PM: Anti-vaccine 'mumbo jumbo' to blame for measles rise

Monday, August 19, 2019

Boris Johnson has ordered urgent action to boost the number of children and young people receiving vaccinations following a rise in measles cases.

The Prime Minister will today set out his plans to improve vaccination rates for the measles, mumps and rubella jab (MMR), which comes in two doses.

He has called for health leaders to renew efforts to ensure 95 per cent of the population have had both doses of the jab.

The rate of children having done so is currently only 87.2 per cent, down from a high of 88.6 per cent in 2014-15.

"I think there's complacency on the part of parents about the need to get that second vaccine but also, I'm afraid, people have been listening to that superstitious mumbo jumbo on the internet, all that anti-vax stuff and thinking that the MMR vaccine is a bad idea - that's wrong," Mr Johnson said during a hospital visit to the Royal Cornwall Hospital today.

Steps to improve uptake will include "catch-up" vaccination programmes, strengthening the role of local immunisation co-ordinators.

The Government also wants to update the advice on the NHS website to address misleading information about the dangers of vaccines and invite social media companies to a summit to discuss how they can promote accurate information about vaccination.

There were 231 confirmed cases of measles in the UK during the first quarter of theis yeasr and Britain has lost its "measles-free" status with the World Health Organisation (WHO) after the virus was eliminated in the country in 2016.

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