Duncan Selbie’s Friday message – 5 April 2019


Expensive everybody

This week I’m focusing solely on the worth of vaccination.

The primary ever vaccine was developed in 1796 and vaccination in its fashionable type has been extensively out there for the reason that 1920s. Since then, thousands and thousands of lives have been saved and in the case of illness prevention, solely clear water can compete on effectiveness. Within the final 50 years, it has saved extra lives than every other medical process or product.

{Our capability} to guard towards illness by vaccination is actually exceptional. Within the UK now we have a world-leading vaccination programme, led by an distinctive workforce inside PHE, the NHS and native authorities and proof from PHE’s attitudinal surveys confirms that parental confidence in vaccines may be very excessive.

Because it was launched within the UK in 1968, it’s estimated that the measles vaccination has averted 20 million measles circumstances and 4,500 deaths and the rubella vaccine has averted an estimated 1,300 congenital rubella syndrome births and 25,000 terminations. Within the UK now we have eradicated polio, the flu vaccine is now supplied to extra individuals without spending a dime than ever earlier than and hospital admissions for infectious abdomen bug rotavirus are down 80% since a vaccine was launched in 2013.

Infographic showing a group of people including an older man, a teenager, adults, a child, a toddler and a baby. The text says that vaccines save lives and after clean water, vaccination is the most effective public health intervention in the world

We now have seen some unbelievable public well being achievements throughout the globe as a consequence of vaccination, however we’re nonetheless seeing outbreaks, typically critical, of ailments that may be prevented by vaccines.

Over the past week you’ll have seen the alarming story from America, the place Rockland County in New York state declared a state of emergency following a extreme outbreak of measles.

In Italy, unvaccinated youngsters have been barred from faculties in response to a worrying decline in vaccination uptake nationwide and a big measles outbreak.

These are excessive measures which governments in different nations have deemed essential to guard individuals from a extremely infectious illness that may kill, however for which there’s a vaccine.

In England, our vaccination charges exceed or strategy the important thing international targets, however we’re seeing a small however particular, regular decline in vaccine uptake and there’s no room for any complacency.

Due to the arduous work of 1000’s of clinicians and scientists now we have recovered confidence in MMR vaccines following the damaging, false and scientifically disproven claims put out over 20 years in the past.

We reversed the harm achieved then however now we face a brand new problem, which is the proliferation of mis-information on-line, largely printed abroad, however is definitely discovered on social media platforms in England.

Secretary of State Matt Hancock is main on calling for social media platforms to take away inaccurate content material and on this he has the total help of PHE.

There’s additionally motion that we will all absorb our totally different roles, particularly our GPs and nurses who’re on the frontline, in reaching these not but vaccinated. We should all communicate confidently in regards to the worth of vaccines and go away the general public in little question that they’re secure and save lives.

We should additionally work collectively and do all we will to make sure underserved populations – the so-called arduous to succeed in – are engaged and supplied vaccines.  The brand new Regional Administrators of Public Well being on the seven new management groups for the totally different NHS areas of England supply a recent alternative to make progress on this and it’s excessive on their agenda.

Over the approaching weeks and months we’ll strongly promote the worth of vaccination and later this month we will probably be supporting European Immunisation Week, a World Well being Group (WHO) led initiative.

I ask everybody to help this and assist unfold optimistic messaging and correct info in regards to the effectiveness of vaccines. You may get extra info by way of the WHO website and do look out for and share our content material on social media.

Greatest needs


Get all the data you want on childhood vaccination from our blog.

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