Measles vaccinations 'safe'

2009-10-21 11:27

Johannesburg - The health department assured the public on Wednesday that its measles vaccination programme is safe, in response to concerns about reused needles and the vaccine's ingredients.

"Contrary to prevailing perceptions, the department of health would like to re-assure parents, guardians and general members of the public about the safety of the current measles vaccination programme and vaccination for other diseases in general," it said.

It acknowledged that some parents are worried that the vaccines might be dangerous, or that the same needle might be used more than once, but said these claims were not true.

"It is through such campaigns that the high infant and under-five mortality can be reduced in our country," it said.

At least four people are believed to have died as a result of contracting measles. By mid-October, almost 940 cases had been recorded, mostly in Gauteng, prompting a mass immunisation campaign for people up to the age of 19.