Newspaper and internet scaremongering is so commonplace now that we’re numb to it, but we shouldn’t be. Some of this misinformation kills. The mainstreaming of anti-vaccination lunacy by newspapers such as the Daily Mail and later, idiots on social media, has seen vaccination levels drop and infection levels soar.
In the UK, more than half a million children weren’t vaccinated between 2010 and 2017. Cases in England have quadrupled in the last year as vaccination levels have fallen. The WHO target is 95% vaccination of children, but in England it has fallen to 87.5%. We lose herd immunity at around 90%.
Measles kills. It recently killed 1,000 children in Madagascar in a horrific example of how quickly it can spread. The cause was lack of vaccination: nearly 40% of the population are unvaccinated. Before we introduced vaccination in the 1960s, Measles killed 2.6 million people a year.
In some parts of the world such as Madagascar the problem is down to lack of access to medicine. But in the affluent west, it’s because of first world problems such as complacency and believing bullshit on the internet and in newspapers.
This is not a debate; there are not two sides to this story. Measles is a lethal and entirely preventable disease, and if you don’t get your children vaccinated you’re risking other children’s lives.