'Fake news' blamed for fall in MMR vaccine uptake
PUBLISHED: 10:00 25 March 2019
The proportion of parents giving their children the full MMR vaccine has dropped.
NHS figures show an estimated 101 children have not had both measles, mumps and rubella injections.
Public Health England says 93.1 per cent of five-year-olds in North Somerset had received the jab in 2014, but last year it fell to 91.7 per cent.
NHS chief executive Simon Stevens blamed a rise in ‘fake news’ for the decline.
He said: “Across the world, two to three million lives are saved each year by vaccination.
“But as part of the fake news movement, actually the vaccination deniers are getting some traction.
“We have seen a five-year steady decline in the vaccination uptake.”
The MMR vaccination is made up of two jabs, the first when babies are one years old, and another before they start school. North Somerset had a higher take-up of the first jab in 2018, with 97.8 per cent of five-year-olds having had it.
The NHS says up to one in 10 children are not fully immune after the first jab.
The Royal College of Nursing’s Helen Donovan said: “Challenging misinformation is vital to reverse the decline in uptake and ensure people recognise the protection it offers.”