A campaigning Wigan mum is rallying support to ward off any possibility of a future government’s making the MMR vaccine compulsory.
Jackie Fletcher, whose 25-year-old son Robert suffered a catastrophic reaction to the triple vaccine that left him severely disabled when he was a toddler, says she and fellow crusaders from the Jabs group are becoming increasingly concerned about several nations’ deciding to make it mandatory.
In Britain, uptake of inoculations including the one for measles, mumps and rubella, is currently optional, although successive governments have endorsed it to the point of making it harder to obtain single injections.
And there is indication from any of the main political parties that they intend to change that stance.
But a protest is to be held in London on June 3 where those with doubts about MMR will descend on Parliament to warn against following the example of several other countries recently.
Sweden has just rejected a motion to make MMR mandatory, but Italy has just enforced it and Poland is also considering it. In Australia children are not allowed to attend nursery unless they have been vaccinated and Mrs Fletcher says that in the US there have been scenes of armed police dragging children off to get their jabs.
The Golborne mother, whose son was six years ago awarded compensation from the Vaccine Damage Unit for the seizure that left him with the mental age of a 14-month-old and many other disabilities, said she didn’t want the UK to follow suit.
She added: “We have never stopped people from having the MMR jab, but neither do we think it is right for everyone and choice should remain.
“Mandatory vaccination is being raised in several parliaments at the moment and it is a worry. It is a trend that we fear that a future UK government might be tempted to follow and this is not right. Forcing a child to have a jab is a form of assault.
“That is why there is to be a march in London on June 3. Anyone who can’t get there is being asked to light a candle.”
The International Vaccine Injury Awareness Day march gathers in Trafalgar Square at 11am. It will proceed at 11.30am to the House of Lords for a peaceful demonstration.