Vaccine-deniers are gaining traction, warns NHS England chief

The head of NHS England has said “vaccination deniers” are gaining traction on social media as part of a “fake news” movement.

Simon Stevens said a parent at his own daughter’s primary school had used WhatsApp to express concern about children’s immune systems being “loaded up” with vaccines.

Speaking at a health summit organised by the Nuffield Trust, Stevens said the NHS was considering what action could be taken to help to stop the spread of anti-vaccination messages.

“One thing we are very concerned about at the moment is around… what is happening to vaccinations in this country,” he 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. Last year, for example, we saw more than triple the number of measles cases across England than we had seen the year before despite the fact that clearly vaccination works.

“We have seen a five-year steady decline in the vaccination uptake.”


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