Parents in Tolikara regency, Papua are refusing to allow their children to receive vaccines at a high rate. The parents are especially opposed to the measles-rubella (MR) and polio vaccinations. They fear these vaccines could cause lifelong disabilities.
“We can say about 40 percent of parents refused to allow their children to get vaccinated,” said Herdika Pareang of the Karubaga community health center on Sunday, as quoted by Antara.
Tolikara Health Agency’s head says that they are disseminating propaganda to illustrate that vaccines are safe.
The district believes the issues with vaccine opposition are related to a child in another district who is now disabled following a vaccine.
“The [limited] understanding of parents and teachers in light of past events concerning a vaccine administered to a child with epilepsy in Kurulu district has caused many parents [in Karubaga] to refuse [the vaccinations],” said Constan.
Many heavily Muslim regions in Indonesia are refusing to trust vaccines.
The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) has told Muslims that it is OK for them to take the MR vaccine despite the presence of gelatin in its ingredients.