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Should childhood vaccinations be compulsory?

(27 Posts)
Jac1978 Thu 21-Mar-13 09:17:58

64 new measles cases have been reported in the Swansea area in the last week, taking the outbreak to 316 with 42 hospitalised. In total, 111 secondary and primary schools and nurseries have now been affected.

Public Health Wales says it is only a matter of time before a child is left with serious and permanent complications or even dies.

Should childhood vaccinations be made compulsory to wipe out these dreadful diseases? What is more important - a parent's right to choose what is done to their child or a child's right to protection against deadly diseases?

peanutMD Thu 21-Mar-13 09:21:00

I get what you are saying but it wouldn't be realistic to make vaccinations compulsory because there will always be people who suffer reactions to certain types.

Pagwatch Thu 21-Mar-13 09:22:02

No. It's a stupid idea.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 21-Mar-13 09:35:37

Perhaps if they can 100% guarantee that not even ONE child would suffer any form of reaction to the vaccine or that at no point in the future would it ever be discovered that there was a problem with the vaccine...

wannaBe Thu 21-Mar-13 09:39:31

no, ridiculous idea. Parents who don't vaccinate usually have very valid reasons for not doing so.

And where do we draw the line at compulsory vaccinations - mmr (well rubella certainly carries risks to pregnant women (or unborn babies) measles does carry risks but the fact we are quoting figures of 316 and as yet no serious complications or worse speaks volumes as to just how "deadly" hmm it really is, mumps - there is some argument for not vaccinating against that as there is no guarantee of lifelong immunity and mumps caught later in life is far more dangerous. What about chicken pox - a usually mild illness and only recently has the hysteria over it's deadlyness seemed to appear - any illness can develop complications but just because one in a million die from it doesn't mean the other 999999 are at risk, flu, well for the most part people recover from that and those who have underlying complications are offered vaccines.

IMO we are over vaccinating our children. Fwiw I did vaccinate against mmr but chicken pox and flu vaccines every year etc are just excessive IMO unless there are clear medical reasons for needing to do so.

BeerTricksPotter Thu 21-Mar-13 09:41:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FossilMum Thu 21-Mar-13 09:42:07

Like peanut said, you have to take into account the fact that some people do have adverse reactions, even if that is rare.

Better PR campaigns to convince parents the vaccines really are generally safe would help, as would more objective, scientific research into what causes actual/perceived adverse reactions, and how they might be avoided. Currently, adverse reactions, or effects that appear to parents to be adverse reactions, are not properly monitored and researched - they are swept under the carpet and dismissed as "coincidence" without proper scientific investigation to determine whether or not this is actually the case.

I personally feel that allowing single jabs of the live vaccines (MMR) - the ones most likely to cause adverse reactions - would also help overall uptake.

DorsetLass Thu 21-Mar-13 09:47:53

I don't think compulsory - but I do really really struggle with lots of people's reasoning not to vaccinate. I think there is quite allot of misconception about the actual risks of the diseases compared with risk of vaccine - I agree that education is key - and that if you have seen the consequences of mumps, measles, meningitis first hand, and accept that not vaccinating carries real risk then uptake would be higher.

WhitegoldWielder Thu 21-Mar-13 12:29:40

I'm very pro- vaccination but compulsory vaccination? Absolutely not!!

What I would like to make compulsory however is that so-called "science correspondents " in the media actually have the appropriate background and qualifications to report on science matters, particularly health concerns. The tabloids in particular just love a good scare story and take no responsibility over poor and dangerous reporting.

Thumbwitch Thu 21-Mar-13 12:32:06


I like Whitegold's idea about science "reporters" though. smile

AMumInScotland Thu 21-Mar-13 12:42:50

Yes, if we strung up all the "science reporters" who publish scare stories without the faintest understanding of the science behind them, the national level of ignorance would be improved hugely.

