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Faced with a global resurgence of measles, health experts called Tuesday for countries to step up the fight against vaccine resistance, warning that the movement was spreading like a contagious disease.
World Health Organization chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, joined experts and health ministers from several countries at an event on "promoting vaccine confidence", amid rising concerns that resistance to immunization is allowing preventable diseases to flourish.
"No country can afford to be complacent about immunization," Tedros told the meeting in Geneva, where the WHO is hosting its main annual gathering.
"Vaccines are some of the most thoroughly tested medical products we have. Vaccines are safe, effective, and lifesaving," US Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar said. He slammed "social media conspiracy groups (that) confuse well-meaning parents so they hesitate to get the recommended vaccinations." "This misinformation has real impacts," he said, pointing to the more than 700 measles cases in the US so far this year.
According to WHO, vaccines save nearly three million lives annually. "Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines actually cause adults," said Katherine OBrien, who heads WHOs immunization department. (ET Healthworld, May 22, 2019)