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Media statement 24.10.2012. (on vaccines)

SARAJEVO, 24. October 2012. -  UNICEF is questioning the credibility of information presented to the media by the ‘Association of Parents of Seriously Ill Children’, especially the recent speculations about infant deaths, allegedly linked to the vaccine against Hepatitis B.

The unfortunate statistics of infant mortality in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2,249 over the last 10 years) has no proven connection with vaccines. Death causes are always seriously investigated by medical professionals in accordance to the regular procedure and reported to relevant authorities. The infant Mortality rate in BiH is similar to neighboring countries and has decreased by 42% since 2002.

No life threatening adverse reaction has ever been reported to the World Health Organization following the administration of hepatitis B vaccine in Bosnia and Herzegovina since the vaccine introduction into the routine immunization programme.
Hepatitis B is a dangerous virus causing liver disease, liver cancer, and even death.  It is estimated that currently more than 2 billion people have been infected globally. Of these, approximately 350 million are chronically infected and at risk of serious illness and death from cirrhosis and hepatocellular cancer, diseases that are estimated to cause 500,000 – 700,000 deaths each year worldwide.

UNICEF reiterate that the Hepatitis B vaccine donated to Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunization (GAVI) have undergone an independent review by WHO to ensure their safety and effectiveness and were produced in accordance with the highest international standards.

Parents are urged to discuss issues related to their children’s health with their family doctors, paediatricians, and properly-qualified medical experts.

This is also an opportunity to appeal to all media professionals to report responsibly on the issue of vaccination by checking thoroughly all sides of the story before publication. Vaccine-preventable diseases can lead to very serious consequences and are still circulating globally. It is therefore extremely important for all children to be immunized.






Informacija za javnost 24.10.2012. (vakcine)


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