‘Public health time bomb’: Half a million UK children unvaccinated against measles

NHS warn rejecting the measles vaccine is a 'growing public health time bomb' as it's revealed half a million children are unprotected against the infectious disease.

More than half a million children in the UK were not given the crucial measles jab between the years 2010 and 2017, according to Unicef.

The analysis comes as NHS chief Simon Stevens warned of measles cases in the UK quadrupling in just one year.

Simon Stevens warns that missed vaccines are ‘serious’, adding: ‘Getting yourself and your children vaccinated against killer diseases is essential to staying healthy, and vaccine rejection is a serious and growing public health timebomb.’

To tackle the disease, the NHS is urgently advising families to get children vaccinated.

This highly contagious viral disease often affects children and is identifiable by a measles rash, and can affect the brain, lungs and eyes.

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The condition usually passes after seven days. However, it can also lead to life-threatening complications if the infection spread to the lungs and brain. One in every 25,000 cases can be fatal.

Worldwide, 169 million children were not given their first dose of the measles vaccine between 2010 and 2017, according to the Unicef report.

The analysis reveals the US has the highest number of unvaccinated children, followed by France.

The UK came third, with 527,000 children failing to receive their first dose of the crucial vaccine.

‘The measles virus will always find unvaccinated children, said Henrietta Fore, executive director at Unicef.

She added: ‘If we are serious about averting the spread of this dangerous but preventable disease, we need to vaccinate every child, in rich and poor countries alike.’

Read more: Mum shares shocking warning pictures as measles outbreak continues

Following the recent anti-vaccine hysteria spreading on social media, Simon Steven’s is calling for social media companies to remove this false information.

He said: ‘With measles cases almost quadrupling in England in just one year, it is grossly irresponsible for anybody to spread scare stories about vaccines, and social media firms should have a zero-tolerance approach towards this dangerous content.’