Penalties for vaccine rejection require strong scrutiny

Human factors

Governments in Australia, the US and Italy have recently introduced or modified policies that penalise parents who don’t vaccinate. Penalties might seem like appealing solutions to the problem of vaccine rejection but they come with unintended consequences, of which I have written about in previous blogs here and here. Having vaccination rules with

bandra-worli-sea-link-suspension-bridge-in-mumbai-india.jpg Like the suspension bridge, policies to increase vaccination rates work best if they are strong yet slightly flexible. Photo:

hard-to-reach exemptions strikes a balance between policy fairness and effectiveness. Earlier this month, Dr Margie Danchin and I published a Viewpoint article commissioned by the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, the official journal of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians’ Paediatrics and Child Health Division.

The viewpoint format doesn’t offer an abstract, so here is a summary of our paper which is available here. We are grateful to Wiley publishers for making it open access.

Summary of the full article

Vaccine rejection presents…

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