Simon Harris looks to make vaccinations mandatory for children
The Minister for Health intends to seek the support of every TD and senator in the country on the issue.
Minister for Health Simon Harris has signalled his intention to make children's vaccinations mandatory by law.
Speaking at day two of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) general meeting in Killarney, Minister Harris said that it was "against the public good" for parents to send their unvaccinated child to school or a public place.
The Minister will write to every TD and senator in the country in a bid to gain their public support for vaccination against dangerous and contagious diseases.
"Vaccinations save lives," he said on Saturday while highlighting a notable drop in vaccination rates across Ireland.
"We need doctors' support to call out the lies and nonsense of anti-vaccine campaigners," he added.
Harris also warned of the possibility of unvaccinated children spreading sickness, highlighting that young babies that are unable to be vaccinated are especially vulnerable and could develop a "very significant" disease if not properly protected.
Earlier this month, Harris said that he "instinctively agrees" with proposals to ban unvaccinated children from schools and crèches.
On Friday afternoon, the Health Minister confirmed at a press conference that he has sought legal advice on the matter from Attorney General Seamus Wolfe.
Thank you to @IMO_IRL for inviting me to your conference. Together we have made progress on some big issues like a new agreement for GPs and important public health issues like vaccinations & Public Health Alcohol Act. Now let’s move on to next challenges & work to resolve them pic.twitter.com/zeoNdQ5n0L
— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) April 27, 2019