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expert reaction to media reports that donald trump has spoken about the importance of vaccination

Reactions to news that Donald Trump spoke about the importance of vaccinations.

Prof Adam Finn, Professor of Paediatrics, University of Bristol, said:

“Donald Trump’s evident change of heart on the measles vaccine simply reflects who he is currently choosing to listen to.  The main difference between Trump and the rest of us is that the opinions he expresses are so widely heard.  But like almost everyone else, on most topics, he does not really know what he is talking about and is heavily influenced by what others tell him.  The difference between him and most other presidents is that he doesn’t care that much about the accuracy of what he says and is mostly concerned about the impact.  Clearly, with people in America getting measles in large numbers, he has decided it’s time to avoid being seen as having helped to cause the problem.

“For parents deciding about vaccinations what matters is whether the information they are using is accurate.  If they take advice that is based on personal conviction (or worse-still self interest) rather than evidence they risk being misled.

“In the UK people mostly trust their own doctors and nurses working in the NHS – and that is generally the best bet because the NHS exists for the benefit of all.”

Prof Jonathan Ball, Professor of Molecular Virology, University of Nottingham, said:

“This is a rare day; a day when I agree with what the president has said!  I couldn’t have said it any better.”

Prof Helen Bedford, Professor of Child Public Health, Institute of Child Health, UCL, said:

“At last!  What took him so long?!  It’s good to see President Trump following the example of previous US presidents in supporting vaccination.  Political support for vaccination, the most effective and cost effective way of protecting children from serious diseases, is vital.”

Declared interests

None received.

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