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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Children will not be allowed to start school unless they have had the MMR jab, under controversial Labour Party proposals.

No MMR jab, no school under new plans

Extract from the Telegraph:

"Primary schools will be compelled to demand proof that pupils have had a full range of jabs – including measles, mumps and rubella – before allowing them to register.

The policy, disclosed to the Telegraph, has been drawn up by the Labour MP in charge of the party's health manifesto for the next election.

It sparked outrage last night among doctors' leaders, as the head of the British Medical Association labelled it "Stalinist" and counterproductive.

Mary Creagh, the head of Labour's manifesto group on public health, will outline her plans next week in the Fabian Review, the quarterly magazine of the Left-wing think-tank.

The current NHS programme, which immunises toddlers against MMR, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, meningitis and pneumonia, would be expanded under the scheme, adding chicken pox, flu and winter vomiting virus to the list of jabs for under-twos.

Children who had missed the vaccinations would attend mass "catch-up" sessions before school starts.

The Wakefield MP, who is an unpaid aide to Andy Burnham, the Culture Secretary, said: "Parents need to protect their children and science gives them a way to do that. We need to get that message across loud and clear. We want to see what the response from the public is," she said.

The ideas have yet to be discussed with the Prime Minister, who is expected to react cautiously. Dr Hamish Meldrum, chairman of the BMA, said forcing parents to have children immunised was "morally and ethically dubious" and would go "beyond the nanny state to a police state"."