Mon, Apr 29, 2013 - Page 6 News List

British parents line up for vaccines as measles rages

AFP, SWANSEA, Wales

There were 68 confirmed cases in London between January and last month among 587 across England. Last year saw a record 2,000 cases across the country.

“Certainly London and other large cities, such as Manchester or Liverpool, could be particularly at risk of a measles outbreak if we do not curb the spread of the disease. We need to try to get as many children vaccinated as quickly as possible to maintain protection for individuals and the population,” said Shamez Ladhani, a pediatric infectious diseases consultant for Public Health England.

English health authorities have launched a £20 million (US$31 million) “catch-up” program aiming to issue 1 million doses of MMR.

Qualms about the vaccine appear mostly to have subsided, with England seeing its highest-ever take-up last year.

“The fears are disappearing I think,” Ladhani said. “As time goes on the evidence against Wakefield is becoming insurmountable.

“It is easier to justify why MMR is so important,” he said.

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