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'No jab, no school' - Dr Lance O'Sullivan says vaccination should be compulsory for kids

Former New Zealander of the year Dr Lance O'Sullivan says it's time to make it compulsory for all school children to be vaccinated.

Dr O'Sullivan's comments come as the number of measles cases in Canterbury grows, with two cases also confirmed in Auckland yesterday.

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."

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With a measles outbreak in Christchurch we spoke with the psychologist. Source: Seven Sharp

Dr O'Sullivan said he speaks to hundreds of people who say they support vaccination, but know someone who doesn't.

"Everyone has that story - thats really worrying and we know that's increasing," he said.

"The anti-vaccination movement has become a really concerning health threat ... the World Health Organisation has said it's one of the top 10 health issues in the world.

"We've seen a 30 per cent increase in measles since some idiot in the UK published some fraudulent research about measles."

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The Breakfast crew weighed into the tricky topic as a measles outbreak hits Canterbury Source: Breakfast

The research referred to was a paper published in the Lancet in 1998 by Andrew Wakefield, which claimed a link between MMR vaccine and autism.

Wakefield was later found to have undeclared conflicts of interest. He also manipulated evidence and had broken other ethical codes, leading him to eventually be struck off the medical register. The paper was retracted by the Lancet in 2010.

Claims of a link between the MMR vaccine and autism have subsequently been intensely researched in multiple studies, and found conclusively to be false.

"People need to understand that the science is solid and robust," Dr O'Sullivan said.

"The sort of witchery that is out there saying this is not good for your children or yourselves is completely false.

"It's time to say there is no debate, the science says that vaccinations are safe ... let's make it compulsory that all the children in New Zealand are protected."

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Dr O’Sullivan said it shouldn’t take an epidemic to get people to get their shots. Source: Breakfast