Anti-vaccination narrative endangers society – Turkish health minister

Turkey's health minister said parents are increasingly refusing to have their children vaccinated, and that this left not only their own children, but also those of others in danger, the secular Hürriyet newspaper said.

Cardiology and Internal medicine doctor Canan Karatay, best known for her best-selling diet books, said in December 2017 that the flu vaccine was dangerous as it had aluminium in it, which she said caused Alzheimer’s disease. She said that vitamin D was more important than vaccination.

“The vaccines contain aluminium but within the limitations set by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is highly dangerous to refuse vaccinations with aluminium as a justification,” Turkey’s Health Minister Ahmet Demircan was quoted as saying during an interview at Turkish state news agency Anadolu.

Demircan also said these allegations were not scientific and that the vaccinations carried out by the ministry were under scientific supervision.

“Turkey has not reported a polio case in 19 years. The world eliminated this illness which caused great epidemics and deaths across the world,” Demircan said. “In 2016, 22 people died due to refusing to get tetanus shots. Vaccination is a precaution to protect public health and refusing this is completely wrong.”