Stop children going to nursery without MMR jab certificate, says Yorkshire MP

Parents should have to produce a certificate showing their child has received the MMR jab before they can go to nursery school, a Labour MP has said.

Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman today called for tougher action after the UK lost its measles-free status last August amid a rising number of cases at home.

The total number of laboratory-confirmed measles cases in England in 2018 was 971, more than three times the 259 cases in 2017.

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Health minister Jo Churchill said she would "strongly urge" parents to ensure that they vaccinate their children.

Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman. Pic: Jonathan GawthorpeHuddersfield MP Barry Sheerman. Pic: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman. Pic: Jonathan Gawthorpe | jpimediaresell
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During health questions, Mr Sheerman said: "Of course all of our thoughts are on the Covid-19 outbreak at the moment but is she aware that last year 140,000 people, mainly children and young people, died from measles (worldwide).

"And the measles epidemic is going to come here as the rate of protection for getting MMR vaccine decreases.

"This is a real issue. Could she join my campaign to make sure every child who goes into early pre-school and early schools has a certificate that says they have had the MMR?"

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In response, Ms Churchill said: "I would love to meet with the gentleman and talk about his campaign because actually the Government is looking at any way that we can improve vaccination rates.

"Vaccinations work by protecting the herd and actually losing the WHO (World Health Organisation) status on measles last year was very sad.

"And it is something that we should all be mindful of and make sure we all look to helping people access MMR vaccines for their children."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock could be seen giving Mr Sheerman a thumbs up after he finished his remarks in the Commons.