Thanks to our John Stone for sharing this article from The Lancet, which blames social media for vaccine hesitancy. If I were to read about the beauty of owning unicorns 24/7/365 on social media, I would not go looking for a UnicornSmart store to purchase one as a pet. Social media isn't perfect. And much of it is indeed claptrap. But, for those of us who know vaccine injury through ourselves or our loved ones, social media has been like a light house to warn others. PM Boris Johnson calls vaccine safety information "superstitious mumbo jumbo." That's incredibly insulting to the researchers, scientists and individuals who have devoted careers and lives to vaccine safety.
What about e-cigarettes? I'm not defending or condemning them. But smoking has killed millions of Americans. And Brits. I've never been addicted to cigarettes so I don't know what it's like to crave or quit. Vaping came into being to help curb smoking tobacco cigarettes. This is a laudable - a safer nicotine delivery system for those who do not want to quit smoking. There are have been deaths from vaping. And rather than clamping down on the messengers, the nation went into "protect kids, stop vaping," mode. CDC is all over it. "Untested in pregnant women!" Yes, sounds familiar to us. Why? Because cigarettes are evil and vaccines are angelic, as we have been taught. If only life were as black and white.
Coverage of the second dose of the measles–mumps– rubella (MMR) vaccine in the country has fallen to 87%, lower than the 95% required for herd immunity. “I am afraid people have just been listening to that superstitious mumbo-jumbo on the Internet, all that antivax stuff, and thinking that the MMR vaccine is a bad idea”, commented Johnson on a visit to a hospital in southwest England. “That's wrong. Please get your kids vaccinated.”
Wherever cases are spiking, there is a simple explanation: inadequate coverage with both doses of the measles-containing vaccine, which can occur for all kinds of reasons. Ukraine has had shortages in supply, serious problems with its health-care system, and a simmering conflict with Russia that has left 1·6 million people internally displaced. But beyond the issues of access, the Ukrainian population's confidence in vaccines has also wavered.