System-wide approach to tackling falling childhood vaccination rates welcome, says RCGP

Publication date: 18 August 2019

Responding to the Government's childhood vaccination strategy, launched today, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said:

"Vaccinations are simple, easy and highly effective health interventions and in most cases, they protect for life. Across the NHS we are doing a good job of getting this message across to patients, and in the UK we actually have high take-up rates of many vaccinations.

"But we are still suffering from the now entirely debunked MMR scandal of the nineties, and it is potentially disastrous that as a result so many young people are now susceptible to serious, often life-threatening infectious diseases, such as measles, that we could have completely eradicated in this country if this had never happened.

"People who were not vaccinated as children need to understand that it is not too late to have their MMR jab and we would urge them to do so.

"We welcome that the Government is addressing the falling take-up of childhood vaccinations seriously - and are particularly pleased to see that they are involving social media companies in their strategy given the deeply concerning and misleading school of thought, especially prevalent online and across social media, that casts doubt over the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

"It is not just the responsibility of GPs and other healthcare professionals to combat anti-vaxxer propaganda, everyone has a part to play: health, public health and education bodies; but we also need technology companies to take responsibility and tackle negativity and confusion around vaccination information."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633/7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659
press@rcgp.org.uk

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 53,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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