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In brief

Measles outbreak: are your ‘jabs’ up to date?

European Vaccination Week
European Vaccination Week © Unsplash

European Vaccination Week serves to remind people of the importance of getting vaccinated. This year it runs from 22 to 28 April.

There has never been a more important time to look after your health. After years of Covid-19, other viruses and diseases are now making an appearance. There has been a recent increase in cases of measles in France and Switzerland. As Monaco is home to many people from these countries, it is a threat the Principality needs to take seriously.

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Dr Hervé Hass, Head of Paediatrics and Neonatology at the Princess Grace Hospital, explained to Monaco Info the important role of the vaccination week in containing the measles epidemic: “There is a very clear risk of measles being brought into the Principality, which is why it is important to remind people that there is a highly effective vaccine and to check their vaccination records to make sure they are up-to-date. Measles are highly contagious and extremely serious for teenagers and adults.”

A person who has measles can pass it on to as many as 20 people. As well as being highly contagious, it can develop into severe forms, leading to one in five people being hospitalised in the event of infection.

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The measles vaccine offers twofold protection: not only does it protect against severe forms of the disease, but it also prevents transmission of the virus in over 97% of cases. What’s more, this vaccine will protect you for the rest of your life.

Although vaccination against measles is not compulsory in Monaco, it is strongly recommended for you and your family. For children under the age of 17, the vaccine is 100% reimbursed by the French National Health Insurance (Assurance Maladie), subject to a prescription from your doctor.

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The human papillomavirus also features strongly in this awareness campaign

This virus mainly affects young girls and boys, and is asymptomatic most of the time. However it is thought to be the cause of many cancers. The human papillomavirus is the main cause of cervical cancer in women and throat cancer in men, ahead of alcohol and tobacco.

The virus is all the more dangerous in children as it is invisible, and it is crucial to get vaccinated to prevent the development of these cancers. Two doses of this vaccine can protect your child from developing a potentially fatal condition.

Vaccinations are carried out exclusively by your GP, but if you would like more informations, take a look at the vaccination calendar for children and adolescents.