UK's Johnson slams 'mumbo-jumbo' about vaccines after measles rates rise

UK's Johnson slams 'mumbo-jumbo' about vaccines after measles rates rise

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers a speech outside Downing Street in
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers a speech outside Downing Street in London, Britain Jul 24, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Picture)

TRURO, England: Britons should get vaccinated against measles and ignore online "mumbo-jumbo" about dangers of the jabs, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday (Aug 19) after a resurgence of the disease.

Britain has lost its "measles-free" status three years after the virus was eliminated and there were more than 230 new cases of measles recorded in the first quarter of 2019.

Johnson has called for a summit of social media companies to discuss how they could promote accurate information about the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, while his office said the National Health Service's (NHS) website was being updated to address misleading online information about the dangers of jabs.

READ: 20 million children not vaccinated in 2018, UN warns against 'stagnation'

"The UK generally has a great record on fighting measles, but for the first time we're suddenly going in the wrong direction," Johnson said on a visit to a hospital in Truro, south-west England.

"I'm afraid people have just been listening to that superstitious mumbo-jumbo on the internet, all that anti-vax stuff, and thinking that the MMR vaccine is a bad idea. That's wrong, please get your kids vaccinated."

Johnson added that some parents were also complacent about making sure their children receive their second doses of the MMR vaccine.

Johnson's office said that currently just 87 per cent of children are getting their second dose of the jab, likely contributing to the spread of the disease. The government has a target of 95per cent of children to get both doses of the jab.

"It's not just the right thing for them, but also of course its the right thing for the whole population," Johnson said. "It might not be your kid that gets it, it could be somebody else's."

Source: Reuters/nr

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