Parents who avoid the MMR shot endanger the lives of babies & seriously ill children, the Health Minister warns today.
Matt Hancock says that young people who have not been vaccinated can catch measles themselves and subsequently infect vulnerable, risky patients.
He says that although parents think that their decisions about poking are a & # 39; personal choice & # 39; and & # 39; no one else are & # 39 ;, they are in fact a & # 39; moral & # 39; have a duty.
Hancock writes for today's Mail: & The reality is that by choosing not to vaccinate their own child, they choose to jeopardize the lives of vulnerable children – who are too young or too seriously ill to receive the vaccine. & # 39;
Matt Hancock (photo) says that young people who have not been vaccinated can catch measles themselves and subsequently infect vulnerable, risky patients
Babies will not receive the first dose of the MMR injection until they are approximately 13 months old, as it is unlikely that they will be effective if given earlier.
Other young children may be advised to avoid the injection, including those with cancer, leukemia, severe asthma, or organ transplant recipients.
Mr Hancock's blunt warning to parents comes two weeks after the Mail launched a major campaign to improve vaccine uptake.
The latest NHS figures show that the number of children receiving the two doses of the MMR injection – for measles, mumps and rubella – is the lowest in seven years. In some parts of England – including the London neighborhoods of the middle class – a third of five-year-olds have not received their vaccinations.
Measures of measles and mumps have increased enormously in recent years and both diseases can lead to fatal complications, including swelling of the brain.
The Minister of Health, who has three young children, says: & the argument for vaccination is not only a scientific argument, but also a moral argument & # 39 ;. He accuses parents who avoid vaccinations – known as & # 39; anti-vaxxers & # 39; – of both ignorance and complacency.
The Mail calls on the government to launch a mass consciousness to assure parents that punctures are both safe and essential.
We also want the NHS to introduce SMS reminders to alert busy families about upcoming vaccinations.
He says that although parents think that their decisions about poking are a & # 39; personal choice & # 39; and & # 39; no one else are & # 39 ;, they are in fact a & # 39; moral & # 39; have a duty (file image)
Last month, Mr Hancock revealed that he had sought legal advice on the introduction of compulsory vaccinations in children. Countries such as France and the US have already made certain jabs compulsory for all children in public schools.
But doctors say that the imposition of such laws in this country would have adverse consequences and cause distrust among families. The health ministry says mandatory vaccinations would be a last resort if other policies to improve uptake failed.
Figures from NHS Digital show that only 86 percent of five-year-olds received both doses of the MMR shot in 2018/19, the lowest since 2011/12. But in the London boroughs of Westminster, Hackney and Kensington and Chelsea, up to 36 percent of children are not immunized.
Justine Roberts, founder of the parenting website Mumsnet said: & # 39; Parents who are concerned about vaccinations should have time and space to discuss their concerns with qualified health professionals, and more needs to be done to make vaccination arrangements easily accessible. & # 39;
Mail campaign is crucial – it will save lives
By Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
Last week I joined the Prime Minister to get a flu shot. It was quick, painless and safe. In 2018, more than 14.5 million people did the same in England – helping us prevent more than 2,000 hospital admissions and 700 deaths.
Most of us will ever have the flu, and luckily most of us will have found it just unpleasant and uncomfortable.
But for people at risk – the elderly, pregnant women, and people with pre-existing health problems – it can be much more serious.
We encourage healthy people to receive the flu shot, not only to protect themselves, but also to save the lives of the most vulnerable people in our society.
This is a crucial point: vaccination is not only a scientific argument, but also a moral argument.
Anti-vaxxers ignorantly claim that immunization is only a matter of personal choice. And if they choose to give their own child the risk of measles, mumps, or rubella, they insist that it should not be anyone else.
Mr Hancock's blunt warning to parents comes two weeks after the Mail launched a major campaign to improve vaccine intake (file image)
But the reality is that by not vaccinating their child they choose to endanger the lives of vulnerable children – children who are too young or too seriously ill to receive the vaccine.
So what causes the complacency around the MMR jab? One of the factors is that, unlike flu, few of us have personal experience with measles, mumps, or rubella. Measles is a terrible disease. It is highly contagious, causes brain swelling and can lead to deafness and death.
The heartbreaking case of baby Alba Moss, described so moved in the Daily Mail earlier this month, conveys the terrible emotions her parents experienced when she saw their one-year-old daughter fight for her life after the measles virus.
What made the situation even more painful for the Moss family was the vitriol they got from social media anti-vaxxers after encouraging other parents to have their children vaccinated to prevent the same fate from happening to their family.
It is not fortunate that the measles cases have plummeted in Britain over the past 50 years. It is due to the success of our leading vaccination programs & years of hard work by our NHS employees.
Measles vaccination has estimated an estimated 20 million cases of the disease and 4,500 deaths since 1968.
Although vaccine intake is very high with more than 90 percent, we cannot afford to be complacent. The World Health Organization recently had the vital status & # 39; measles-free & # 39; abolished.
In some parts of the country, including parts of London, a third of the children have not received both doses. Last month, more than 25,000 young people who did not receive the MMR injection started when children started college.
If these teenagers have been lucky enough not to get measles, mumps, or rubella, their chances of getting sick with these diseases will greatly increase if they come into contact with each other at college.
There is a universal scientific consensus on the MMR vaccine: it is safe, effective and can save the lives of your child and other children. So I welcome this timely Mail campaign. It will save lives.
What steps can we now take to increase the vaccine intake? First of all, as a health secretary, I want to make it as easy as possible for parents to have their children vaccinated. I therefore welcome the Mail's suggestion to send text messages to parents of children who need vaccinations.
Healthcare as a whole must embrace technology and recognize that parents and caregivers have busy lives with competitive demands.
In the meantime, we also need to encourage social media companies to stop the spread of anti-vax propaganda.
But above all we have to get the message across: vaccination is vital. So let's all work together to fight complacency and ignorance and do everything we can to ensure that every child is protected against these dangerous and preventable diseases.
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