Make failing to vac­ci­nate chil­dren a crime says MP

Daily Mail - - Life - By Ben Spencer Med­i­cal Correspond­ent

FAILING to im­mu­nise chil­dren should be made a crime, an MP said yes­ter­day.

Politi­cians are in­creas­ingly alarmed over ‘creep­ing cyn­i­cism’ about the safety of vac­ci­na­tions caused by the so-called ‘anti-vaxx’ move­ment.

With measles epi­demics in sev­eral parts of the world, Labour’s Paul Sweeney told MPs the ris­ing re­sis­tance to vac­ci­na­tion was a ‘na­tional emer­gency’. He added: ‘It’s prob­a­bly worth ex­plor­ing mak­ing it a crim­i­nal of­fence [for par­ents] not to im­mu­nise chil­dren.’

Last week Health Sec­re­tary Matt Han­cock sug­gested chil­dren could be banned from schools and nurs­eries if they have not been vac­ci­nated.

Yes­ter­day’s Com­mons de­bate was led by new In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment Sec­re­tary Rory Ste­wart, who said those who ques­tioned the safety of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vac­cine were ‘pro­foundly dis­turb­ing, dis­tinctly mis­lead­ing and even ig­no­rant’.

Scep­ti­cism over MMR be­gan in 1998 when Lon­don doc­tor An­drew Wake­field pub­lished a now-dis­cred­ited pa­per link­ing it to autism.

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