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Radio 4's Today programme want your views on compulsory vaccinations

(60 Posts)
HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 30-Jun-09 14:08:14


The Today programme are very keen to hear what Mumsnetters think about making childhood vaccinations compulsory.

Should children not be allowed to start school until they've had all their jabs - therefore protecting the rest of the school community - as some experts at the British Medical Association are proposing?

Or does the idea of compulsory childhood vaccinations make you blood boil?

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 30-Jun-09 14:17:45

I think with the numbers of migrant workers etc that we have been getting, the herd immunity is going to be affected whether the children are immunised or not. It just takes one child to come into the country with measles to pass it on to those that are too young to be fully vaccinated so other measures need to be adopted aswell. There's also the added problem of the Human Rights, there's a right to refuse medical treatment, although there's an argument that the rights of the community as a whole surpass the rights of the individual it's still dodgy ground.

I'm all for immunisation myself though but you can't force this on others.

GhostOfPsychomum5 Tue 30-Jun-09 14:17:56

ooooh, this is going to get heated helen, you up for itwinkgrin

FWIW, I agree with vaccines in the main, altho not so many so young and not ever forced. I held off vaccinating mine until I was sure they were old enough and strong enough and luckily had a very wonderful GP and HV who allowed me that time without making me feel guilty.

Forcing vaccines is wrong should be up to every parent to choose as they know their children best.

coppertop Tue 30-Jun-09 14:19:30

Not all vaccinations are suitable for all children IME. If they were then there would be no need for the Vaccine Damage Payments scheme.

Two of my three children are fully vaccinated and had no side-effects. My third child stopped breathing after being given one of his. He has just as much of a right to a school education as his siblings, surely?

chevre Tue 30-Jun-09 14:22:37

congratulations to fluffy for managing to combine ignorance on immigrants and vacinations on one thread!

edam Tue 30-Jun-09 14:23:23

Coppertop's right. Making vaccines compulsory is no way to restore public confidence. Will only make people who worry even more concerned - and piss off anyone knowledgeable who has real reason to be wary, such as one child already regressing after MMR, or an egg-allergic child (hence can't have MMR as it is cultured on eggs, although the advice may have changed to say 'do have it done but in hospital where your child can be treated as an emergency if it goes horribly wrong').

WinkyWinkola Tue 30-Jun-09 14:24:35

Any compulsory medication makes me feel very very worried. Where will it end? It's a scary road. No, it must not happen.

The bullying and raging that goes over this issue is bad enough. Enough now.

Bucharest Tue 30-Jun-09 14:25:08

My daughter would be classed as an immigrant were we to move back to England permanently.
Guess what?
They are compulsory here fluffy.....hmm

Lulumama Tue 30-Jun-09 14:29:18

surely compulsory would be impossible? would there be an opt out clause for families for whom vaccines are contra indicated? would those who do spaced out single jabs be considered unvaccinated until they have had all 3 jabs?

surely one of the best ways to increase vaccination take up rates is for transparency and the availability of research, pros and cons of vaccinations. single and triple jab... and really allow parents to make an informed decision

people a lot of the time, don't vaccinate due to fear and it cuts both ways

more information , unbiased information should be compulsory. not the vaccines

<<my 2 DCs fully vaccinated>>

chevre Tue 30-Jun-09 14:32:45

i agree lulu it was impossible to implement. i think it is one of these weird non stories.
dd has had mmr etc but i am not comfortable with the HPV one she will be offered later on.

were would you stop with this. shave alltheir heads and put worm medicine in their milk?

muddleduck Tue 30-Jun-09 14:34:38

I think that there is a middle ground here.
I am strongly pro vaccinations but would not support compulsary vaccinations. What I would like to see is a system whereby just prior to school entry there is a discussion between non-vaccinated children and a HCP. A similar discussion should take place for all non-vaccinated children already at school. I know that there are some parents out there who would strongly defend their right not to vaccinate and I would support this, but I suspect that there are even more parents out there who did not vaccinate at the time for a variety of reasons but may be happy to do this now that the scientific community is giving such a clear message.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 30-Jun-09 14:35:14

Did I say immigrants? nope

Please learn to read before you get the claws out!

There are other countries in Europe that do not have any immunisation policies. When people come here, either to work, live or on hoilday then they may bring bugs with them. What's the point of the UK forcing children to be immunised when there are other children/adults entering the UK who are not?

Bucharest Tue 30-Jun-09 14:38:28

semantics I'd say.....
You are right of course and we should also stop all those nasty Brits who haven't been vaccinated going abroad and infecting foreigners.
Or don't they count?

