What if you couldn’t get a jab: Government stymied over vaccination plans

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said this month that young schoolchildren should be vaccinated against tuberculosis, diphtheria, tetanus, polio and measles because the measure is “an important public health protection”

Javid has dismissed the idea.

It will now be up to the Health Secretary’s Department and the Department of Health to decide whether schools would be able to opt out of the measure.

Mr Hunt warned that the UK must learn to be more resilient to such threats.

But other leading officials from David Cameron’s government – such as Nick Hurd, then the health minister, and NHS England’s chief executive Simon Stevens – now publicly question Mr Hunt’s claims.

The debate over mandatory vaccination grew so heated last year that a supermarket worker was asked to leave the Walkers crisps factory in Saffron Walden, Essex, for refusing to hand over a bottle of Propylene Glycol to her boss, in order to get a flu jab.

An employee at Mitre privately said the move “posed a national security risk”.

The initial outcry came in the wake of Brexit after the UK voted in favour of leaving the European Union in June 2016.

In the autumn of the same year, Mr Hunt argued that mandatory vaccines were necessary in a post-Brexit world.

“The future for the NHS is about us not just continuing to invest, but stepping up to the plate and not just meeting our national aspirations and priorities, but about being a country that is agile and aware of what it needs to protect us in the future,” he said.

“So if we want to defend our health service in the 21st century we have to be able to prepare for the next 10 to 20 years.”

Do you think compulsory vaccination should be on the agenda, or should children be exempt from vaccinations?

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