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Monday, 1 June 2009

Compulsory vaccines aren't the answer to preventing another measles outbreak in Wales

I'm glad to see the issue of the measles outbreak currently affecting Wales being discussed on other blogs, as the more we can do to raise awareness about it, the better.

This massive increase in the number of cases of measles in children in Wales is a huge concern for doctors and parents alike. Measles can be deadly, so it is vital youngsters are vaccinated against the disease.

The way in which some of the media dealt with the unfounded assertions about the MMR jab several years ago was extremely unhelpful and the ramifications from it are still being dealt with today, as demonstrated with this current measles outbreak.

Now is the time for a concerted public awareness campaign led by the Welsh Assembly Government, that dispels any myths and misunderstandings about the MMR jab, so immunity levels can be raised to the levels needed to protect our children from this sometimes life threatening infection.

Some people want to see compulsory vaccines brought in as a way to reverse the very low rates of immunisation. The BMA does not regard that to be appropriate. Parents must be able to have a choice. So long as parents have access to the necessary information and facts, they will continue to make the right choices for their families, as they always have done. Doctors working in partnership with their patients, is the best way to access the appropriate healthcare and this is no less important in the field of immunisation.

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