RCGP reports that vaccines are both safe and vital

Parents need to be aware of the clear-cut evidence on vaccination safety, says RCGP

This is an edited version of an article first published by the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Responding to today’s NHS Digital figures (please find a story with the figures so that you can quote them, otherwise there’s no context) on routine childhood vaccination rates, professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said:

“Even a small drop in the take-up of vaccinations is disheartening and very concerning. Our efforts to eradicate potentially serious – but entirely preventable diseases – had been going so well, but we are now seeing a rise in the numbers of cases of measles and mumps.

“We are aware of the destructive anti-vaccination messages that are circulating online and via social media, and these are perpetuating toxic myths that are not backed by any evidence or false claims that have been completely debunked.

“Parents need to be aware of the clear, evidence-based findings about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

“It is also important for people to understand that the decision to vaccinate their child doesn’t just affect them, but society as a whole, and that it would be incredibly dangerous if we were to lose the protection of herd immunisation against a host of serious, and potentially deadly, diseases.”

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