Parents in Derbyshire urged to get kids immunised as measles cases rise

Simon Stevens has said “fake news” by anti-vaxers on social media had fuelled a tripling in measles cases

Simon Stevens has said “fake news” by anti-vaxers on social media had fuelled a tripling in measles cases Credit Stefan Rousseau /PA

Measles can be prevented through two doses of the MMR vaccine - something that is offered free by the NHS to all young children in the UK.

The rate of children having done so is now only 87.2 per cent, down from a high of 88.6 per cent in 2014-15.

Boris Johnson has said that "decisive action" is needed, as "one case of this frightful disease is too many, and I am determined to step up our efforts to tackle its spread".

'We need decisive action across our health service and society to make sure communities are properly immunised.

We've seen outbreaks of this disease in the West Midlands in the past two years and we're continuing to see outbreaks of the disease occurring in communities across the country, many linked to visiting European countries over the summer holidays.

The announcement comes after the number of measles cases has rocketed in the last few years, with 231 confirmed cases in the first quarter of 2019.

The prime minister is demanding urgent action to improve the UK's declining vaccination rates.

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS England's medical director, said: "People not getting the vaccines they need is leading to a killer disease like measles unnecessarily becoming a health risk for our country again, with the number of cases nearly quadrupling in just one year".

Earlier this year, Health Secretary Matt Hancock - who controls the NHS in England - said that he was willing to look at "all options" to boost vaccination levels.

This year Twitter introduced a function which directs users towards "a credible public health resource" when they search for certain keywords including measles, MMR and vaccinations.

Measles elimination status means that the virus is no longer circulating permanently in a country.

Two jabs are required to be immunised from the disease.

Anti-vaccination groups continue to espouse his research, and as a result, many people are increasingly deciding not to vaccinate their children. Many of these were acquired overseas with some onward spread in under-vaccinated communities.

The strategy will also develop a campaign in conjunction with GP surgeries to promote the importance of vaccines and assess how technology can be used to improve appointment booking and call/recall systems, so that patients are more likely to attend appointments.

Work with DFE to explore more ways in which students can be informed about their health and wellbeing including the value of vaccinations - plus enabling them to critically assess misinformation spread online about certain vaccines.

Losing our "measles-free" status is a stark reminder of how important it is that every eligible person gets vaccinated.

Infants (6 through 11 months old): 1 dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine before travel. Measles is one of the most infectious diseases known to man - only one person travelling back to an area with lower vaccination rates can lead to an outbreak. His comments come as Public Health England revealed today one in seven five-year-olds in England may not have had both of their MMR jabs. To ensure the safety of children who can not be vaccinated because of damaged immune systems such as after childhood cancer, 95% of the population needs to be immunised with both doses of MMR. "It's crucial that children have maximum protection as they begin to mix with other children at the start of their school journey".

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said, 'It's a shocking indictment that the United Kingdom has now lost its measles-free status.

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