I’m pretty sure all us mummies would do anything within our power to protect our children from harm.
Our babies becoming sick – when we could have prevented it – is the stuff of nightmares. It’s why we sterilise bottles. Why most of us should have taken out shares in Dettol wipes.
Yet 24,000 children a year in England are not immunised against measles, mumps and rubella.
The French PM Édouard Philippe has just announced that from 2018, all vaccines universally recommended by health authorities – 11 in total – will be compulsory.
Italy meanwhile, has recently banned non-vaccinated children from attending state schools.
It comes as the World Health Organisation warns of a major measles outbreak spreading across Europe.
Vaccinations here aren’t mandatory and more parents are opting out. But is it time to make childhood vaccinations compulsory?
When we talk about the Government taking control out of parents’ hands, we tend to react with righteous fury. Parents know best, we cry. We know what our babies need, better than a faceless bureaucrat ever could.
But do we?
A couple of decades ago seatbelts were optional. How many lives have been saved since the Government made wearing them compulsory?
Within my memory, smoking in restaurants was totally fine. Smoking with your child sat on your lap was the norm. Now, it’s illegal to smoke in your own car if there’s an under 18 in there with you. And it’s hard to argue that it’s not for the best.
So would it be the same with compulsory vaccinations? Would we, after the initial furore, after the grumbles, concede a few years later that it was obviously really. That it was for the best?
I’d love to know your thoughts…
This post was first published in the Echo newspaper on Friday, July 28, 2017: www.echo-news.co.uk