Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

News

Child vaccination rates in England fall across the board, figures show

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l5773 (Published 26 September 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l5773

Rapid Response:

Re: Child vaccination rates in England fall across the board, figures show

Matt Hancock states that “while parents might think their decisions on jabs are a 'personal choice' and 'nobody else's business', they in fact have a 'moral' duty”.(1)

But what of the Government’s “moral duty” to those who become injured through vaccination?

As far back as 1977 before the introduction of the Vaccine Damage Payment Act (1979) the late Hon Lord Jack Ashley MP reminded the Government of their “moral responsibility” to compensate children who had become injured as a result of vaccination. He also urged them to recognise that the benefit is to the community but the risk is to the individual.

“On the question of compensation, the Government have a clear and over-riding moral responsibility to pay the children who are severely damaged, because they are vaccinated primarily for the benefit of others who are too young to be vaccinated themselves. The main benefit is to the community at large, yet all the risk is to the individual”(2)

Today the emphasis is still on the benefit to the population as a whole and the risk is still visited on the individual, but it appears that the only “moral duty” continuously aired, is the one visited on parents to have their children vaccinated.

The provisions in the Vaccine Damage Payment Act of 1979 only ensure compensation to those who in the opinion of the DWP appointed assessors are over 60% disabled. Those deemed to be less disabled, despite establishing causation with a vaccine, are refused awards.

When it comes to moral duties Matt Hancock might want to consider the old adage of “people in glass houses……………..” and urge the Government, (with the same vigour he pursues parental “moral duty”) to embrace their “moral duty” to compensate all those who suffer vaccine induced disabilities.

(1)https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7597873/Parents-moral-duty-ch...

(2) House Of Commons Deb 07 March 1977 vol 927 The late Hon Lord Jack Ashley MP

Competing interests: No competing interests

22 October 2019
Wendy E Stephen
Retired nurse
Stonehaven Scotland