Mandatory measles vaccinations for children could lead to backlash, professor warns

Professor of health systems says it would ‘give oxygen to peculiar views’

Mandatory measles vaccinations for children could lead to a backlash, a professor of health systems has warned.

Anthony Staines, former chairman of the Irish Blood Tranfusion Service and Professor of Health Systems at the School of Nursing & Human Sciences in DCU, told Newstalk Breakfast that he fears mandatory vaccination would be "giving oxygen to very peculiar views on vaccination."

The HSE has confirmed 13 cases of measles in the north Dublin area, and it is claimed that the transmission of the disease is a result of poor vaccine uptake.

Dublin city councillor Éilis Ryan is calling for mandatory vaccinations for children. "It is mandatory in France for any child attending a creche or school.

“Any child using any public space should be vaccinated. There have been huge misinformation campaigns.”

However, Professor Staines said that while he agreed with the idea of mandatory vaccination, he feared that if introduced at present it would lead to a backlash.

Instead, he called for greater communication with vulnerable groups, especially those new to Ireland for whom English might not be a first language. There should be a better outreach campaign with more active engagement by anyone coming in contact with children.

“We need to ramp up efforts to vaccinate, to make resources, information and staff available to push the vaccination rate up to 95 per cent.”