Vaccination Culture Prevalent in MexicoWed, 09/07/2016 - 15:10
Routine vaccines are among the most important yet simple preventive practices a country can implement. “Vaccines are one of the best preventive measures that can be offered and cutting public funds for vaccines is counterproductive. People are more at risk of becoming ill and ultimately public resources are wasted in curing preventable health issues,” says Roberto Tapia of the Fundación Carlos Slim.
Most vaccinations occur during childhood. Some countries give parents a booklet that contains all information related to a person’s health and a strict guide of ages at which their children should receive a particular vaccine. Schools across the world bring in nurses to administer vaccines to classrooms at a certain age, ensuring all children receive the preventive medicine. In spite of many lamenting the lack of preventive culture in Mexico, vaccination seems to be an area Mexico is excelling at. According to the OECD, 98 percent of children in Mexico are vaccinated against measles within the recommended timeframe. By comparison, 90 percent of children in France and 91 percent of children in the US receive the same treatment. The percentage of vaccinations against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, however, is lower. Only 87 percent of children in Mexico are vaccinated within the recommended timeframe.
Organizations such as UNICEF are taking advantage of widespread vaccinations to further improve the preventive culture among Mexicans. “We placed educational inserts in vaccine cards, for example. The idea is that UNICEF does it the first time and the government takes over afterward. This has been our way to help prevent obesity, early infant death and promote breastfeeding,” says Isabel Crowley. The need for vaccination does not stop after childhood. Regular updates are recommended, particularly against seasonal viruses and in older people. Armando Ahued of the Mexico City Ministry of Health stresses: “In October, we will start vaccinating against influenza. There is a vaccine, it is free and people need to come and get it.”