New PM urges action to improve vaccination uptake

New PM urges action to improve vaccination uptake

Social media companies have struggled to combat fake news of all sorts, from political propaganda to bogus warnings about vaccines such as MMR for measles, mumps, and rubella.

Prof Heidi Larson, director of the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: "With more than 5% of five-year-olds in England not having had their MMR vaccination when they start school, and the United Kingdom losing its "measles-free" status three years after being certified for measles elimination by the World Health Organization, it is time for more urgent action".

There were 231 confirmed cases in the United Kingdom during the first quarter of this year - and Britain has lost its "measles-free" status with the World Health Organisation three years after the virus was eliminated. The UK, meanwhile, reported 699 cases.

Although usually a mild illness in children, measles can be more severe in adults.

Others claim the vaccine doesn't work - but after the introduction of MMR rates of measles had dropped, from 86,001 cases in 1988 to just 3,728 reported a decade later.


Professor Stephen Powis, NHS England's medical director, said: "People not getting the vaccines they need is leading to a killer disease like measles unnecessarily becoming a health risk for our country again, with the number of cases nearly quadrupling in just one year". "It's a real concern that so many young children - as many as a quarter of a reception class in some areas - could be starting school without the full protection that the NHS childhood immunisation programme offers for free". However, health leaders have been slow to act - proven by these figures from Public Health England.

Since 2016, however, uptake of the MMR jab has fallen each year and the World Health Organization has revoked the country's measles-free status.

"In addition, support must be readily available to help parents and carers better understand the importance of vaccinating their children and make an informed decision". MMR was introduced to improve uptake, coverage and protection.

'With this strategy, the whole health system will come together to renew focus on vaccinations - especially for our children - and this time we will eliminate measles for good'.

Johnson said that he would summon social media companies "to discuss how they can play their part in promoting accurate information about vaccination". And officials said parents of 10 and 11 year-olds who have missed any MMR vaccinations should be booked in for appointments before starting secondary school.


Health secretary Matt Hancock added, 'It's easy to forget how devastating measles can be precisely because vaccines are so effective at preventing it in the first place.

The MMR jab vaccination rate has risen in recent years in Norfolk, up from a low of 87.5pc of children having their first dose by the age of two in 2010/11. Even one child missing their vaccine is one too many - if you are in any doubt about your child's vaccination status, ask your GP as it's never too late to get protected.

As measles is highly infectious, even small declines in vaccination rates can have an impact, and anyone who has not received both doses of MMR is at risk.

A lack of access to the vaccine is often the problem in poorer countries.

For several years global coverage with the first dose of measles vaccine has stalled at 85%.


Measles is a highly contagious and unsafe infection.

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