Department of Health Urges Parents to Vaccinate their children
Due to a low vaccination rate among children, the risk of disease outbreaks have increased. The Western Cape Government Health and Wellness strongly recommends that all parents and caregivers ensure to immunize their children to prevent outbreaks in measles and other vaccine preventable diseases.
The Western Cape Department of
Health will administer additional booster doses to every child under the age of
five from February 6 to 17 to provide additional help.
Sonia Botha, Western Cape coordinator of the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), claims that any time you delay a vaccine, you’re increasing your child’s vulnerability to disease.
“Measles is preventable through a safe and effective vaccine, which children can access for free at public health facilities and at a minimal cost from public-private partners. Since unvaccinated young children are at highest risk of measles and its complications, parents or caregivers can play a key role to help us prevent measles given the excellent safety record and protection that the measles vaccine offers. Parents or caregivers should consult their doctor if they suspect that their child has measles,” Botha said.
Measles is a dangerous illness and can be fatal. According to WHO, in 2018, there were more than 140,000 measles deaths globally, mostly among young children. Thankfully, the measles vaccine is effective and safe. As immunizations rates have increased, fatal measles cases have fallen by 73% since 2000 (as of 2018).
By Jonah Lieberman