Parents ‘to blame’ for measles

The Dominion Post 21/07/2009

Middle-class parents worried about the possible side effects of vaccination are partly to blame for an “epidemic” of measles, a child health expert says. The claim comes as the Health Ministry said there were 90 measles cases notified so far this year, more than seven times the total number of cases for all of last year. The ministry is preparing a national measles strategy as fears grow that a Canterbury outbreak will spread across the country.

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians paediatrics chairman, Johan Morreau, said even one case of measles was considered an epidemic because it showed immunisation rates were too low and there was no “herd immunity”. “This is because of kids falling through the system and missing out on vaccinations, and also because of middle-class parents who are worried about side effects.”