'Deeply concerning': Anti-vaxxers partly to blame for surge in measles

Complacency, 'falsehoods' and stalling immunisation rates are behind the worldwide increase, says expert

Measles cases have jumped by 30% worldwide in the past year, in part because of the rise of those who are vaccine hesitant, a report shows.

Global measles vaccination has stalled at about 85%, short of the 95% needed to prevent outbreaks, with second dose coverage at 67%, according to a publication by the the WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, says the increase in measles cases is deeply concerning but not surprising.

“Complacency about the disease and the spread of falsehoods about the vaccine in Europe” are partly behind the global resurgence of measles after years of progress, he says.

“Existing strategies need to change: more effort needs to go into increasing routine immunisation coverage and strengthening health systems.

“Otherwise, we will continue chasing one