New vaccine campaign: “Let’s not play with our health!”

15 December 2023
The school building in Bajlovce: only the rooms that are used are renovated.
UNICEF/North Macedonia/Georgiev/2022

Skopje, 15 December 2023:  Under the slogan, “Let’s not play with our health” the Ministry of Health and UNICEF with support from USAID today launched a new phase of the “Protected together – vaccines work” campaign to continue to provide citizens with accurate and timely information on vaccines and immunization.

The media campaign is part of a series of activities implemented by partners to continue to restore vaccine uptake after disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign specifically aims to remind parents and caregivers that missing or delaying vaccination puts children and communities at risk of contracting vaccine preventable diseases.

“While we continue to see an increase in vaccine coverage after the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an ongoing need to provide an accurate and timely  information about life saving vaccines. In this context, earlier this year we launched a new e-zdravstvo.mk website that provides trusted and expert information on the importance of routine immunization and other health related topics such as digital health, the application “My Health”, regular screenings and other information important for health protection. It includes trusted information about vaccines administered in the country according to the calendar and about the preventable diseases themselves. Throughout the year we have been working on multiple fronts so that we can achieve vaccine coverage to rates above 90-95 per cent nationally across all routine vaccines. This campaign will help to remind parents of their responsibility to protect their children the same way their parents protected them against diseases like measles and polio,” emphasized the Minister of Health, Dr. Fatmir Medziti.

In addition to the campaign, the Ministry of Health and UNICEF through support from USAID have been working to integrate a misinformation management system within the national decision-making structures. Together with partners, ongoing dialogue between health workers, experts and the media have contributed to a positive shift in sentiment towards vaccines. Community outreach and engagement support to immunization teams in four municipalities with lower vaccine coverage also shows promising results with more parents being reached at local community level.  

“Over the year we have been collaborating with partners to improve trust in vaccine science. We are seeing an increase in positive sentiment towards vaccines which is promising because there has been a lot of misinformation about vaccines circulating in the online world. Misinformation is dangerous, it creates fertile ground for a disease outbreak and parents and caregivers need continued access to trusted information. Vaccinating children is not a choice, it is a responsibility. Vaccines protect children, adults and communities,” said UNICEF Representative, Patrizia DiGiovanni.

While the “Let’s not play with our health!” will be running for the next months nationwide. It is a continuation of a campaign launched early this year that engaged health professionals, pediatricians, doctors from vaccination points and gynecologists to speak about the dangers of delaying vaccination, as well as the benefits of routine childhood vaccines - the most effective way to protect children’s health.

An integral part of the campaign is the ongoing promotion of the digital platform E-Health launched earlier this year with a special section dedicated to immunization that serves as a one-stop-shop for trusted information on vaccines. More information about the new campaign “Let’s not play with our health!” is available here: www.unicef.mk  

Media contacts

Suzie Pappas Capovska
Tel: (02) 3231-244
Irina Ivanovska
Tel: (02) 3231-172

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.mk.

Follow UNICEF on TwitterFacebook, Instagram and YouTube.