Spotlight 06/05/19 | Scientology not as good as vaccinations in the fight against measles…

Scientology not as good as vaccinations in the fight against measles…

Recently there has been a lot of talk around vaccines in the news that has peaked my attention, not least probably due to the recent World Immunization Week 2019 and the recent malaria vaccine trial. I am sure most of you are very pro vaccines how they are an important tool in the battle against AMR but there has been a growing trend in vaccine hesitancy; recently Beate Kampmann (Vaccine Centre Director) was talking to some parents that were unsure about vaccine something we hear more and more on. Vaccine hesitancy is on the rise in over 90 percent of countries across the globe, causing vaccine coverage for some preventable diseases to drop below the thresholds necessary for herd immunity.Unlike antibiotics which are used to ‘cure’ an obvious disease vaccines are often given to the healthy and especially where there few cases of targeted disease exists due to herd immunity, this can seem as an unnecessary risk. However, as the rates of immunisation drop we are beginning to see how this could play out of a larger scale with knock-on consequences with the outbreaks of measles in the US, declared measles free in 200. New York is in the midst of the worst measles outbreak in at least two decades and shows no sign of abating with at least 423 measles cases since October and now the Scientology cruise ship has been quarantined off St Lucia coast over a measles case and 100-plus individuals are being quarantined at UCLA. It’s not even safe going to watch a movie! Worldwide, there has been a 30 percent surge in measles cases – a tragedy considering how effective the vaccine is.

For many bacterial pathogens there are no or vaccines with limited efficacy available but developing new vaccines is only half the battle as my social scientist colleagues would tell me as the recent problems with the Ebola epidemic resulting in the treatment centres being burned down in part due to heavy handedness of the government officials who were trying to do the right thing. Vaccines offer a way to reduce infection and thus the need for antibiotics but there are many biological and social factors to overcome in their implementation but hopefully if you are offered one you do not hesitate.

Physicians, policy makers, governments, and media platforms all play an essential role in preventing vaccine misinformation and hesitancy.  [The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health]

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