Petition launched to make vaccination mandatory

A Wellington woman has launched a petition to make vaccinating children mandatory.

Louisa Gommans' petition asks for the Government to make vaccinating children in line with the New Zealand immunisation schedule compulsory.

"It should be mandatory for all children to be vaccinated in accordance with the National Immunisation Schedule for their own safety, and for the safety of other children and the public generally. This is a significant public policy issue," the description says.

Gommans' told The AM Show New Zealand would not be the first country to move to mandatory vaccinations.

"There's precedent around the world around other countries dealing with the same thing. I am aware of some countries where rules like this are being implemented."

France and Poland both have mandatory vaccinations, but the rates are still slipping and the countries are still affected by measles outbreaks.

But some experts have warned against making vaccinations mandatory, saying it will embolden the anti-vax movement.

Alison Braley-Rattai, assistant professor in labour studies at Brock University in Ontario, Canada, wrote for The Conversation it could result in parents removing their children from education completely, or making the anti-vaccine movement more passionate.

Gommans said for her, though, the call to make vaccinations compulsory comes down to safety.

"Fundamentally we all want our kids to be safe - from that point of view we're all in the same place.

"That's why I'm asking the Government to step in. It's bigger than personal choice, it's bigger than your choice to vaccinate, my choice not to have my kids get sick."


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