In the context of promoting public health and implementing the vaccination program to children – members of vulnerable groups, the General Secretariat for Public Health of the Ministry of Health continues its cooperation with UNICEF (UNICEF) with the delivery to Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention (HCDCP) of 23,000 MMR vaccines against measles, rubella and mumps, funded by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG-ECHO).
The actions to ensure children refugees’ vaccination coverage in the country started in the beginning of March 2016 and are still on-going both in mainland and island Greece. The vaccination program is implemented under the coordination of the Secretary General of Public Health, HCDCP is the main implementing body and with the support of international organizations and reputable NGOs.
In September 2016, UNICEF has already made a significant contribution to this effort by providing 62,200 vaccines (50,000 MMR, 11,000 PCV and 1,200 PCG). The purpose of the cooperation is to maintain the high level of children refugees’ and immigrants’ vaccination coverage in Greece, which undoubtedly contributed to the fact that there was no measles epidemic in the above-mentioned population. Furthermore, thanks to the new contribution people entering Greece from the main entry points (Aegean islands and river Evros) is expected to be fully vaccinated with this contribution.
Taking account of children refugees’ right to health and their will to be integrated in the domestic education system, our efforts keep on going.