I’ve been in my current job for a little over a year now, and I’ve learned a few things from it. One of these things is the financial pressure put upon primary health care to ensure that ‘herd immunity’ (ie > 90% uptake) is reached for the childhood immunisations: measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, polio, tetanus, tuberculosis, HIB, pneumococcal, etc, etc. And because of this financial pressure, a fair whack of pressure (in the form of letters, phone calls, face to face conversations and the like) is put on the parents of children who don’t bring their child in for the vaccinations.
Knowing this, I’ll confess to being somewhat less than impressed with these fuckwitted, amoral, statist, condescending proposals.
Tough sanctions are being proposed for parents who refuse routine vaccinations, such as MMR.
In an article for the Fabian Society, leading public health expert Sir Sandy Macara called for child benefit to be linked with vaccination uptake.
And Labour MP Mary Creagh said children should have to prove they are vaccinated before they start school to improve uptake of MMR.
I’ve heard people say that not immunising a child is tantamount to child abuse (and be rightfully told to wise up); I’ve heard people call parents all the names of the day for being too damn lazy to turn up when they say they will. But hearing an MP say that a parent should effectively be criminally punishable (by proxy; a parent can be punished if their child doesn’t attend school, so preventing the child from attending school could come round to the parent) for not immunising their child is possibly the sickest, most disturbing thing I’ve heard in a while.
Dear Ms Creagh, with regard to your comment: “saying to parents your child has a right to live free from vaccine preventable diseases”, I can only quote the late lamented Acidman:
I have just one question: Why is it that the more imaginary “rights” people invent, the less personal freedom I have?
Wind your fucking neck in; if the merits of the arguments and a lot of pressure from family GPs and social care staff can’t convince parents of the need to immunise, then perhaps your case isn’t as strong as it could be. And even if it is, you’ve no right to take a steamroller to the entire nation just to stop the fucking mumps.