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Unvaccinated children are 'a public health time bomb', says NHS chief

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Measles cases have quadrupled in the UK The number of measles cases has quadrupled in the UK in the last 12 months

Parents who refuse to get their children vaccinated against measles are contributing to ‘a public health time bomb’ NHS England’s Chief Executive has warned. Simon Stevens issued his warning as Unicef released figures claiming that half a million children in the UK missed out on the measles jab between 2010 -2017. It placed the UK as the third worst high-income country for compliance behind France (an estimated 600,000 unvaccinated children) and the USA (2.6 million).

‘Getting yourself and your children vaccinated against killer diseases is essential to staying healthy, and vaccine rejection is a serious and growing public health timebomb,’ Stevens said.

Stevens also launched a broadside against the anti-vaxxer movement which has gained traction on social media in the last few years. ‘With measles cases almost quadrupling in England in just one year, it is grossly irresponsible for anybody to spread scare stories about vaccines, and social media firms should have a zero tolerance approach towards this dangerous content.’

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed that he intends to meet with social media companies next week 'require that they do more to take down lies that are promoted on social media about the impact of vaccinations'.

Hancock has also said he ‘wouldn’t rule out’ taking a tougher French-style approach, and making vaccinations mandatory. Children in France are no longer allowed to join state-run schools and nurseries if they haven’t had all their jabs.

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I am in agreement with Lesley Bailey; immunisation should be compulsory unless a clear medical reason exists as a contra-indication. I am old enough to remember having measles, mumps and rubella as a child, and I didn't enjoy any of them! I do try to negotiate with parents who are against immunisation, particularly the MMR. Often I can get them to agree an age when they feel the threat of autism and learning difficulties has passed. The parents feel they are given an informed choice that retains their authority as parents. It is not ideal, but, Better Late Than Never!
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playgroups, nurseries, schools, colleges and universities should deny access to any child/adult who hasn't been vaccinated. colleges and universities request dates but do they check every person is updated. Also people who travel abroad should be updated too.
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Albeit reluctantly, I have now come to the conclusion that immunisation must be made mandatory unless there are compelling medical reasons not to immunise. I have had parents screaming at me "You will respect my choice" when I have tried to convince them to immunise their child against measles recently. I'm afraid I no longer can. It's fine if it were only your child - but it isn't. There are children who can't receive the vaccine because they are sick. There are older folk who have never been vaccinated and never had measles - and now for one reason or another can't be vaccinated - and your decision puts them at risk too. It's a public decision for the good of all as much as it is a private one. Oh yes, and my eldest son has autism. He had his MMR - he hd autism before he had the MMR as well!! It's not a conclusion I came to lightly - but other countries now take this line, like Australia and I think we just have to be more proactive. Measles kills.
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