Bill Gates' Warning To Anti-Vaxxers Is Exactly What We Need Right Now
Vaccine hesitancy, also known as the anti-vaxxer movement, has been gathering steam in recent decades despite the overwhelming evidence that says vaccinating a child is the best thing you can do for them.
The people who don't believe in common vaccines like smallpox, MMR and tetnus do it on religious grounds or because they've been duped by dodgy, misleading or straight up false information.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who has been developing vaccines for some of the world's biggest diseases, has voiced his concern about anti-vaxxers and the threat they pose.
In a Reddit AskMeAnything thread, the billionaire entrepreneur said: "Our Foundation does a lot of work to get vaccines to all the children in the world and there has been great progress.
"It is surprising to see how in the richer countries the consensus that kids should be protected has been lost.
"Unfortunately this will mean some measles or pertussis [whooping cough] deaths. Hopefully that will help get over the negative stories that circulate.
"Vaccines have saved more lives than any other tool.
"Our Foundation is working on vaccines for Malaria, HIV and TB which will make a huge difference."
There have been several outbreaks of measles across the US and in Japan, with more than 300 cases across the two countries recorded in this year alone.The number of global cases in 2019 has risen 30 percent.
Gates' words echo what the World Health Organisation stated earlier this year; listing anti-vaxxers as one of the top 10 biggest threats to global health.
The Organisation's statement read: "Vaccine hesitancy - the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines - threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases.
"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."
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine's Vaccine Confidence Project found in 2018 that vaccine hesitancy had risen in Czech Republic, Finland, Poland, and Sweden.
In a bid to combat the rise of this movement, some countries and states have enacted legislation that bans children from accessing childcare or school unless they're vaccinated.
Parents are also fined in some places up to thousands of pounds if they don't get their kids the jab.
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