Education Minister, Chris Hipkins says he agrees children should be vaccinated but those who aren’t should not be punished for their parents’ “bad decisions.”
As the number of measles cases in Canterbury grows alongside new cases in Auckland, parents of unvaccinated children are being urged to keep them out of school so they don’t spread the disease.
But Mr Hipkins does not agree.
“Look I want parents to immunise their children, that is the sensible, responsible thing to do,” he said today.
But he said children should not be compromised because of what their parents choose to do.
“They shouldn’t lose the opportunity to have a good shot at education because their parents make bad decisions,” he said.
Earlier today, former New Zealander of the year Dr Lance O'Sullivan said it's time to make it compulsory for all school children to be vaccinated.
Speaking this morning with TVNZ 1's Breakfast programme, Dr O'Sullivan said it shouldn't take an epidemic to highlight the value of immunisation.
"We should be saying it's compulsory," he said.
"If you want to attend a public-funded school, then you will ensure that your children are not going to put other children at risk, and other members of the community ... basically, no jab, no school, really," he said.