Experts seek compulsory vaccination for measles

Italian researchers have argued that current voluntary programmes for measles vaccination in countries such as the UK will not be enough to curb outbreaks in the coming decades.

Suggesting that vaccination rates had fallen because of misleading campaigns claiming vaccinations are dangerous, the experts now say that compulsory measles vaccinations for all children starting primary school may be needed to prevent a resurgence of the disease.

The proportion of children receiving both doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) jab by their fifth birthday in England has fallen over the last four years to 87.2 per cent, falling below the 95 per cent that the World Health Organization says is the level necessary to protect a population from a disease.

Using computer modelling to predict how many measles cases could occur, it discovered that the number of cases in the UK could double in the coming decades, leading to calls for compulsory vaccinations as has happened in Italy, where children need to be vaccinated to start primary school.

There has a sharp increase of cases of measles across Greater Manchester at the start of 2019, after the UK was declared free of the highly contagious measles disease for the first time by the WHO in 2017.

The research from the Bruno Kessler Foundation and Bocconi University also raised concern about vaccination rates in a number of countries, including the US, Ireland and Australia.

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