Children without MMR jabs should be banned from school, claims public health official

By Sophie Borland
Last updated at 7:34 PM on 3rd November 2010

Children who haven’t had the MMR jab should be banned from schools, according to a leading doctor.

Dr Sohail Bhatti, a director of one of the largest health trusts in Britain, said the draconian measure was the only way to ensure higher uptake of the vaccine.

Since the MMR scare more than 12 years ago the number of children receiving the combined jab for measles, mumps and rubella has fallen by a third in some parts of the country.

At the same time cases of measles and mumps, which are particularly infectious, have increased ten fold.

Dr Bhatti, director of public health at East Lancashire Primary Care Trust, said parents had a “responsibility” to ensure their children were immunised.

He said that many still feared potential side effects, despite the fact that Dr Andrew Wakefield’s study which first prompted the scare had since been discredited.

Dr Bhatti, a GP who has advised several PCTs on public health initiatives, is now trying to negotiate school admission changes with Lancashire County Council to include the jab amongst the criteria.

He said: ‘If you like it’s a radical idea, but I feel an appropriate suggestion for East Lancashire is that we change nurseries and schools admission policies so parents realise they have a due diligence responsibility for not infecting their children and their friends’ children.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.