The outbreak of measles continues to spread in many areas of the United States. People are reacting to that outbreak in different ways but many local governments, health officials in schools are starting to talk more about the dangers of not vaccinating your children. They also talk about going out in the public spaces when you are not vaccinated because that can put others at risk. In Rockland County, New York, a temporary ban was even put on allowing unvaccinated children into public facilities and at least one school has banned those children from attending.
This is not only a controversy that is seen in the United States. England has also experienced a reduction in the number of MMR vaccinations that are taking place. Just like in the United States, many of those ‘antivaxxers’ are also letting their voice be heard. That includes the mother from Brighton, England, who says that it violates the basic human rights of children when they are not allowed to go to school over vaccinations.
Journalist Lottie Daley appeared on the British show, This Morning, to debate the topic.
The issue behind the visit to the program was that Britain’s Health Secretary, Matt Hancock said that he was not ruling out the possibility of banning children who were not vaccinated in England.
Daley was not happy about the possibility.
“It is against the Nuremberg Code. It is against the UNICEF human rights bill for children to deny them an education and also to inject them or medicate them without their consent or without parental consent,” she said during the segment. “I think that the majority of moms start vaccinating, they only stop when something goes wrong.”
One of Daley’s had a negative reaction to the MMR vaccine, which is how she developed her opinion on the subject.
Lottie referenced various studies showing that between the years of 2003-2016, there were only 10 measles-related deaths in the UK.
During those years, vaccination rates were higher in Great Britain, and protection against the disease was at a higher level. The World Health Organization also reports that 110,000 deaths from measles were reported worldwide in 2017. Most of them were children under the age of five, and those mortality rates are serious, to say the least.
Being vaccinated for measles certainly had an impact with an 80% drop in measles deaths worldwide from 2000-2017.
Along with Daley was a mother and journalist, Stephanie Nimmo who was not vaccinated for the measles and was left deaf in one ear.
“The whole point is, we’ve almost been sanitized,” Nimmo argued. “A generation ago, children were dying of measles, children were in iron lungs with polio, and because of the vaccination program, we’re not exposed to those deaths.”
Furthermore, Nimmo added, “with vaccination rates decreasing, I think we’re going to see the number of deaths increasing but there’s also the damages that these illnesses cause.”
Nimmo also said that Daisy, her youngest daughter was not able to be vaccinated because of a genetic disease. Other people who are able to vaccinate their children can help to protect through herd immunity.
“She was therefore at risk of contracting measles, mumps, rubella and dying very painfully of those because she had a weakened immune system,” she said. “I am contacted daily by friends whose children had treatment for cancer whose immune systems are wiped out and therefore they cannot have a vaccination.”
The UK has not taken an official stand on banning unvaccinated children from school but it is a possibility.
That is especially true now that the measles rates have increased.
In Rockland County, New York, one school kept 42 unvaccinated children from returning until they were vaccinated recently. Officials said that the measure may seem extreme but they are more interested in public health and safety.
“While no one enjoys the fact that these kids are out of school, these orders have worked; public safety is of prime importance,” Rockland County Attorney Thomas Humbach told the Journal News in March. “They have helped prevent the measles outbreak from spreading to this school population.”
We will just have to wait and see if the other school systems or local governments take a similar stand.