Boris Johnson Calls For "Decisive Action" To Curtail The Growing Anti-Vaxx Movement
19 August 2019, 10:33
The Prime Minister has announced his plans to curtail the scaremongering around vaccines.
The government is putting plans in place to boost the number of children receiving vaccines in the UK.
The announcement comes after the number of measles cases has rocketed in the last few years, with 231 confirmed cases in the first quarter of 2019.
Currently only 87.2 per cent of children have both doses of the MMR vaccination, down from a high of 88.6 per cent in 2015.
This means that more than half a million children in the UK are not currently vaccinated.
Boris Johnson is calling for health leaders to increase this to 95 percent of the population.
The government's plans follow the World Health Organisation's decision to revoke the UK's measles-free status, three years after the virus was eliminated in the UK.
The Prime Minister's plan includes GPs being asked to promote catch-up programmes for children who haven't had the second does of the vaccine, improved advice on the NHS website to combat misleading information about the danger of vaccines, and targeting areas and communities with particularly low vaccination rates.
The government will also be holding a summit for social media companies to discuss how best to combat anti-vaxx propaganda on their sites.
The NHS is also expected to begin to use technology to identify people who have missed vaccination appointments and make booking appointments easier.
The strategy is being put in place to try and counteract the growing anti-vaxx movement across Europe and the US.
The movement has links with numerous populist politicians, and promotes claims that vaccines are linked to autism, although experts have found this to be untrue.
Boris Johnson has said that "decisive action" is needed, as "one case of this horrible disease is too many, and I am determined to step up our efforts to tackle its spread."
"From reassuring parents about the safety of vaccines, to making sure people are attending follow-up appointments, we can and must do more to halt the spread of infectious, treatable disease in modern-day Britain."
Health Secretary Matt Hancock stated, “it’s easy to forget how devastating measles can be precisely because vaccines are so effective at preventing it in the first place."
“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.”