The Dangerous Movement Of The Anti-Vaxxers And Why You Need to Get Protected NOW!

Watching Professor Calum Semple (Child Health & Outbreak) on BBC Breakfast this morning I was reminded that I was one of those mothers back in the 90’s who was influenced by a bogus report by Dr Andrew Wakefield linking MMR with Autism and as a result, I didn’t have my youngest child vaccinated. As a loving parent who only wants to keep my children safe I find it hard to believe I was swayed by unsubstantiated reporting and actually put my child at risk. It seems I wasn’t alone and millions of parents worldwide influenced by this flawed research also chose not to have their children vaccinated. Despite this research being de-bunked and numerous research projects since showing that these vaccines are safe, social media is still fuelling the fire and spreading false claims about the risks associated with vaccinations.

The UK have just lost their ‘Measles Free’ status as the number of children getting vaccinated continues to fall and Public Health England are campaigning to halt this decline and persuade parents that keeping their children safe means getting them vaccinated.

To emphasise the risk Prof Semple used this analogy “If we took a classroom of 30 children who were not vaccinated and exposed them to 1 child with the measles virus at least 27 would catch it as it is so contagious. And out of that 27, 2 children would end up in hospital with life threatening complications such as pneumonia and meningitis. This situation is totally preventable by a safe vaccine. Potential side effects are a false worry” he stated.

Luckily for me, my child realised the potential danger of not being vaccinated during a previous awareness campaign and had an MMR jab in her early 20’s. I urge any of you born in the 90’s to check with your parents and get vaccinated now if you need to. Contracting measles in adulthood is even more severe than in childhood with potential life threatening/life limiting complications more likely and recuperation from even a mild dose can last months rather than weeks. It’s a no brainer.

It is also important to take responsibility, not only for your own health but, for the good of society - the more people vaccinated the more protection society has. It is also important to check the credentials of sources claiming potential health risks associated with vaccinations. Public Health England and the Government are calling for stricter controls on reporting via social media and want to hold social media companies accountable for ‘fake’ medical reporting that has an adverse affect to the detriment of the individuals and society’s well-being.

And its not just MMR - meningococcal B, Rotavirus, HPV are all vaccination programmes that work incredibly well. Public Health England state that the only thing better for public health than vaccines is clean water.  

A message we need to hear loud and clear.