Measles rubella (MR) immunisation has been carried out by Health Agencies across Indonesia. In Yogyakarta, MR immunisation has reached as high as 80 percent of the target.
“Due to the reports that give accurate information on MR immunisation, parents are now ready to accept this vaccination, which has been opposed before. We’re now optimistic to be able to reach the target of 95 percent in the remaining time,” said Head of Yogyakarta Health Agency, Pembajun Setianingastutie, on Thursday (14/9) at Faculty of Medicine UGM.
Pembajun said there were some aspects to be evaluated on the programme, but ensuring that the procedures had been carried out according to health standards. She made this statement to respond to negative assumptions on the vaccine and side-effects in children, especially that recently there were a number of fatalities in children that was rumoured to have corresponded to MR vaccines. She clarified that those cases were not caused by such vaccines.
“The MR vaccine is safe, and parents need not be worried,” she said.
Similar views were raised by Mei Neni Citaresmi, the Agency’s chairman of unit that monitors after-effect of immunisation, who explained that her office had conducted a study on the MR vaccination which found no hazardous cases after MR vaccination.
“There is no reported evidence of MR vaccine. We are tasked to monitoring if the vaccine is really safe, and if there is a serious case emerging, we will analyse if that relates to this vaccination,” she said.
She explained MR immunisation does give impacts on children such as fever that occurs from 5 - 14 days after the vaccination, but this usually lasts for just 1-2 days so it is not dangerous. Many other countries have also proved the safety of the vaccine.
“MR vaccine is very safe to use and this is not the first time it is used in the world. Indonesia is actually among the last countries that applies it while many other countries have done so and proved it safe,” she said.
She hoped the immunisation could be good indicators for the efforts to break the spread of measles which are no less dangerous than other diseases.
“We hope that - if done together - this will break the spread of measles in Indonesia,” she concluded.