The Sunday Telegraph reports that over a million children in the UK are now unprotected from measles, leading to concerns of an imminent epidemic.
These children should have been protected by the MMR vaccine, yet media-driven scare-stories earlier this decade saw uptake drop considerably. At the peak of the political controversy, then-Prime Minister Tony Blair was hounded by journalists asking if his son Leo would be vaccinated with the MMR jab.
The controversy began due to a report suggesting the vaccine could be linked to incidents of autism. The report was later revealed as receiving finance from solicitors seeking a case against vaccine manufacturers.
There is now wide consensus on the safety and benefits of the vaccine: yet harm has already been done, with cases of measles increasing.
The World Health Organization estimates that every year 1.4 million children die from diseases that are preventable by vaccination, with over a third being from measles.
Vaccinations are vital to improving public health and should not be taken for granted in wealthy countries, nor fall prey to unsubstantiated scare stories.