Anti-vaccine campaigners need to ‘cop on’, says Harris

Minister says ‘misinformation and nonsense’ commonly spread about vaccines

Minister for Health Simon Harris has told anti-vaccination campaigners to "cop on" and said people are taking for granted diseases which were previously eradicated but which could return.

Mr Harris said social media companies need to do more to crack down on potentially harmful anti-vaccination material. He is due to discuss the issue with other EU health ministers in Bucharest next month.

“We need to be really, really concerned about what is going on here. We have a measles outbreak in our country. We have a mumps outbreak in part of our country. We have the HPV vaccine rate increasing thankfully, but still we needed to get it a hell of a lot higher if we want to eradicate cervical cancer.”

He said “misinformation and nonsense” is being spread about vaccines, and called on parents to vaccinate their children.


“If you as a parent take a decision not to vaccinate your child, you’re not only putting your child at risk, you’re sending your child into the school into the classroom and putting other children at risk.

“I think we really need to call on the anti-vaxxers to cop on. We need to call them out.”

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times