Health secretary seeks advice on school immunisation plan

Health secretary Matt Hancock has mooted plans for compulsory MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccinations for children attending state schools in a bid to turn around five years of declining uptake.

Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, Matt Hancock expressed his concern at decreasing vaccination rates in the UK and the recent rise in measles cases.

He said he was considering the compulsory vaccination programme as a possible solution and has been given advice on how it might work in practice.

However, there is confusion after Number 10 told The Guardian newspaper that refusing admissions to non-vaccinated pupils was not currently on the table.

Instead, Downing Street says the immediate focus is on other strategies including making GP appointments easier to obtain and keeping better records of non-vaccinated children.

In other countries, a number of vaccines are compulsory, with children not allowed to attend state schools or nurseries if they have not received them. Last year, for example, France increased the number of compulsory vaccines from three to 11, including MMR.

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