“Get your children immunised” is the call from Councillor Natalie Don. The councillor for Bishopton, Bridge of Weir and Langbank, who recently became a mum for the first time, is raising awareness of the importance of vaccinations for your children.The rate of vaccinations in Scotland has remained high in recent years and immunisations are continuing to be carried out throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, however the councillor is concerned that there may be a drop in the uptake due to the virus.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that at least 95% of children are immunised against diseases that are preventable through immunisation and targeted for elimination or control.

Immunisations that children in Scotland receive protect against serious diseases for example, measles, mumps, meningitis, septicaemia, flu, whooping cough and cervical cancer.

Scotland’s rates have remained above the 95% mark over the last decade, however a slight decline can be seen in the uptake in 2018 and 2019. A rise in ‘anti vaxxers’ and pseudoscience on popular social media sites has seen a trend emerge across the UK in recent years of parents refusing to have their children vaccinated.

SNP Councillor Don, said: “Now more than ever, it is important to make sure you get your babies and children vaccinated. As a new mum myself, my baby is currently getting her first lot of vaccinations and I know that the thought of taking your children to their appointments is frightening at this time but the protection they are receiving from these immunisations is essential.

”The threat we are currently facing from Covid-19 and the rising amount of ridiculous anti-vaccination posts on social media are alarming but protection against diseases such as Meningitis B, polio, measles and many more are vital for our children.

“The Scottish Government has done a fantastic job keeping immunisation rates in Scotland above that 95% mark but the last thing we want is to see that rate fall in 2020 as this could put our children at risk in future years.

“Vaccinations are continuing in Scotland all of which are provided free by our NHS. Our NHS staff have been tremendous through the current health crisis and have kept me well informed on appointments and advice for vaccinations. It cannot be put off until a later date, if your children are due their vaccinations, take them.”

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News