And we could try educating people in science while they are at school so that they understand why certain things count as probably-true and others as probably-bogus rather than focussing on telling them "this is true because the textbook says so", which ignores the fact that they go out of school and into the real world and believe things because "Google says so", without having the skills to weigh up the available facts.

But on the OP - no, vaccinations should never be made compulsory, any more than other medical procedures (apart from very occasionally to directly save a life). Patients, and parents, need to be allowed to exercise their own choices in what is done to them, or their child.

smellysocksandchickenpox Tue 26-Mar-13 22:17:07

good god no!
I vaccinate but no! scary suggestion

MousyMouse Tue 26-Mar-13 22:18:45

and I'm very pro vaccine.
but I think people need to be able to make sensible decisions based on proper unbiased facts.

Wallison Tue 26-Mar-13 22:21:09

^ Currently, adverse reactions, or effects that appear to parents to be adverse reactions, are not properly monitored and researched - they are swept under the carpet and dismissed as "coincidence" without proper scientific investigation to determine whether or not this is actually the case.

This isn't remotely true, of course. There is no big conspiracy.

ananikifo Tue 26-Mar-13 22:25:47

I think vaccinations should be compulsory to attend school. It works that way in other countries. Religious and rare health exceptions should be accepted.

silverfrog Tue 26-Mar-13 22:31:36

is there any information on the vaccination status of those affected in Swansea?

not in a 'the rate int he area is lower than usual/needed for herd immunity' kind of way, but in a solid, '90% (or whatever) have had their mmr' kind of way.

because until that information is known, discussing whether to force people to vaccinate is a little beside the point, isn't it?

Smudging Tue 26-Mar-13 22:32:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Wallison Wed 27-Mar-13 09:07:00

Thing is, it isn't just about the question of 'a child's right to protection' but all children's right to protection. Because vaccinations work on a herd immunity principle, by not vaccinating you are putting the population at risk. So yes, they should be compulsory, other than for medical reasons. It happens in other countries. I wouldn't allow an exception for religious reasons either; why should the public's health be compromised because someone has a belief in the supernatural?

infamouspoo Wed 27-Mar-13 09:13:20

No Govt would because they'd have to pay out millions for vaccine damage when it occured and they dont want to do that. Thats why medication isnt compulsory. Even in the US.

Wallison Wed 27-Mar-13 09:17:56

Yes, because 'vaccine damage' is so common. hmm

And vaccination is a condition of starting school in the US. Ditto in Australia.

infamouspoo Wed 27-Mar-13 09:22:46

No it isnt Wallinson. Every state has exemptions. Either religion, philisophocal or medical. Novaccine damage isnt common but it exists (read the inserts) and if you make them compulosry you'd be liable for millions.

But anyway, parental choice. One of my children cannot be vaccinted but no way would I insist anyone else vaccinate their kids. I have no right to do so.

Wallison Wed 27-Mar-13 09:28:55

Well, you aren't a politician presumably so you don't have the right anyway. But I think belief in woo-woo should be trumped by public health considerations, and politicians should be brave enough to tackle this. It's not as though there is no compulsion in medical treatment as things stand now - for eg people diagnosed with severe MH conditions can be detained in secure wards and compulsorily medicated because healthcare professionals deem it to be in their own and the public's interest.

Pagwatch Wed 27-Mar-13 18:13:39

Well thank fuck its not your call.

And people being detained in secure wards and compulsorily medicated is hardly humanities most shining moment.

clam Thu 04-Apr-13 09:38:36

What smudging said. Are we about to see familiar quotes from "anonymous" in the DM tomorrow?

specialsubject Thu 04-Apr-13 12:12:11

yes, with the exception of medical reasons - there are some children for whom vaccination is too high a risk, and they are the ones who need to be protected by everyone else.

not for religious reasons, which are as stupid as 'I read it on google so it must be true', or anyone who believes conspiracy theories or uses the words 'big pharma'.

don't like it? Well, you know where the door is.

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