More than half a million children in Britain have not been vaccinated against measles, meaning they are at risk of developing the potentially fatal virus.
Children’s charity Unicef has warned parents and those with au pair jobs in London that the UK has the third highest number of kids who have not attended their first round of measles immunisations in the world.
This means more than 527,000 kids were left vulnerable to contracting the disease between 2010 and 2017.
France and the USA were the only two countries in the world with a greater number of ‘at risk’ children, with 600,000 and 2.59 million respectively.
Unicef executive director Henrietta Fore said: “The measles virus will always find unvaccinated children. If we are serious about averting the spread of this dangerous but preventable disease, we need to vaccinate every child, in rich and poor countries alike.”
Vaccinations against measles are effective in helping stop the virus from spreading, but this is only effective if 95 per cent of the population have received the immunisation.
According to data, only 85 per cent of children around the world had been given their first vaccination in 2017, while this figure dropped to 67 per cent among those who had received their second dose, which is necessary for children to develop full immunity against the disease.
What’s more, the number of people being affected by measles is increasing rather than declining. The Independent recently published findings from the World Health Organisation, which revealed a 400 per cent jump in measles cases from the first three months of 2018 to the same period this year, growing from 28,124 to 112,163. This includes a 300 per cent increase in Europe and a 700 per cent surge across Africa.