Health Minister considering mandatory vaccinations for children

The government is considering making vaccines for children mandatory.

Health Minister Simon Harris has written to the Attorney General this week seeking legal advice, due to a rise in the anti-vax movement.

New figures from UNICEF show the number of measles cases in Ireland jumped by more than 200% in the space of a year.

That is being blamed on misinformation and scaremongering on social media.

The government is now considering whether or not it should make vaccinating children mandatory.

Health Minister Simon Harris says it is about protecting children.

"I feel there is something irresponsible that is against the public good sending an unvaccinated schild into a public school, into a creche or into a public place where they could actually make other children sick," he said.

Minister Harris has also criticised politicians who have raised concerns about vaccines.

He says he wants to know if they support the immunisation programme.

We have seen populist nonsense from some members of the Oireachtas.

"Next week I intend to write to every member of the Oireachtas and I intend to ask them to publicly commit to supporting childhood immunisation, supporting that programme and supporting the HPV vaccine for girls and boys."

The government will be looking at how other countries deal with the issue of unvaccinated children attending school.

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