Concerns over legal vaccination coercion

There is growing concern amongst a number of anti-vaccine campaigners that the new Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has acquired powers to bring in new vaccines without government approval even if they haven’t been tested. Up until now all new vaccines have had to pass through parliament and be voted on before they were introduced. There is also some question as to whether the JCVI may be able to force people, including children, to be vaccinated whether or not they or their parents them to be.

To quote from the committee’s own minutes of their meeting on 18th February 2009:
The Department of Health gave a presentation outlining relevant sections of the NHS constitution, (published on 21 January 2009) that establishes the principles and values of the NHS in England. The constitution contains a new right to vaccination:
‘You have the right to receive the vaccinations that the JCVI recommend that you should receive under an NHS provided national immunisation programme.’

And a patient responsibility:
‘You should participate in important public health programmes such as vaccination.’
....The JCVI was pleased that recommendations from the committee would have the force of law behind them. The committee asked for clarification on the constitution including what exactly ‘right’ meant with respect to the right of a child to receive a vaccine when their parents were opposed to vaccination and how the constitution affected the recommendations of JCVI with respect to legal challenge.

Wherever you stand on the vaccination issue, the thought that you might be forced to be vaccinated or have your child vaccinated regardless of whether the vaccines contain potential allergens, chemicals or heavy metal adjuvants which could endanger and/or harm you or your child is a seriously scary one. What kind of a state are we living in if we can conscientiously object to going to war, but cannot, despite the known possibility of harm, object to a vaccination?

If you are concerned we suggest that you write to your MP, the Minister of Health and Number 10 Downing Street asking for clarification of the issue.


For more articles in infant and child health

1First Published in January 2009

Top of page