Case rates of measures are far higher than they should be for this time of the year, official figures show. The rise is being ascribed to the drop in vaccination rates during the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of the concerning situation, the World Health Organization (WHO) urged parents to get their children vaccinated against the highly infectious disease.
Doctor David Nabarro, the WHO’s special envoy for COVID-19, recently told Sky News: “We’ve got really good vaccination programs all over Europe to keep kids safe and one of them is the vaccination program against measles, but it’s been slowed down because Covid has really taken up so much of healthcare. And so we’ve got an awful lot of people who have missed out on measles vaccination – 73 million throughout the world.
“And that’s meant that this year, in the first few months, there have been 17,000 cases of measles globally, whereas in the first two months of the previous years, it’s usually been lower – 10,000 or less. So yes, we’ve got a global measles epidemic, and that worries us because measles can be a very dangerous disease.
“We’ve just got to get the vaccinations working again and that’s part of getting health services working again as Covid settles into a more regular position in our lives. A lot of folk have actually thought to themselves: ‘well, with all this fuss and bother about Covid, perhaps we won’t take our kids to be immunised, and any way it’s quite difficult because doctor surgeries have been using different working arrangements’ .
“My main request to everybody – please get your child vaccinated, please talk to the local nurse or doctor about vaccination options. It really matters. It’s so important. And with measles, the more people who get vaccinated, the more likely we are to get the whole measles outbreaks under control.”
READ MORE: WHO sends horror measles ‘epidemic’ warning as 1 in 10 UK kids unprotected from disease
“Before the MMR vaccine was introduced in 1988, these diseases were extremely common,” Bupa explains.
“It’s now rare for children to develop them although outbreaks happen when the number of people having the vaccine drops.”
The health body continues: “If your child doesn’t have the vaccine, it puts them at much greater risk of developing measles, mumps and rubella.
“Although most people recover from these diseases without any long-term effects, each one can have some serious consequences, and can even be fatal.”
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