The UK is seeing more cases of measles and recently lost its WHO Measles free status. This is due in part to children who went ‘unvaccinated’ 20 years ago after Dr Andrew Wakefield reported that the vaccinations for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR vaccine) was linked to autism. However, his research was found to be wrong and Dr Wakefield was struck off.
Anti-Vaccination Movement Poses A Real Threat
Now for the fourth year in a row, take-up of the MMR vaccine has decreased. What is going on, and does this affect us in Bristol? The anti-vaccination movement – “anti-vaxxers” – and the false information that they spread about vaccines is posing a significant health threat to everyone.
They share conspiracy theories about vaccinations, false scientific research and spread stories that feed distrust in governments and drug manufacturers. In a world of alternative truths, fake news and the repeated refrain of “do not trust the experts’’, the power of social media means the spread and reach of this information cannot be managed without every single one of us joining in the fight.
The Truth About Vaccinations
Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways to avoid disease and currently prevents 2-3 million deaths each year. Even more interesting is the fact that a further 1.5 million could be avoided if global coverage of vaccinations improved. The reason why we all have a role to play is that, increasingly, social media influencers, some famous political figures and celebrities are now publicly stating that they support the anti-vaxxers.
These individuals do not feel responsible for the impact that they wield on vulnerable, less-educated or easily impressionable people. People who choose not to vaccinate may do so for all the right reasons but it is based on misinformation. They not only put lives at risk but they also start undoing the social norms that vaccination is a choice to protect the whole community and the individual.
Stay Informed About Vaccinations From Bristol Travel Clinic
If you have any concerns or queries, please call the Bristol Travel Clinic on our 24hr free-phone number. The Bristol Travel Clinic and our partner Pharmacies across the South West work to the highest of ethical and professional standards. Our lead pharmacist, Ade Williams, is the official PHE Pharmacy Vaccination Hero for his work raising awareness about the benefits of vaccinations and increasing affordable access.
We signpost to free NHS provision where possible while also providing a service with a low price guarantee that includes support for the work of charities like Meningitis Now. For more information, visit bristoltravelclinic.co.uk or call Free 0800 772 3575. If you are attending any festivals, please read our blog about ‘Summer Festival Tips For Staying Healthy‘.