'Anti-vaxxers have an utter contempt for science’, expert says

Anti-vaxxers have an 'utter contempt for science' and should be considered on par with flat-Earthers and climate change deniers, an expert has claimed.

Dr Jonathan Kennedy, a lecturer in global health care at Queen Mary University of London, said the anti-vaxx movement is being fuelled by distrust of experts.

The same doubt in public health bodies has fed the flat-Earth and climate change denial movements, he argued.

Dr Kennedy told MailOnline: 'These are small groups of people who have an utter contempt for science.' 

A global-health expert accused anti-vaxxers of having an 'utter contempt for science' (stock)

A global-health expert accused anti-vaxxers of having an 'utter contempt for science' (stock)

His comments come amid a worldwide measles outbreak, as cases this year are already 300 per cent higher than in 2018. 

Dr Kennedy argued Britain has the capacity 'to eradicate the virus' completely, if parents only allowed their children to be vaccinated.

Speaking to MailOnline, Dr Kennedy said: 'People are increasingly hostile and suspicious towards experts.

'When we get to vaccines, we're suspicious around experts in this field - doctors advocating vaccines, big-pharma companies and public health bodies.

'People have had enough of "experts" - look at the flat Earth movement and climate-change deniers.' 

Vaccination rates for the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) jab dropped in 2018 for the fourth consecutive year in the UK. 

While the number of children getting immunised declined, measles cases more than trebled last year in England alone.

Official figures show just 91.2 per cent of children in the UK received their first MMR jab by the age of one last year. 

The NHS offers the jab to babies as part of their routine vaccination schedule, usually within a month of their first birthday.


The UK's chief medical officer – the top advisor to the Government – last year criticised people spreading lies about vaccines being unsafe.

Dame Sally Davies, speaking on the 30th anniversary of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) jab, said people spreading the 'myths' were 'absolutely wrong'.

She said in November: 'Over 30 years, we have vaccinated millions of children. It is a safe vaccination, we know that, and we've saved millions of lives across the world.

'People who spread these myths, when children die they will not be there to pick up the pieces or the blame.' 

One myth is based on research done by Andrew Wakefield in the 1990s which claimed MMR led to autism, but his results were later found to be fake, and the work was called 'fatally flawed', 'fraudulent' and 'dishonest' by experts in the field. 

Others claim the vaccine doesn't work – but after the introduction of MMR in 1963, global measles deaths dropped, on average, from 2.6million to around 100,000, according to the WHO.

The vaccine was introduced by the NHS in 1988, a year in which there were 86,001 cases of measles in England – within 10 years, in 1998, this had dropped to just 3,728 reported.

The figure has fluctuated since, believed to be partly due

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