Children who haven’t had MMR jabs shouldn’t be admitted to school, a public health official has said. He sees the move as the only way to boost immunisation rates, reports the Metro.
“It’s what happens in France,” said Dr Sohail Bhatti, east Lancashire’s director of public health. “There, you can’t be admitted to school unless you show your vaccination certificate. That’s what we call big society. You have a responsibility to be a good citizen and part of that is not spreading potentially fatal diseases to other children.”
Nearly one fifth of children in Dr Sohail’s area don’t get the MMR jab by their second birthday. While he’s asked Lancashire County Council to make it part of the admissions criteria, it can’t be done without a change to the law.
“I’m not saying vaccination should be obligatory. But at the very least parents should have a duty to inform schools, nurseries and doctors if they have decided not to have it,” said Dr Sohail, reports the Daily Mail.
Of course, this isn’t a new idea – last year, the former chairman of the British Medical Association suggested no jab, no school.
Importantly, the 1998 study that linked autism to MMR was discredited as false at the start of this year. Its author, Dr Andrew Wakefield, was found to have acted dishonestly and irresponsibly by the General Medical Council.