See the video at the end of this article and please tell us what you think…
The burgeoning anti-vaccine movement on social media across Europe is being blamed for measles outbreaks reaching their highest in two decades.
Health experts say analysis of World Health Organisation data shows that measles cases will have topped 60,000 in 2018 – more than double that of 2017 and the highest this century.
There have been 72 deaths.
The experts say that vaccine ‘warriors’ are driving down immunisation rates for measles, HPV against cervical cancer, flu and other diseases – and that their opinions are increasingly being broadcast on social media.
And the European Union’s health commissioner, Vytenis Andriukaitis, accuses the new right-wing of health of peddling “fake news” about vaccine safety.
Dr Andriukaitis, a former heart surgeon, said: “All of the scientific society is concerned – epidemiologists, paediatricians, infectious disease experts and a lot of health ministers.
“It is unimaginable that we have deaths because of measles – children dying because of measles. We promised that by 2020 Europe would be measles free.”
Seth Berkley, the head of the global vaccine alliance Gavi, said scepticism was infectious as a disease and Heidi Larson, the director of the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “I don’t know a country in the world that doesn’t have some questioning going on.”
WHO, the EU and the US are investigating the causes of fears over vaccine and are looking for ways to help reassure people.
Populist rightwing politicians in the US, Italy, Poland and France, have jumped on the anti-vaccine bandwagon, championing the right of parents not to immunise their children in countries where it is mandatory before starting school.
“They are very irresponsible,” said Dr Andriukaitis. “It is the danger of fake news.”
Rightwing politicians say they are against globalisation of multi-national corporations and give credence to “fake news” stories on social media claiming drug companies are disseminating viruses into the population in order to sell vaccines. And they support calls to overturn mandatory vaccination where it could win them votes.
Consumerwatchfoundation.com reader and contributor Allyssa Voet, from Spain, sent this video. Please tell us what you think…