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'MMR should be compulsory', says public health expert

Former BMA chair calls for 'no jab - no school' policy

OnMedica Staff

Wednesday, 03 June 2009

The MMR vaccine should be made compulsory, according to former British Medical Association chair Sir Sandy Macara.

Public health expert, Sir Sandy, has submitted a motion for debate at the annual BMA conference to be held later this month, arguing that children should be banned from school if they have not been vaccinated.

One in four children under five has not had both MMR injections and experts at the Health Protection Agency fear a measles epidemic is likely.

Sir Sandy has stated: "Our attempts to persuade people have failed. The suggestion is that 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."

 

Call to make MMR jab compulsory: BBC, 3rd June 2009

Linking vaccinations to school admission is common in America, Australia, Greece and Spain.

According to the BBC, the strategic health authority in London asked the government if it could introduce compulsory vaccinations, given that London has consistently lower immunisation rates than the rest of the country.

The Department of Health, however, has said its strategy is to maintain a voluntary immunisation system and to invest efforts into educating parents on vaccine safety and benefits.

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