Cases of measles are currently soaring in Europe. Last year alone, there were more than 21,000 cases and 35 deaths – this is an increase of over 25% from the year before.
The aim has always been to eradicate measles completely using the highly effective vaccine, however, less parents are choosing to immunise their children against the disease than ever before.
The main reason for this drop in choosing to immunise, is due to the influence of anti-vaccine campaigns and fake online news using misinformed scare tactics. As a result, in the UK, measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccines have fallen to below the level needed to create what’s known as ‘herd immunity’ – this is when at least 95% of the country us vaccinated. Currently vaccination coverage in the UK is at 91%, meaning the most vulnerable children in our society are at risk.
Currently, 2-3 million lives are saved by vaccinations, and a further 1.5 million could potentially be prevented if the global coverage of vaccines were improved. However, despite the overwhelming evidence available to us as a society, the numbers of those choosing not to vaccinate are increasing.
Vaccinating children is not only beneficial for your child but can also protect other, more vulnerable children who are unable to receive the vaccine – for example: new babies, and children who have weakened immune systems from cancer treatment or other conditions.
All vaccines used in the UK are thoroughly tested, meet strict safety criteria and are carefully monitored after they are introduced into the national programme. Claims about MMR and autism have long been discredited and parents should be aware that the real danger to children is from missing out on vaccination.
Not only is measles an unpleasant and painful disease, but in some cases, it can be fatal. Please speak to a qualified practitioner about the benefits of vaccinations or you can book your child in to receive an immunisation here.