Turkish health ministry tracks down 10,000 non-vaccinating families

In 2017, about 10,000 families in Turkey refused to vaccinate their children, a health ministry official said.

“We follow vaccination refusals, and monitor our babies and our children,” Eyüp Gümüş, the undersecretary of the ministry of health was quoted by Turkish news website NTV as saying.

“We will intervene if any problems occur,” said Gümüş.

There are 1.3 million babies born each year, and Turkey’s Hacettepe University is doing a study on the causes of refusing to vaccinate, Gümüş said.

There were problems with health literacy and the ministry will develop policies accordingly, he added.

A prominent Turkish dietician, Canan Karatay, recently sparked a public debate by saying that influenza vaccinations caused Alzheimer’s disease.

Gümüş said the influenza vaccination was required by the ministry, and warned that public figures should avoid making comments which are not based on empirical evidence.