Dr Peter English, chair of public health medicine committee, issues statement
In response to reports that the Italian health minister has sacked the higher health council board members, Dr Peter English, chair of the BMA's public health medicine committee has issues the following urgent statement.
Dr Peter English, BMA public health medicine committee chair:
“We are deeply concerned to hear of the Italian health minister’s decision to sack the entire board of the Higher Health Council.
“We are currently witnessing an increase in vaccine-preventable diseases across Europe and the World – mainly due to people’s hesitancy to use safe and effective vaccines to prevent serious, sometimes life-changing or fatal diseases.
“Independent scientific advice on vaccines to governments is of critical importance in providing credibility and transparency in decision making and monitoring of these important public health programmes.
“This decision, and the message it sends, risk further harm to the health of Italians and their neighbours in Europe and further afield.
“The UK Government should be mindful of the potential increased threat to its citizens and may [in due course] wish to strengthen advice to those travelling to Italy and elsewhere to be sure all their vaccinations are up to date.”