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MMR vaccine 'should be compulsory in school'


A former chair of the BMA has called on schools to demand compulsory MMR immunisation for pupils

Sir Sandy Macara wants the MMR jab, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella, to be compulsory, according to a motion for debate at the BMA’s annual conference later this month.

After the MMR was wrongly linked to an increased risk of autism, the number of vaccinations plunged, prompting country-wide measles outbreaks and boosting fears of an epidemic.

One in four children under five have not had both of the required injections, the first at 13 months and the second at around three years and four months.

Sir Macara said: ‘We ought to consider making a link which in effect would make it compulsory for children to be immunised if they are to receive the benefit of a free education from the state.’

The BBC reports that the Government has refused a request by the London Strategic Health Authority that vaccinations be made compulsory.

The authority had reportedly asked about the ‘feasibility of requiring an immunisation certificate for measles before children go to school’.


Should schools demand compulsory MMR vaccination?

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Readers' comments (19)

  • Well, thank goodness my children dont partake in schooling either then, is all I can say.
    I think you'll see a large, rapid, increase in the numbers of children home-educated if vax do become compulsory.

    Quite frankly, they'll have to bring in the big guys with guns and night-sticks before I'll hand my children over to them to be vaccinated. And believe me, I'm far from alone in saying that. Its going to be one hell of a fight.

    This country is no longer a free one. Its an absolute disgrace.

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  • @Miranda La Vey, so you're happier for you children to risk illness, infertility and even death through measles, mumps and rubella??!

    To selfishly allow your choices to affect their future and their childrens' future. Not to mention all of the children that they will come into contact with.

    I don't agree that it should be made compulsory but i do believe that you have a moral responsibility to the rest of society to do what is best for the greater good.

    I, myself had the MMR vaccine at a young age, as did my sister, my fiance and every single one of my friends. With NO EFFECTS. I shall be making sure that every child that is in my care shall be properly vaccinated and learn their social responsibility for doing so in future.

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  • Can this possibly be legal?

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  • So much for free will and a democratic society! If people do not want there children vaccinated then that is their choice. If we start taking that away from them then we know longer live in a free society and quite frankly that is scary. Whilst i believe that vaccinations are safe and effective, clearly some people do not. This is primarily because of BAD PRESS. It would be better for the GOVT to deal with that issue, rather than forcing people to make choices against their will. Also how about publicising the real facts for a change? Then people can make choices based on the truth.

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  • I presume that the people who have left negative comments are health care professionals? or are you lay people? With your uninformed attitude towards the vaccine I suspect the latter. I suggest you read the literature in this systematic review to become informed.
    The risk of Autism is no more with or without vaccination. For the health of the nation it is essential for maximum coverage to erradicate these diseases. 1 in 4 is not enough to create blanket cover for all (including those children who are immuno suppressed and can't be vaccinated and who could die from such diseases.) and I feel strongly that the Government should introduce compulsory vaccination for school children. Not vaccinating children puts everyone at risk, especially pregnant women who contract it and consequently causing birth defects to the unborn baby.

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  • Charlotte Peters Rock

    Re MMR. No one who thinks, would any longer trust those people who have told so may deliberate lies about mercury, or about the risks of having too many vaccines in too short a period.

    The fact that most children push through this vaccine overload, is no consolation to parents whose healthy child is irrevocably damaged by MMR - or any other vaccine.

    The fact that 1 in 80 children is currently presenting with autism in the UK, is a serious concern to parents. If no-one will tell us the truth - or even attempt to find out what the truth is, then these people should all be replaced by others who have some moral standard. Otherwise, parents - fully realising the risk - will continue to try to keep their children safe, by refusing to have this and other vaccines.

    The thought of compulsion is just disgusting.

    There needs to be a complete clear out of all 'professionals' who just couldn't care less about the health of other people's children.

    Authoritarian decree is just not acceptable in the UK. If any civil servant thinks it is, that person should be immediately replaced -and denied any severance pay or pension.

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  • The MMR vaccine does not contain mercury now and hasn't for some years. Human beings are exposed to thousands of new viruses every year. Having 3 vaccines at one go has been proven safe in the vast majority of individuals. The risk of severe complications from the diseases once there is no longer herd immunity are far greater than the risk of complications from immunisation. The link I gave above reviewed almost every piece of literature about MMR causing or contributing to autism and no link was found. The Wakefield study was questionnable at best and appallingly bad at worst.
    People need access to research papers but also the knowledge to assess the quality of the research. As has happened in this incident the research was made public but the consumers had no idea about the quality. They believed it without any scepticism.

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  • I am an ex-nurse and have a master degree in health research. I chose not to vaccinate my children and they are both healthier than most it seems - touch wood. They seem to get the childhood diseases in milder form, hardly noticeable compared to their vaccinated friends. Most of the major diseases were already well in decline when vaccination started due to environmental improvements (see 'What Doctors Don't Tell You series). I would leave the country before allowing my children to be vaccinated. I wouldn't trust big pharma with my children. No way.

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  • There are pros and cons to all vaccinations. As a nurse and a mother /grandmother I firmly believe that children should be vaccinated. I see the teenagers with mumps - tough luck when it's exam time, measles on the increase in Wales. When will we see the birth deformities return I wonder?

    Although i don't support compulsory vaccination, I do support well informed, responsible parenting. Some of the comments above suggest a lack of responsibility...

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  • Charlotte Peters Rock, you say that fully aware parents are trying to keep their children "safe" by not giving them the vaccination. Keeping them safe would be to give them the vaccination and prevent them from being susceptible to the possibly fatal infections.

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