At the 2019 Tory Party conference, the Health secretary Matt Hancock responded to the figures showing a further decline in vaccine uptake by repeating that he has not ruled out mandatory vaccinations for all school children and has taken legal advice on the move. The health secretary regularly refers to speaking to experts about the crisis but many of the UK’s leading vaccine experts are opposed to mandating vaccination and insist that there are basic things that should be done by government and the NHS before reaching for a dramatic measure which could backfire. These experts fear their voice is not being heard in the debate and want to meet journalists to express their concerns about mandation and spell out what they think should be done to improve uptake.
Prof Helen Bedford, Professor of Child Public Health, Institute of Child Health, University College London (UCL)
Dr David Elliman, Consultant in Community Child Health, Whittington Health NHS Trust
Dr Doug Brown, Chief Executive, British Society for Immunology (BSI)
Helen Donovan, Professional Lead for Public Health Nursing. Royal College of Nursing