Anti-Vax march this Saturday in Edinburgh

This coming Saturday, 12th December, there will a protest against Swine Flu vaccines in Edinburgh, organised by the Vaccine Awareness Network (VAN). It’ll start at midday at St Giles Cathedral (well, High Kirk actually, it was only a Cathedral for 33 years in total back in the 17th Century, but that’s not related) on the Royal Mile and march down to the Parliament, finishing about 2pm.

Why am I telling you this? Because I disagree with it, obviously, and since I’m not in the country, I want you to go and ask awkward questions. You can get a more vaccination/science based commentary at ‘…and your electron microscope!‘ and at the Edinburgh Skeptics Blog, the rest of my post is just going to be a rant about the website. Read on if you like that sort of thing.

The anti-vax movement has a lot of people’s lives on its conscience, or at least it should, but this protest seems to be less about the vaccine itself, and more about compulsory vaccinations. When I read that, I was a bit taken aback. I support the vaccine, but I wasn’t so sure about compulsory vaccinations and I thought this post would reluctantly have to support the protest despite it’s probably anti-science agenda. As far as I was aware, there were no plans to introduce a mandatory vaccine. So I looked at the protest’s page (which is quite a mess, they really should have links to the different parts or something) to have a peek at their arguments. It’s a big straw man!

AFAIA there are absolutely no plans to implement mandatory vaccination. The page cites legislation (namely the Civil Contingencies Act 2004)  that allows the government to implement it during a national state of medical emergency. So, in the case of something like the Black Death coming back to haunt us, the government could implement mandatory vaccination against it. This is not going to happen this time, it is nothing to do with swine flu. So far swine flu has had a relatively small number of cases, and the death rate is also fairly low, something like 1% if I remember correctly. It appears to pose less of a risk than normal seasonal flu. They are not going to implement it in this case (and AFAIA they never have done, ever).

They seem to oppose this legislation being used in any case, and I also disagree with that. In the case of a serious epidemic, refusing to get vaccinated puts not only your own life, but the lives of others around you, at risk. Mandatory vaccination should be an option for the government in extreme circumstances.

It’s quite ironic though. They seem to have got themselves all whipped up into a frenzy over swine flu, and still somehow oppose the best known way of preventing it. Meanwhile towards the bottom of the page, there’s a section on what you can do, and the first point is:

DON’T PANIC -THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT. HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO TO SAFEGUARD YOUR RIGHT TO CHOOSE.

1. Firstly, stay calm. The vaccination business is run on fear (see swine flu page, recipe for selling flu vaccines, written by the CDC as an example). They want you to feel backed into a corner and as if you don’t have any choice.

What? You’re the ones taken in by the tabloid fear-mongering, the government have been playing down the risks about swine flu! So what is the source of this information about the government implementing vaccines? Well about halfway down the page in big bold capital letters it says:

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO THINK THAT VAN IS OVER-REACTING, GET A LOOK AT THIS NEWSPAPER ARTICLE!

– followed by an undated clipping, which doesn’t even fully agree with what they’re saying, from the Sunday Star. Yes, the SUNDAY FUCKING STAR!! That bastion of good journalism that has pictures of tits on most of its pages, and which insists on giving almost every sentence its own paragraph! I suppose sentence structure is hard enough, they don’t want to even consider structuring their paragraphs too. According to the website, it’s actually called the Daily Star Sunday, but if it only comes out on Sunday then it’s not daily is it? AntiVax websites tend to be full of this, scaremongering stories from any rag going, as long as it has an anti-vax spin.

Fuck it, I’m wound up now, I’m going to have a look at the rest of the page. This might take a while.

But this kind of mandatory innoculation has a precedent, right? They haven’t just pulled it out of the air. Oh right, it seems that Greece has already introduced it. So the owner of this website wrote to the Greek health minister (same page but just so you don’t have to scroll to the top of the post. It’s about 2 thirds down) to complain and to get more information. She asked among other things why the mandatory vaccination had been implemented. The minister replied saying it hadn’t, and citizens had the right to refuse it as soon as they’d been given the information on it. Her reply contained, “however, why did a 31 July Reuters article say that Greece was mandating the vaccination?” Wow, a news report wasn’t accurate. That never happens. She also asks why the police will be present at the vaccination centres if it’s not to be compulsory. Maybe to prevent disturbances because of the scaremongering that’s been going on? Yet she’s still perplexed as to why they haven’t replied a second time. Maybe they have better things to do.

