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Doc suggests get your kids vaccinated or have Child Benefit halved

Doc suggests get your kids vaccinated or have Child Benefit halved

An Irish doctor has suggested that if parents fail to get their children vaccinated, they should have their Child Benefit cut in half until the child is 18.

Dr Ruairi Hanley wrote a piece titled 'Fighting the anti-vaxxers' in the Irish Medical Times, according to today's Daily Mail.

Hanley, a GP based in Drogheda, was spurred into action after it was revealed that the Gardasil HPV vaccine series, given to young girls to protect them from cervical cancer, was only taken up by half of the teenage girls supposed to start it in September.

Writing in the Irish Medical Times, Dr Hanley says: 'This scientific breakthrough has the potential to save the lives of hundreds of young women in the decades to come. Regrettably, thanks to the efforts of a minority of campaigners, and the irrational world of the internet, thousands of parents are denying their daughters this cancer-preventing jab.'

The doctor then suggests that the only way to combat the decline in take up of vaccines is to hit parents in the pocket and cut their Child Benefit by 50 per cent if they do not get their children immunised.

A similar system, called 'no jab, no pay' is in place in Australia and they plan to expand it to even more social welfare benefits next year.

Head of the HSE National Immunisation Office Dr Brenda Corcoran says the HPV vaccine is safe and is a real life saver, however, not everyone considers it has been adequately tested and there are those who believe it can have serious side effects.

The Regret Campaign, which represents more than 400 girls it says are chronically ill as a result of the Gardasil vaccine, says parents need a balanced view of the risks associated with the vaccine and accuses the HSE of stifling the facts about it.