The rise in so called “fake news” has been blamed for almost 100 children in North Lincolnshire failing to be fully vaccinated.
An NHS report says that almost 100 children in the region are not fully vaccinated against MMR, as the NHS warned vaccine deniers are gaining traction on social media.
Across England, take-up of the vaccine has fallen, with NHS chief executive Simon Stevens blaming anti-vaxxers’ increasing prominence as “part of the fake news movement”.
The latest figures show that in North Lincolnshire, between April and September 2018, 90.9 percent of children turning five had received the recommended two measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) jabs.
This means around 94 children in the area are not fully vaccinated. This is below the target, set by the World Health Organisation, for 95 percent coverage.
However, MMR take-up in North Lincolnshire has increased since 2017, when 89.1 percent of five year-olds had the full course of vaccinations, according to Public Health England.
Across England, the proportion of five year olds fully immunised against MMR has dropped from 87.5 percent in 2017 to 86.3 percent last year. There were more than three times as many measles cases in 2018, as in the previous year.
Speaking at a health summit organised by the Nuffield Trust, Mr Stevens said: “Across the world, two to three million lives are saved each year by vaccination. But as part of the fake news movement, actually the vaccination deniers are getting some traction. We have seen a five-year steady decline in the vaccination uptake." The NHS says up to one in 10 children are not fully immune after the first MMR jab, whereas fewer than one in 100 are fully immunised after the second dose.