Boris Johnson orders action to stop measles spread

19 Août, 2019, 17:10 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Boris Johnson has said social media firms have a responsibility to curb vaccine misinformation

Health officials urged parents to book jabs before children return to school, amid warnings that Britain has lost its "measles-free" status.

Outbreaks have been reported in Manchester, Kent and areas of London already this year, prompting Public Health England to publicly appeal to parents to make sure babies are taken for their first MMR jab - usually around their first birthday - and the second dose before starting school.

Johnson's office said that now just 87% of children are getting their second dose of the jab, likely contributing to the spread of the disease. Measles is now endemic in countries including France, Germany and Italy.

While confidence in the UK's world-leading vaccination programme remains high - with uptake exceeding 90% for most childhood immunisations - there has been a small but steady decline in coverage in recent years. The WHO have stated that in the first six months of 2019 reported measles cases globally are nearly three times as many as the same time past year. The government has a target of 95% of children to get both doses of the jab.

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

The Prime Minister's visit to the South West is part of a series of visits to hospitals he is taking.

Measles elimination status means that the virus is no longer circulating permanently in a country.

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

In the first quarter of this year, there were 231 confirmed cases.

Many of the United Kingdom cases were acquired overseas with some onward spread in under-vaccinated communities.

Ask the NHS to use technology to identify who may have missed a vaccination and make booking appointments easier, such as improved call/recall systems for those accessing immunisations, and more consistent use of these systems across United Kingdom healthcare to remind people of their vaccine appointments.

Develop a major campaign with NHS England and Improvement, Public Health England and GP practices to support the importance of key vaccinations in protecting against potentially unsafe diseases. "That's wrong, please get your kids vaccinated".

Measles is a highly contagious and risky infection.

"People who were not vaccinated as children need to understand that it is not too late to have their MMR jab and we would urge them to do so". Anyone who has not received two doses of MMR vaccine will be at risk. "It's crucial that children have maximum protection as they begin to mix with other children at the start of their school journey". This will be crucial to the United Kingdom achieving elimination status again in future.


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