So then there’s a story entitled “WHO Launches Global Mandatory Vaccination Programme” Here it is:

The World Health Organization has issued a binding ‘recommendation’ to all member countries requiring them to institute mandatory vaccination programs. Under an existing multilateral agreement this formally invokes each state’s pandemic plan and puts coordination under control of WHO. For some European states the pandemic plan includes setting aside government as normal and ruling the country by a special council under control of the EU and WHO. France has already announced that it will effect a move to military rule beginning in September.

The global pandemic vaccination program will begin somewhere around the end of September and last about two months. Many countries are in the process of acquiring from Baxter, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline and other pharmaceutical companies enough doses of vaccine to vaccinate their entire population twice. They remain quiet about mandatory vaccination, simply saying they will make vaccination ‘available’ to all on a priority basis. But Greece and Switzerland have already announced that their programs will be mandatory and enforced by the military. There are unconfirmed reports that Norway and Israel have done the same. The United States is preparing for military ‘assisted’ mandatory vaccination but has not explicitly declared its intentions to the public.

Source: Columbia Valley News, 14 August 2009.

See the end of that first paragraph? “For some European states the pandemic plan includes setting aside government as normal and ruling the country by a special council under control of the EU and WHO. France has already announced that it will effect a move to military rule beginning in September.” Err… what? I think someone’s having a laugh here… but it’s ok because it was in that well respected international source, the Columbia Valley News, the local community newspaper of Invermere, British Columbia. Funnily enough I googled “columbia valley news” today (December 9th) and this story, from August, was the second result. You may not know how Google works, basically it puts the pages in order according to how many links it has on other pages, that’s what allowed a googlebomb to work in the past. What that means is that people have been linking to this story left right and centre. Say, you don’t suppose that this story hasn’t been covered anywhere else, do you? I mean it’s implausible that something as important as this would be left to the Columbia Valley News to take all the credit. I suppose the BBC didn’t deem it important. Or maybe they’re in on the conspiracy too? Whaddya say, folks?

There are other stories on that website, most of them totally unrelated and dealing with how much money pharmaceutical companies make or when one time some out of date vaccines were given to people but noone was hurt, as well as an advert for alternatives to pet vaccines. Really relevant to what the protest is about, you know? But there’s another section I’ve already mentioned about what you can do. Most of it is just letter writing and things, but point number 5 reads:

Consider home schooling your child. Proposed mandates appear to be around school entry, and under 16’s can be pressured in school to consent to a vaccine in spite of parental objection.
School is not a legal requirement, only education is.

There would be a limit to what the state can do in the case of a home educated child, since he is out of the state system – particularly if he has always been home educated and never gone to school, as then there is no legal requirement to notify the education authority.

Wow, that’s extreme, especially since school vaccinations are optional. Here’s number 6, watch out for the really dodgy stats work.

9% of parents in England choose not to vaccinate at all, that’s 5 children in every 100. Another 15% refuse MMR. That’s approximately 20-25% of the population who refuse some or all vaccines. There are far too many parents with this objection for the JCVI to sue, and too many of us willing to fight, for them to be successful.

At the very least, we would be entitled to exemptions like parents get in other countries that mandate, namely philosophical, medical or religious exemptions.

Erm, I’m not sure what their source for this is, but I’m pretty sure that the 15% who refuse MMR would include the 9% who refuse all vaccines. Plus the MMR link to autism has been well and truly put to bed by a wealth of studies. Unfortunately this hasn’t made the news headlines the way the original story did so people still don’t realise they’re talking rubbish. Additionally, the piece claims 20-25% of the population. It’s only talking about parents, not the rest of the population, and I’m willing to bet that the original stats only included parents of children entering primary school. It’s nothing like 20-25% of the population!

This is turning into yet another ridiculously long piece so I think I’m going to cut it short here. I hope you can get along to the protest, and if you can, why not address some of the points I’ve raised here to the people there? See if the ordinary person going along knows why they’re there, and most importantly, if they bring up something and you’re not sure about it, google it, get the source, and think about it for a bit! Don’t take it at face value, read around the subject. The Bad Science Blogs aggregator is usually a good place to start.

