VACCINATION is one of science’s modern miracles, drastically reducing the number of people becoming seriously ill, disabled or dying from contagious diseases.

As was evident in 1999, when Andrew Wakefield published his inaccurate study on the MMR jab’s link to autism, any sort of doubts regarding vaccination can have an instant and detrimental effect on their uptake.

In the age of the internet and social media, it is frightening to see the rising number of pages and sites dedicated to promoting myths about the dangers of vaccination. Some even compare immunisation to child abuse.

What could be considered more dangerous to children, and not just our own, is not having them immunised. Herd immunity, whereby those who are unvaccinated or have lowered immune systems are protected by those who have received jabs, is an essential part of public health. Without it, diseases spread like wildfire.

These stark warnings from healthcare professionals are not simply scare stories. Take a look at England and Wales, where more than 900 confirmed cases of measles were registered last year – a disease that was nearly eradicated in the UK in 2016.

In some countries children and their parents are crying out for vaccinations but have simply no means to afford them or to access them. We should be thankful and grateful that we live in a country that puts healthcare on top of the priority list and provides these life-saving treatments to all. It is now imperative that the public shun the social media scare-tactics and listen to science, before we have a real crisis on our hands.