Home > Media Contacts and Press Releases > Unicef UK responds to Wellcome Sanger and University of Amsterdam research on the long-term effects of measles on the immune system

Responding to the Wellcome Sanger and University of Amsterdam research out today which states that measles causes long term damage to the immune system, leaving children vulnerable to other infections, Liam Sollis, Head of Policy at Unicef UK, said:

“This research reinforces what we already know – that children are especially vulnerable to disease – but now with the added concern that if a child contracts measles it also increases the risk of them contracting other diseases.

“With vaccination rates in the UK falling and recently losing our measles free status, an outbreak is now a ticking time bomb and we cannot protect our most vulnerable. Vaccines are the safest and most effective preventative measures against highly infectious disease, but currently too many children are being put at unnecessary risk by lower than acceptable vaccination rates.

“The key to addressing this is building trust with parents and improving access to vaccine services. The Government must provide more training for health professionals, and bring in interventions like vaccine pop up clinics to ensure no child is denied their right to be protected from vaccine-preventable, life threatening diseases.”


Notes to editors:

For more information, please contact:

Unicef UK Media Team, 0207 375 6030, media@unicef.org.uk


About Unicef

Unicef is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children. As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK.

For more information please visit unicef.org.uk

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