GuessWhatIAmANameChanger Tue 30-Jun-09 14:41:46

I think it is reasonable to ask for children to be up to date with vaccinations when starting state school - or have a medical reason not to be. But only when the system provides complete, up to date and correct information on vaccinations and any side effects.

I feel independant schools should be able to make their own decision and those who HE should have the same choice.

Having said that, how would it be done? Would all the children have to have a vaccination card similar to dogs? Perhaps they could be microchipped with vaccination details linked to their chip number? hmm

Realisitcally it would mean that schools would have to apply to GPs for the information for every child, every intake. This would mean schools would be even more overworked, GPs would have even less time to actually practice and short notice transfers etc could be help up for weeks waiting for GP reports - damaging the childs education.

The idea is not abhorant to me, the implementation is impossible IMHO.

GuessWhatIAmANameChanger Tue 30-Jun-09 14:43:34

Fluffy, if all british children are vaccinated then peoople coming in with these things would not be a threat would they - because all our children would be covered.... I am not really seeing your point.

BonsoirAnna Tue 30-Jun-09 14:43:54

Yes, I think childhood vaccinations should be made compulsory. Vaccination is not about protecting individuals but about protecting society at large; for a vaccination programme to be truly effective, everyone needs to be vaccinated.

With the proviso that people for whom vaccination represents a risk because of underlying health problems be exempted on a case by case basis.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 30-Jun-09 14:44:52

It does count but we're not talking about Brits going abroad. You can't order UK children to be compulsory vaccinised when there are children from other countries who are not. How's this going to work? I'm not intending to say that immigration/migration is a bad thing but this is one of the effects of people moving easily across boarders. Our healthcare system isn't going to be the same as in Latvia or France. There's going to be a giant proportion of the UK (adults/elderly etc) who are not vaccinated so where does this protect them? What about the babies that are too young to recieve their jabs? Not every country promotes immunisation, it's nothing about where they come from/who they are, it's fact!

Bucharest Tue 30-Jun-09 14:45:37

Over here we have a vaccination card which we have to present ourselves to the school.
It doesn't seem to be a problem, tbh, I've never heard anyone question the system, or the vaccines themselves. Doctors here though are treated a bit as infallible, and a doc tells you to do something and you do it...Friends are always amazed when I tell them that vaccines aren't compulsory in the UK.

(I've just been roundly bollocked by vaccine doc trying to insist dd was "late" with her preschool boosters....(she has until her 6th birthday which will be in October so had to get stroppy furrin mum head on grin)

BonsoirAnna Tue 30-Jun-09 14:46:21

GuessWhat - what on earth is the relationship between vaccination and where you go to school?!

GuessWhatIAmANameChanger Tue 30-Jun-09 14:46:47

Fluffy, very young children are covered by their mothers in the most part, that is why the vaccinations are done when they are, it is when inherited immunity will begin to run out.

Bucharest Tue 30-Jun-09 14:47:03

Oh, we also have compulsory hepB and chicken pox vaccines here, so we're covered up to the hilt...I won't be needing my "unclean" bell any time soon......

GuessWhatIAmANameChanger Tue 30-Jun-09 14:48:49

None BA, it is to do with where (I feel) the government can reasonably make a stand. I feel they could have the right to make a stand with state schools but not with independant schools or those who do not attend any school in the classic sense.

BonsoirAnna Tue 30-Jun-09 14:50:18

What has children's health got to do with children's education? The NHS and the education system are entirely separate. Parents' choices on education have absolutely nothing to do with government health policy.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 30-Jun-09 14:52:10

It's a threat Bonsoir. Vaccinate your child or they can't go to school.

I don't think a mothers immunity lasts very long GuessWhat. The immunity of a population needs to be above 70% (IIRC) to keep those unvaccinated protected from disease so it can be difficult to control.

They should have the chicken pox vaccine here I think Bucharest. It can get really serious in some people. I didn't mean to indicate that you are 'unclean', just that policies change all over the world, if there's people coming and going from areas that do not have a specific vaccination policy then this is not necessarily a good thing.

dawntigga Tue 30-Jun-09 14:54:38

Ds will be fully vacinated but you can't force others to do the same.

Provide parents with accurate up-to-date information that doesn't scare the wotsits out of them and let them make their own minds up. At the end of the day most parents will make the choice to vacinate their children as the alternatives are life risking.

Our town had an 18 year old die of measels who wasn't vacinated.


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