and safety standards. As previously stated publicly by WHO and UNICEF, the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety has repeatedly stated that there is no evidence of toxicity in infants, children or adults exposed to the preservative thiomersal in vaccines
“All allegations and misleading information undermining the country’s immunization programmes can be harmful for thousands of children, if not more.” - said Anne-Claire Dufay, UNICEF Acting Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
UNICEF reminds families that vaccine-preventable diseases are very serious and still circulating globally, threatening children’s lives. Immunization campaigns are among the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions. Some experts suggest vaccines have saved in the vicinity of 20 million lives in the last two decades.
WHO and UNICEF reiterate that the DTP vaccines containing thiomersal (manufactured by CSL Australia) donated to Bosnia and Herzegovina by UNICEF in 2002 have undergone an independent review by WHO to ensure their safety and effectiveness and were produced in accordance with the highest international standards.
All information, including Procedures for expedited review of imported pre-qualified vaccines for use in national immunization programmes, list of pre-qualified vaccines, vaccine reference preparation and vaccine regulation, available for the public at www.who.int/immunization_standards/vaccine_quality