Star comment: Vaccines have proved a key weapon against disease

We must make sure we do not fall victim to similar epidemics.

Measles vaccination
Measles vaccination

We now know the dangers of an epidemic unchecked by vaccines. Covid showed up the vulnerabilities of the human race, putting populations at peril globally. It has been brought back in check by vaccines, though in parts of the world the situation remains critical. Science, however, has protected billions of people from serious illness and helped to allow our society to function.

Today a new warning goes out about measles. The danger is we have taken our eyes off the ball. Vaccine levels have dropped and that makes us vulnerable to an illness that can be serious. Like Covid jabs, the MMR vaccine has been the target of scare stories, now discredited. Children should take the jab and protect their children. And health professionals in this country, as well as the rest of the world, should be making it easy for the vaccines to be given.

Giving vaccines is a logistical headache, and Covid boosters are likely to become a rolling fixture in months and years to come. But it is essential that the resources are put into vaccination programmes that protect us all.

We have only to look at the position we are in today compared to that of 2020 or 2021 to see how much benefit vaccinations can have. The nonsense scare stories, spread online, have been disproven and our scientists deserve credit for keeping us safe. We must make sure we do not fall victim to similar epidemics.

In addition to measles, we must be better prepared in the event of a pandemic that is as potent as Covid. We can and should make sure that we are on our guard to minimise disruption if we find ourselves in a similar position to spring 2020.

Very few thefts from cars reported to police end up with a suspect being identified. The fact is, so-called ‘minor crime’ falls in order of priority. There may be some sympathy with police who face the task of keeping our often violent streets safe. They have big issues to deal with. Thefts and burglaries, however, should not be trivialised and they are in no way ‘minor’ to those who are the victims.

They can be traumatic and have a long-term effect. Police should be given the resources to at least increase their emphasis on these crimes, otherwise those who carry them out know they can carry out their selfish and heartless acts risk-free. The statistics are not good enough. We should not tolerate a lawless society. More must be done to deter crime, to penalise those who commit it and to safeguard those who are at risk. The police must become more effective.

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