Schools should exclude children who have not had MMR jab, says leading scientist

Schools should have the right to refuse access to pupils who have not had the MMR jab, a leading scientist has said. This is from the Daily Mail…

Biologist Dr Craig Venter said that vaccinations should be made compulsory for children who wish to attend school and benefit from the NHS.

His statement comes after health officials have launched a new programme to help stem the measles outbreak in South Wales and stop it spreading more widely across the UK.

Dr Venter was the first scientist to successfully sequence the human genome as well as create a cell with an artificial genome.

‘People think they’re making individual decisions for themselves and their family not to get vaccinated,’ Dr Venter told The Times. ‘It’s not just an individual choice, you’re a hazard to society.’

He said that unvaccinated individuals are putting the population at risk.

The number of people infected with the virus in Swansea in now approaching 900.

The city has been left especially vulnerable to measles since the 90s, when a local newspaper campaigned against the MMR vaccine.

There are now concerns the outbreak could spread to London.

David Salisbury, director of immunisation at the Department of Health said: ‘What happened and continues to happen in Swansea could happen anywhere in England.

‘I worry about London. It’s a fast moving group of people, with new families coming in and families moving out. It is harder to track immunisation status. 
Historically there is also a legacy of poorer immunisation.’

Health officials announced today that at least a million children and teenagers are to be vaccinated against measles in an attempt to stop expected outbreaks in England.

Some will never have had a jab, while others have only had the first of two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Many of those affected are teenagers who missed out on vaccination in the late 1990s and early 2000s when parents were concerned about a link between MMR and autism that has since been discredited.

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