Losers – Europe trails the world in war on measles

Editorial Team

Editorial Team

January 31st, 2014

Editorial Team

‘Consider this: if you’re in London, Paris or Berlin your children are more likely to catch measles than if you lived in Bogota, Havana or Mexico City.’

VTThis week, Colombia was declared free of measles and rubella. There’s no secret to their success: parents have their children vaccinated and the diseases stop spreading.

Like most countries in the Americas, the only cases they see in Colombia are those imported from countries which have failed to control these vaccine-preventable diseases – countries like the Netherlands, the UK, France and Poland.

Read: Measles – Europe’s shameful export

Europe has no excuse. Vaccination was pioneered in Europe by scientists like Jenner and Pasteur. Most of the world’s vaccines are produced here. And our governments can afford to offer most of them to us for free.

Yet we still have thousands of cases of measles and rubella – the vast majority of which occur in children who were not vaccinated.

Read: Why can’t Europe beat rubella?

European countries are hoping to catch up with Colombia by 2015 but with more than 10,000 cases over the past 12 months the prospects are not great.

Unless parents stop opting out of vaccination, it looks like we will continue hold the titles for ‘World Leaders’ in vaccine production and ‘World Losers’ in measles prevention.

Check your national vaccine schedule here

Read this parent’s story