Medic Backs MP's Call For School Vaccination Programme
Mary Creagh, Labour MP for Wakefield, has welcomed public health expert Sir Sandy Macara's motion to the BMA conference for parents to ensure their child has had the MMR vaccine before starting school. As a former Chairman of the British Medical Association, Sir Sandy's intervention is a welcome boost to Mary's campaign to increase MMR uptake in the UK.
Mary Creagh, said: "Last year, Sir Sandy and I wrote articles for the Fabian Review on how to drive up the number of children who are vaccinated with MMR. I am delighted that a year on he has submitted a motion for debate at the BMA conference later this month which backs my call for a schools based vaccination requirement."
"The MMR vaccination rate has fallen to 72%. We had 1,348 measles cases in 2008, 150 of which had serious complications. The Health Protection Agency has said measles is now endemic in our population. Two children have died from measles. We have a public health timebomb ticking. Mumps can leave boys and men infertile and cause meningitis. German measles (rubella) can cause deafblindess in unborn children. Measles can cause fits, deafness, and brain damage. Babies suffer the most with measles, so children who catch the disease at school may pass it to baby siblings with devastating consequences. Swine flu has shown that viruses can sweep through schools like wildfire. Measles is one of the most infectious diseases known and kills thousands of children every year in developing countries."
"I want Local Education Authorities to ask parents about their child's vaccination record when they apply for a school place. This system already exists in the USA, Spain Greece and Australia. Parents could opt out of vaccination for religious, health or philosophical reasons. But just forgetting the second dose can no longer be a valid reason for children going unprotected."