A recent survey conducted by the Greek chapter of Medecins du Monde (MdM) reveals that, in the years since the economic crisis began, the number of unvaccinated children in Greece has been steadily on the rise.
The increase is attributed to the closing of inoculation centers, uninsured parents being unable to cover the cost of vaccination, as well as a surge in advocates of anti-vaccination.
According to a report in “Ta Nea,” this trend could result in once-defeated diseases making a comeback. MdM’s clinics in Greece, which offer free vaccinations to children, have found that about 50% of Greek children are poorly vaccinated – or entirely unvaccinated – against pertussis (whooping-cough), tetanus, diphtheria and meningitis.
A Health Ministry official claimed that there have been no delays in the supply of vaccinations; however the same official also admitted to the Ministry receiving drugs orders later than expected, resulting in many inoculation centers being shut down.
The surge in the anti-vaccination movement is also a source of major concern. A Pediatrics professor at the University of Athens, Giorgos Chrousos has argued that there is no scientific evidence to suggest that vaccinations cause autism, as anti-vaccination proponents often suggest, since a child with autism has the condition from the embryonic stage.