No MMR jab, no school

Public health expert calls for the MMR vaccination to be made compulsory.

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Children should not be able to go to school unless they have first had the MMR jab, the former chairman of the British Medical Association, Sir Sandy Macara, has said.

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BBC News has reported that public health expert Sir Sandy is calling for the MMR vaccination to be made compulsory.

The number of children having the MMR jab dropped after controversial research incorrectly linked it to an increased risk of autism. To have full protection against measles, mumps and rubella, children need to have both MMR jabs, however one if four under 5 have not.

Due to these factors, there have been measles outbreaks across the UK. Experts at the Health Protection Agency fear a measles epidemic could be likely.

While controversial, having vaccinations and school admission interlinked is common in other countries, such as in the USA, most of Australia, Spain and Greece. In the UK, immunisation programmes have focused on persuading and educating parents that vaccination is of benefit to their child and to society.

Vaccine expert Professor Adam Finn, from Bristol, has said that while he sympathises with the concerns of Sir Sandy, he feels compulsory vaccination could result with less MMR take-up, not more.

“I think this would be handing a gift to the anti-vaccine lobby, because they would say, ‘Look they can’t persuade you it is right, so they are going to have to force you’,” commented Professor Finn.

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What do you think of compulsory vaccination? Is it for the best? Let us know…

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