Following news that the UK has lost its “measles-free” status, Boris Johnson has announced that he will call on social media companies to block anti-vaccination messages from spreading.
More than 230 cases were diagnosed in the UK in just the first quarter of the year, which has led to the country losing its “measles-free” status.
Boris Johnson currently has no plans to bring in mandatory vaccination, but he is urging social media companies to crack down on anti-vax messages.
Johnson wants to ensure that only accurate information on vaccines can spread following the massive increase in anti-vax messaging spreading online in both the UK and US.
According to the Guardian, the PM will reportedly say:
After a period of progress where we were once able to declare Britain measles-free, we’ve now seen hundreds of cases of measles in the UK this year.
One case of this horrible disease is too many, and I am determined to step up our efforts to tackle its spread.
From reassuring parents about the safety of vaccines to making sure people are attending follow-up appointments, we can and must do more to halt the spread of infectious, treatable diseases in modern-day Britain.
This drive to prevent the spread of vaccination conspiracies online was confirmed by the health secretary and Johnson's former opponent in the Tory leadership race, Matt Hancock.
Additionally, the NHS will be asked to write to GPs urging them to promote catch-up vaccinations for older children who skipped their second booster jab.
Earlier this year, Unicef reported that over half a million children (527,000) in the UK went unvaccinated against measles between 2010 and 2017.
Johnson is setting a target for the NHS of 95% of children receiving both doses of the vaccine. Currently that number is at just 87%. Johnson will make further visits to hospitals later this week.