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WHO: Anti-vaccine adherents ‘top threat to global health in 2019’

People worried about the safety of  vaccines are included in the list of the World Health Organisation’s "top threats to global health in 2019".

Published: January 19, 2019, 10:03 am

    The organisation claims that reluctance or refusal to vaccinate are both threats that could reverse the eradication of preventable diseases, CBS News reported.

    “Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease — it currently prevents 2-3 million deaths a year, and a further 1.5 million could be avoided if global coverage of vaccinations improved,” WHO said in a statement.

    Called “vaccine hesitancy”, the numbers of people refusing vaccines have become significant. Cases of measles have surged 30 percent worldwide in recent years, despite an effective vaccine that can prevent it, according to the WHO. In some countries a resurgence has been noted of diseases that were close to being eliminating.

    The main reasons why some hesitate, the WHO said, include “complacency, inconvenience in accessing vaccines, and lack of confidence”. The organisation said “skeptics continue to spread misinformation online”.

    But online users worry not so much about vaccines, but about the effects of other compound added to the vaccines and their side effects. Many also believe that certain vaccines are simply being forced on people in order for pharmaceutical companies to make a profit.

    Concerns remain about whether or not vaccines, even if they work, are necessary for diseases that are not fatal, and how vaccinating against non-fatal diseases affects the immune system.

    Hesitant people argue that it would be more productive to discuss “vaccine ingredients” instead of “vaccination as a concept and its mechanisms of action”.

    The WHO plans to ramp up vaccines against cervical cancer by increasing use of the HPV vaccine in 2019.

    It has also warned of the dangers of influenza. “The world will face another influenza pandemic — the only thing we don’t know is when it will hit and how severe it will be,” the report stated.

    But psychiatrist Kelly Brogan thinks vaccines could be contributing to illnesses such as depression in a surprising way. Her research shows that there may be a link with an aluminum adjuvant used in more than 18 common childhood vaccines causing the long-term brain inflammation linked to depression.

    Brogan cites several other studies that support this link. One study, which looked at 41 undergraduate students, found that almost every subject who had been given the flu jab had a rise in blood levels of the anti-inflammatory myokine IL-6, and those with the largest rises had become more depressed and confused.

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