Health and social services authorities have again issued urgent advice to parents to get their children vaccinated after a toddler died on Wednesday in a south Tenerife hospital from meningitis, a disesase where a vaccination exists but which the child had not been given by his parents. The couple, from Germany, were here on holiday, and the authorities say that globally falling vaccination rates, the result of fake fears generated by misinformation from conspiracy theorists, mean that nowhere is free from risks where the critical numbers for vaccine security haven’t been reached.
The biggest threat, of which there have been outbreaks globally including here in Tenerife, is measles, a killer disease which has been so successfully reduced in numbers that people have forgotten its severity, and have become susceptible to fake reports of the alleged dangers of a vaccine against it, dangers that have been scientifically disproven in their entirety.
In this latest case of meningitis, the child’s illness led to cardiac arrest, and he died in hospital. Sanidad directors say that an autopsy will be carried out but the results are fully expected to confirm the meningitis diagnosis. They urge all parents here to protect their children against all the conditions for which vaccines exist to ensure that the numbers vaccinated form what scientists call “herd immunity”, a critical mass for health security estimated at 95% of children. In the Canaries, currently 97.8% of children are vaccinated and Sanidad says it wants above all to maintain that figure and urges parents to help do so.