Compulsory MMR vaccinations ruled out17th June 2009
Welsh Health Minister Edwina Hart has ruled out compulsory MMR vaccinations.
She said that she had opted against adopting a “no-jab-no-school” policy because it would damage the relationship between parents and health professionals.
However, with the number of cases in Wales now above 300, Mrs Hart did announce that a new education campaign encouraging uptake of the triple vaccine would be developed across the country.
The measles outbreak is the biggest in Wales in a generation and has been blamed on the low take-up rates for the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.
The slump in vaccinations has its roots in the scare – since disproved – linking the MMR jab to autism.
In Wales so far during the latest outbreak, 36 people have been admitted to hospital with the virus. Estimates suggest that 45,000 school-age children are at risk of catching measles because they have either had no doses or only one dose of MMR.
The National Public Health Service for Wales is also investigating 484 cases of mumps since the start of the year.
In a written statement to Welsh Assembly members Mrs Hart said: “Calls have been made for compulsory MMR immunisation on the grounds that it would ensure that all children in Wales would be protected against the three diseases for life.
“The rising number of measles cases necessitated a fresh look at compulsory MMR vaccination and this has been undertaken.
“My conclusion is that compulsion would adversely affect the trust that most parents have in local health professionals.”
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Title: Compulsory MMR vaccinations ruled out
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 11798
Date Added: 17th Jun 2009