Calls for compulsory measles vaccinations in UK
17 May 2019, 18:23
Experts say that the UK should consider introducing compulsory measles vaccinations.
A team of researchers from Italy have warned that current vaccination policies are not doing enough to eliminate the disease. However, some British experts dispute this and claim that enforcing vaccinations could 'alienate parents.'
A study by the Bruno Kessler Foundation and Bocconi University in Italy found that just under 4% of the UK population remain susceptible to measles in 2018, but warn that this could rise by more than 50% by 2050 if current vaccination policies remain as they are.
But Dr Will Morton, from Public Health England in Yorkshire and the Humber - said:
"What we've seen in other countries, where they do have mandatory vaccination, is that the evidence is a bit mixed.
"It suggests it's not always actually effective in increasing uptake - and could actually risk causing people to become resistant to vaccines.
" We think the best approach is to get confidence in vaccination high, and to have simple processes like checking vaccination status before children start school - we think these are likely to be as effective, if not more effective, than a compulsory vaccination programme.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has also said he "wouldn't rule out anything" when asked whether unvaccinated children should be banned from schools.
In 2017, there 259 cases of measles in England, which rose to 966 last year.