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Survey Reveals Increase in Parental Concerns Over Childhood Vaccines

The government study revealed that approximately one in six parents were not planning to follow the recommended vaccination schedule for their child.

A government survey conducted by the UK Health Security Agency (HSA) found a thirteen percent increase in parents expressing concerns about administering vaccinations to their children.

The survey included about 1,000 parents with babies aged between two months and three years, four months, and another 1,000 parents with children aged between three years, four months, and five.

Due to growing distrust in government health advice and pharmaceutical companies following adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines, more parents are seeking information online about other vaccines.

An increasing number of parents reported encountering information that raised concerns about childhood vaccinations, mostly sourced from social media and online search engines.

By 2023, 20 percent of parents expressed worries regarding vaccines after reading online content, a significant rise from six percent in 2022.

However, the majority of parents still trust the NHS (85 percent) and healthcare professionals (86 percent) as their primary sources of vaccine information.

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The number of vaccinations recommended for children has significantly increased since the 1980s, leading to questions about the necessity of multiple injections and a debate on vaccine safety.

No Vaccine Uptake Meets the WHO’s Target

NHS data reveals that no vaccines on the UK schedule have met the World Health Organization’s 95 percent uptake target in 2022–23 or in previous years.

The proportion of children who received their first MMR jab by age five dropped to 92.5 percent, the lowest since 2010–11.

Despite rising concerns about vaccine safety, the majority of parents still believe in the efficacy (89 percent), safety (84 percent), and trustworthiness (82 percent) of vaccines.

16 Percent Do Not Agree That Vaccines Are Safe

While 59 percent of parents reported no recent concerns about childhood vaccines, 83 percent felt confident their children would receive all offered vaccines before consulting a health professional.

Following discussions with healthcare providers, fourteen percent of the seventeen percent initially hesitant about vaccines changed their minds in favor of vaccination.

Dr. Mary Ramsay, head of vaccination at the HSA, emphasized the importance of healthcare professionals in providing accurate information to parents about vaccines and the diseases they prevent.

In the UK, children are not required to receive vaccines for school attendance, but efforts to convince hesitant parents have intensified in response to measles outbreaks in certain regions.

Campaigns encouraging unvaccinated young adults to catch up on missed doses have been launched amid debates about vaccine safety and efficacy.
A recent controversial advertising campaign advocating for childhood vaccinations sparked criticism from parent and medical groups, highlighting the ongoing debate on informed consent and medical freedom.

‘Inserts State Lack of Safety Evidence’

Anna Watson from Arnica, a pro-choice parental group focused on natural immunity, expressed concerns about vaccine safety and the lack of thorough testing for potential long-term effects.

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