Vaccinations save millions of lives every year and are widely recognised as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions. Yet, there are still nearly 20 million unvaccinated and under-vaccinated children in the world today. World immunisation Week is campaigning to highlight the critical importance of full immunisation throughout life and to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease, focusing on celebrating Vaccine Heroes from around the world.
Over the last two years the world has seen multiple outbreaks of many vaccine-preventable diseases, including measles which has staggeringly risen by 300% in the first few months of 2019! In order to ensure that everyone is kept safe, countries need to intensify efforts to ensure all people receive the lifesaving benefits of vaccines.
Read more on WHO.
More than half a million UK children missed out on measles vaccination
Unicef analysis has uncovered that more than half a million children in the UK were not given a crucial measles vaccine between 2010 and 2017.
This analysis comes off the back of a recent warning from NHS England Chief Executive, Simon Stevens, that measles cases almost quadrupled in one year and said that the rejection of vaccines was a “growing public health time bomb”.
Globally, the UK was the third top high-income country to not have given children the potentially lifesaving measles jab. The US was first on the list, followed by France.
Read more on the BBC.
A survey by Public Health England has shown that social media is the least trusted source by parents wanting to know about immunisation. Health professionals remain the most trusted, with only 9% of parents having seen, read of heard something that would make them doubt having their child immunised.
Read more in GOV.UK
Malawai has become the first country to introduce a malaria vaccine for children. It took GSK over 30 years and £770 million to produce the vaccine and it hopes to protect 360,000 children against the parasitic disease once it has also been introduced in Kenya and Ghana. This initial roll out in Malawi is only a pilot and the vaccine has not shown to be completely effective, with it showing to provide protection in only 30 percent of children who received four doses, this was also accompanied by side effects such as pain, fever and convulsions.
Did you know it was World Malaria Day on 25 April, so in all a great week for raising awareness of this pilot study!
Read more from the Independent.
Our quote of the week comes from Public Health England boss, Duncan Selbie, who wanted to highlight the role of social media in confusing the public about the safety of vaccines and remind everyone working in healthcare to spread the message that they are in fact safe and have saved many lives.
“In a world where mis-information is so easily spread online we must all speak confidently about the value of vaccines and leave the public in no doubt that they are safe and save lives.”
Read more from the Nursing Times.