The dissemination of fake news is not something new these days. However, it is our responsibility to verify the credibility and authenticity of the information we receive.
That’s because not everything you see and hear on the Internet is accurate!
As reported in The Star, fake news being created has resulted in the increase of vaccine-preventable diseases as misinformation about vaccines are constantly being shared on social media.
Our Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said, “These irresponsible actions pose a challenge to the ministry’s efforts and as a result, vaccine-preventable infectious diseases are on the rise.”
He added that the influence of the anti-vaccine crowd is continuously increasing and said that due to this, there was almost a 1,000% increase in the number of measles cases compared to five years ago. In 2013, there were 195 cases but this increased to 1,934 cases in 2018.
With more anti-vaccines individuals online, their influence is growing as proper vaccines which can help to prevent diseases and decrease the complications causing death are being rejected by more and more people.
In fact, the anti-vaccine crowd has been openly influencing the general public to decline vaccines by installing false and unfounded information without giving thought to the detrimental consequences of doing so.
“This is spread by those obsessed with claims that vaccinations and the government’s National Immunisation Programme are of no benefit and have many negative effects. That claim is inaccurate,” he explained.
Dr Noor Hisham said the number of people who rejected vaccinations at government clinics had spiked from 637 cases in 2013 to 1,603 cases in 2016. However, it slightly diminished in 2017 with 1,404 rejections.
Well, that’s still a lot!
“If this vaccine rejection trend continues, there is a likelihood that infectious diseases that could be prevented by vaccines will continue to increase and all efforts will be futile,” said Dr Noor Hisham.
With that said, do keep in mind that vaccination is important and you should always seek advice from qualified and highly trained medical professionals, not by solely believing whatever the Internet has to say.
What are your thoughts about this issue? Let us know in the comment section below.
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