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Healthy society in the 21st century: vaccination definitely has a role to play

Austrian Vaccination Day 2017 on 14 January in the Austria Center Vienna
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Bild: MedUni Wien/Houdek

(Vienna, 11 January 2017) Maintaining and improving people's health is a stated aim of healthcare policy and includes increasing people's health competence, healthy nutrition, sufficient exercise and other everyday health-promoting practices. "Vaccination is one of those medical measures that supports this concept of maintaining and promoting health like no other," explains Ursula Wiedermann-Schmidt, scientific director of the Austrian Vaccination Day and Head of MedUni Vienna's Institute of Specific Prophylaxis and Tropical Medicine, speaking at a press conference in Vienna on Wednesday.

The answer to the question "Healthy society – does vaccination still have a role to play?", which is also the motto for the upcoming Vaccination Day 2017, is therefore an unqualified "Yes", emphasises Wiedermann-Schmidt. Leading national and international experts will speak on this subject and look at the problem not only from the perspective of science, research and medicine but also from an ethical and societal perspective.

There is no contradiction between following a healthy lifestyle and being vaccinated
One of the main themes of Vaccination Day 2017 is the debate about vaccination, in view of the current social structures and looking at why social cohesion is more important than ever before in ensuring the success of vaccination programmes – because health can only be maintained and improved by achieving high vaccination rates throughout the population.

"We want to show that getting vaccinated is part of personal health competence. Here schools and even workplaces can help to improve health competence, in order to increase the level of compliance with vaccination programmes," says the MedUni Vienna expert. "Nowadays, everyone is trying to live a healthy lifestyle but, even if I am extremely fit and generally healthy, I still have to protect myself by means of vaccinations."