Social Media Rumours Harming National Vaccination Campaign

Source: Vientiane Times

Rumours about the death of an infant after being immunised against measles-rubella and polio have been cited as one reason why the nation’s vaccination campaign is not achieving the desired results this year.

Health authorities have noted that many parents are not taking their young children to see medical staff for vaccinations in recent months.

Officials only learned about the death of the infant in Xaysomboun province via social media but have not received an official report as to whether the child’s death was related to the vaccination, a health official confirmed.

Buy 1 Get 1 Free on Mango Mania & Chocolate Midnight!
Every day from 10 am to 6pm!



A senior official from the Medical Profession Council under the Ministry of Health, who wished to remain anonymous, told Vientiane Times last Friday that disgruntled members of the public have spread the social media gossip. Nevertheless, authorities were investigating the child’s actual cause of death.

“Officials have visited the director of the village and parents of the dead child to urgently ascertain the truth to the matter which is the first such reported instance in the province,” he said.

“Health authorities have been entrusted to collect information directly from villagers about the measles-rubella and polio immunisation programme in the province over recent months,” he added.

The official said if medical personnel were found to have acted unprofessionally, they could be reassigned to others fields or even dismissed according to the Medical Profession Council Code of Ethics. This applies to nurses, midwives, and doctors and aims to protect the benefits and rights of mothers and infants to healthcare.

He explained that online rumours spread about vaccination campaigns were not a new issue over recent years with similar instances occurring in Borikhamxay, Savannakhet, and Vientiane provinces.

According to the Ministry of Health, the knowledge and skills development of nurses, midwives, and other healthcare professionals must be current, and they should ensure that quality services are provided while working to improve healthcare in general. Above all, patients’ safety is of paramount importance.

Monthly Newsletter