A social media giant’s campaign to halt the spread of misinformation about vaccinations has been praised by our GP Simon Gillson, who said it was “incredible” that people would consider not protecting their children.

Dr Gillson, medical director at Concierge Medical, was speaking following the announcement by Pinterest that users searching for vaccine-related information will now be shown results from reputable public health organisations.

Under its new policy, Pinterest said searches for “measles”, “vaccine safety” and other related terms will now display results from bodies including the World Health Organization, in a bid to halt the spread of myths about the safety of vaccines.

It follows the release of Public Health England statistics which revealed that of the 301 people diagnosed with measles between April and June, 266 were aged 15 years or over and had not been vaccinated.

Quelling social media myths

Dr Gillson said: “Normally I am a person to give a balanced opinion on something but there is only one way with vaccinations and that is you should use them. It is incredible that people choose not to use them – they protect children and adults from death.

“I am fully behind any social media companies doing something to block anti-vaxx messages. The issue here is whatever your views and however extreme they are, you can post them on social media and find someone who will agree with you.

“There is absolutely no evidence to suggest vaccinations cause autism or any related issues.”

Dr Gillson referred to one of his favourite quotes, from the late American politician Daniel Patrick Moynihan, to highlight the issue: “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts”.

He added: “We are so far removed from a world where diseases such as measles and rubella caused us problems that we forget how dangerous they are.”

Concierge Medical is a private General Practice with services in the Cotswolds, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Derbyshire.

We have just been shortlisted for the Best Rural Professional Services Business in the 2019 Rural Business Awards, to be held at the University of Nottingham on October 1.

For more information, call us on 01451 600900.