House of Commons – (Tuscaloosa/CNN) – Parliamentary debate over the possible safety of vaccines began Thursday afternoon, following the resignation of a Conservative MP who hasn’t had a vaccination in years.
Some medical associations have warned in recent months that people shouldn’t be injecting themselves with some childhood vaccines. Even members of the government have raised questions over how the older childhood immunizations actually work, after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommended an overall decrease in many childhood immunizations because of an increased risk of autism in vaccinated children.
But many lawmakers are standing by immunizations, either insisting they don’t pose any concerns or worried that the recent publicized fears may be linked to people in harm’s way.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May said she was “dismayed” that any medical solution is controversial, “but that’s the way things are. We will meet with representatives of medical professionals who support vaccinations as part of Parliament’s routine examination of policy issues.
“I’ve also been in contact with Jim Shannon, the Health Secretary, who, together with public health officials and health workers, is taking action to ensure that vaccinations are available to children and adults,” May said.
May also said she has talked with the chief medical officer, Sally Davies, about immunizations “following Jim Shannon’s resignation.”
During the day, Conservative Party members were debating the debate, drawing a crowd in Parliament’s high-ceilinged debating chamber.
MPs questioning whether vaccines are still worth having on the agenda included Sir Christopher Chope, a chief government whip, and Phil Wilson, a Britain’s former defense minister.
“I know that it is commonly thought that vaccination deaths are declining, however that is not the case,” Wilson said. “Many reported measles deaths worldwide are the result of lapses in vaccine protection and continued exposure to potential measles serogroup B.”
Wilson said individuals should seek immunization in their jobs if they are coming into contact with children in public settings.
“There is a tragic consequence of not vaccinating,” Wilson said. “We know that fatal cases have been reported for vaccines for Measles and measles-mumps-rubella.”
“The House is completely irresponsible if it regards vaccination as not worthwhile or not beneficial,” Wilson said.
When the debating continued into the afternoon, members had a heated discussion over whether people should continue to receive vaccinations, especially at young ages. Some argued that medications like and weight loss were perfectly safe, while others called them dangerous.
The answer seemed to be, in some cases, yes.
“I am confident that vaccines do work and they do cause side effects,” Wilson said, “but let’s respect that side effects are inevitable and not to criticize the benefits of the vaccines.”
The final vote on the issue is expected Friday.