Every night on the news, snaking queues of children are shown waiting patiently for the health jab they should have been given as babies.
The measles – it’s come back and it’s wracking parents with guilt.
The decision they made years ago assuming they were protecting their children was categorically the wrong one.
They allowed scare-mongering to sway their judgement. In 1998, surgeon and medical researcher Andrew Wakefield hit headlines with claims the three-in-one measles, mumps and rubella vaccine routinely given to all children from 1988 could cause brain damage – and they decided it was too much of a risk to take. Instead they selfishly chose to gamble on their children not contracting the virus.
In the early days, they were on a safe bet. The illness had all but been wiped out in the UK thanks to the effectiveness of the MMR jab. But parents who chose to believe Wakefield’s warnings of autism and bowel disease, even after he was found guilty of professional misconduct and struck off the medical register, created the conditions for the perfect storm.
Measles rubbed its grubby hands in glee and went on a spree. It claimed its first UK fatality in 14 years in 2006 and an epidemic is sweeping through Wales. English kids are next in line for extreme illness, maybe death. Make no mistake, measles is no lightweight. Already 77 have been hospitalised.
Parents everywhere are urged to have their children vaccinated. But you just know a minority will pick at the scabs and believe there’s a Government conspiracy against Wakefield, who even now can’t admit he was wrong. It’s the Government’s decision not to buy totally unnecessary single vaccines to blame, says the man with bloody hands.
Parents who now choose not to allow their children the jab are as bad as him. They are risking the health of every unvaccinated person, young and old. It’s time to do the right thing.