Fears of measles ‘timebomb’ as half a MILLION British children have not been vaccinated

Fears of measles ‘timebomb’ as half a MILLION British children have not been vaccinated

Half a million children in the UK have not been vaccinated against measles amid a rise in online ‘antivaxx’ scare stories. A global surge in the disea

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Half a million children in the UK have not been vaccinated against measles amid a rise in online ‘antivaxx’ scare stories.

A global surge in the disease is being fuelled by plummeting vaccination rates, the charity Unicef has warned.

Between 2010 and 2017, 527,000 children in the UK did not receive the potentially life-saving jab – with ‘fake news’ on social media partly to blame.

Half a million children in the UK have not been vaccinated against measles amid a rise in online ¿antivaxx¿ scare stories (stock image)

Half a million children in the UK have not been vaccinated against measles amid a rise in online ¿antivaxx¿ scare stories (stock image)

Half a million children in the UK have not been vaccinated against measles amid a rise in online ‘antivaxx’ scare stories (stock image)

The UK comes third in a global ranking showing the number of unvaccinated children in high-income countries.

Simon Stevens, the head of the NHS in England, said: ‘With measles cases almost quadrupling in England in just one year, it is grossly irresponsible for anybody to spread scare stories about vaccines.’

Mr Stevens described vaccine rejection as a ‘growing public health timebomb’.

A global surge in the disease is being fuelled by plummeting vaccination rates, the charity Unicef has warned. Between 2010 and 2017, 527,000 children in the UK did not receive the potentially life-saving jab ¿ with ¿fake news¿ on social media partly to blame (stock image)

A global surge in the disease is being fuelled by plummeting vaccination rates, the charity Unicef has warned. Between 2010 and 2017, 527,000 children in the UK did not receive the potentially life-saving jab ¿ with ¿fake news¿ on social media partly to blame (stock image)

A global surge in the disease is being fuelled by plummeting vaccination rates, the charity Unicef has warned. Between 2010 and 2017, 527,000 children in the UK did not receive the potentially life-saving jab – with ‘fake news’ on social media partly to blame (stock image)

An estimated 169million children around the world missed out on the first dose of the measles vaccine between 2010 and 2017 – an average of 21.1million a year. The US has the highest number of unvaccinated children – with 2,593,000 over the eight years.

The anti-vaxx movement has been blamed for the US being hit with more measles cases in the first three months of this year than in the whole of 2018.

France was second, with 608,000 unvaccinated children, followed by the UK. Experts believe 95 per cent of children need to be vaccinated to protect through ‘herd immunity’. But in the UK uptake dropped to 87 per cent last year.

The number of measles cases in England more than trebled to 966 last year.

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