IT IS hard to believe that just as the covid drama is subsiding, there is now a new (or revisited) bogeyman triggering fear-driven rhetoric in the public sphere about the need for vaccine mandates.
Anyone keeping an eye on the mainstream media cannot fail to have noticed the growing hysteria around measles. This began in September 2023 with dire predictions from computer modelling of a huge measles outbreak affecting 40,000 to 160,000 people, and more recently a ‘surge in measles cases’in the West Midlands, with 50 cases requiring (unspecified) treatment. Officials at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) have declared a ‘national incident’ with their CEO, Dame Jenny Harries, calling for urgent action, and resources being put into pop-up clinics to get more children given the MMR vaccine. The NHS updated their Measles Guidance on January 24 2024 in a concerted and coordinated push to get children ‘up to date’ with MMR vaccines as quickly as possible.
It does not seem to occur to public health authorities that parents may be experiencing vaccine fatigue after the incessant pushing of covid jabs, or that they may have done some independent research on the pharmaceutical industry and regulators, both of which have so clearly demonstrated that they cannot be trusted to ensure that vaccines are ‘safe and effective’.
At the UK Medical Freedom Alliance, we were shocked to learn that, on top of this fearmongering propaganda, medical discrimination has reared its ugly head. The Telegraph reported on January 15 that ‘unvaccinated children [in Birmingham] are being forced to isolate for up to three weeks amid the biggest measles outbreak since the 1990s’.This draconian and disproportionate penalisation of the unvaccinated, which lacks scientific or medical rationale, appears to be an attempt to coerce more parents to accept unwanted vaccines for their children and to make an example out of those who don’t through punishment and social shaming of the child. This is completely unethical and unacceptable. There is also good evidence that in measles outbreaks, vaccine failure plays a significant part, so it is irrational to exclude anyone (vaccinated or unvaccinated) unless they are actively unwell with measles symptoms and in the infectious stage of the disease.
The hysteria peaked last week, with this article by Sean O’Grady in the Independent claiming that ‘a public health disaster is unfolding before our eyes’, following 209 lab-confirmed cases of measles in England in the whole of 2023, with no reports of death or serious complications. Just 209 cases of what is an uncomplicated and self-limiting disease for the vast majority of those who catch it, in a population of more than 66million, does not sound like a ‘public health disaster’ or a ‘tragedy in the making’.
Of course, the ‘anti-vax movement’ is blamed for the reduced uptake of MMR that has led to the current cases, not the incessant and frankly disturbing public health focus on vaccines as a panacea for health in recent times. As a parent of four children, I have noticed a marked increase in letters from schools and local health teams over the last few years, offering all manner of vaccines and boosters for myriad diseases. Rather than being ‘anti-vaxxers’, perhaps parents are simply starting to feel uncomfortable with this apparent obsession with injecting children with more and more vaccines.
O’Grady comes to a disturbing but predictable conclusion in calling for mandatory childhood vaccines. He states: ‘It cannot be a matter for purely individual parental choice, strong though that should always be.’He even appeals to the common good argument, that children must protect the NHS, rewording the notorious government covid slogan to ‘childhood vaccinations save lives and protect the NHS’.
Stopping short of proposing to hold down and forcibly vaccinate children, O’Grady is quite happy to use other means of less violent coercion, stating that: ‘The key to making vaccination mandatory is to confront parents with a hard choice, by making free state education conditional on certain vaccinations being carried out at prescribed times. The same could apply to child benefits. The parents remain free to choose – but the choice to risk other people’s health comes with penalties.’ To suggest impoverishing or denying a child an education if their parent wishes to make a health choice that the Government does not approve of shows that society is experiencing a serious erosion of fundamental principles of medical ethics such as voluntary informed consent, bodily autonomy, and the right to determine what goes into your own or your child’s body.
O’Grady’s final point is that parents are not to be trusted to make the right decisions for their own children, suggesting that the state must intervene to prevent abusive parents from withholding vaccines. To conflate responsible and educated parents making considered health choices with parents who actually do abuse and beat their children is disgusting. A nanny state can never protect children from harm as effectively as a loving parent will.
Vaccine mandates are never acceptable. Medical ethics is undermined in any system where ‘the greater good’ is prioritised over individual bodily autonomy. Vaccine mandates constitute a profound threat to the practice of medicine and to the dignity, bodily autonomy, and medical freedom of every person in this country. This ethical red line is recognised in Section 45E of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act (1984) which specifically prohibits the introduction of regulations mandating medical treatments or vaccines. All medical interventions come with risks, so doctors are required by law to ensure that they obtain voluntary and fully informed consent, following a discussion of the risks and benefits to that individual and any alternative options. Parents must be allowed to weigh up the risks and benefits of any medical treatment based on their child’s individual circumstances and medical history.
Instead of fearmongering, the Government, public health authorities and the media should be empowering parents with the information that there are treatments to reduce the severity of measles and almost eliminate the risk of complications, particularly doses of Vitamin A. It is unclear why UK children are not offered this support, which is advised by the World Health Organization, when measles outbreaks occur, or as treatment for the illness.