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22 Responses to Anti-Vax march this Saturday in Edinburgh

  1. alistair says:

    sorry but do want the research that backs this idiotic vaccine up…. or the research that is against it I’ll be there and answer anyones questions

    • Alex Pryce says:

      Alistair. Remember to bring your peer reviewed Journals with you. Anecdotes and hearsay won’t wash. We want to see ALL the research, not just that which backs up one point of view.

      Also, if you quote journals and reports, please give us the actual names so we can check it for ourselves.

      • grammarking says:

        I think Alistair was saying that he wants the research, although I’m not sure, I think there was a typo there.

        Anyway I, or more accurately, Alex, has done some of the legwork for you Alisdair! This is a link to a Parliamentary note: http://www.scribd.com/doc/23331409/Home-Office-Provision-for-compulsory-vaccination-under-the-Civil-Contingencies-Act

        It covers most of the issues and is well-referenced. One of the references is to two studies in the New England Journal of Medicine, plus an editorial which helps explain them, although I think the studies themselves are easy enough to follow http://h1n1.nejm.org/?p=869

        These studies show the vaccine to be effective (actually more effective than they thought it would be), and with no immediate side effects other than injection site pain and muscle soreness. Longer term side effects can’t be determined in such short-term trials (these are the results after 21 days, the study is still ongoing), but since it is essentially the same vaccine as the H5N1, made exactly the same way except with the H1N1 in its place, we should expect the long-term side effects to be the same as in that case.

        You may also be interested that I’ve written to the Department for Health to ask specifically about any plans to introduce mandatory vaccinations via the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, and the likelihood of such a situation coming about. Although I do feel this is something that VAN should have done before launching a protest about it.

  2. Mr T says:

    So did you take the vaccine then, rant-boy? And lame excuse that you’re not in the country trying to get others to doyour dirty work? Not convinced by your blog.

    • Alex Pryce says:

      Mr T

      At the moment Vaccines are offered to those on the “at risk” lists, but if you want to get it you can. Whether Mike has got it or not does not change the argument.

      Though I’ve had it myself.

  3. John says:

    Whats the problem? if you wish to have the jab then feal free if not then fair game,there have been countless reports of horrible side effects even on main stream media ( there’s a suprise ) were protesting for the right to CHOOSE its not madatory yet but being what WHO ect claim a level 5/6 pandemic they can effectivly call it madatory anytime they wish!

    But again if you wish to sit at your pc and ramble on about how pthose attending the march put others at risk ask your self why GP’s are up in arms about bonus’s for every jab they give? if it was such a threat to human life they would not get paid a bonus to give it to folk not would it have been rushed through trials they would have taken there time and made sure it was safe with nill side effects like 90% of the jabs kids get nowa days

    Chances are you wont agree and remove this comment to make it all appear one sides but thats fine if you want to be like the rest of the sheeple and go have the jab leave those who are fighting for there rights alone

    • Alex Pryce says:

      John.

      You do have the right to chose, but:

      1) the mandatory vaccination program is not in effect and there isn’t any signs that it will be other than your scaremongering.

      2) People only have rights in and as far as those rights do not impose themselves on other people. People who work in the medical areas have to be vaccinated, those who work with the elderly have to be vaccinated and they can be removed from active work if they refuse.

      Also, you are aware that this H1N1 vaccine is almost identical to the other flu jabs which is why they were able to rush it out.

      Present your evidence or shut up. If you had genuine scientific, medically based evidence you wouldn’t need to march through the streets.

  4. john says:

    Just as i thought you dont want to publish my comments thats fine. But you claimed we all had one a sided argument lol the tables have turned my freind and you should ask yourself was it worth spending the time to write all this and not debate it any further

    • Alex Pryce says:

      You waited FOUR hours and then got angry because it hadn’t been approved. You are aware Mike doesn’t sit in front of the computer on his blog 24/7 right? If after 24 hours it hasn’t been posted then send a message and ask why.

  5. grammarking says:

    John, you know you should really leave more than 4 hours before you claim censorship, I don’t sit checking my blog for comments all day. Comment moderation is on to prevent spam, because I get a fair bit. Now that you’ve been approved you shouldn’t have to go through moderation again. Although I’ve noticed that some people do, I think it’s something to do with IP address, or using a different name or something. I’ll address your comment in a second comment.

    Mr T, I haven’t had the vaccine yet. As you may know it is being prioritised and I’m not in an at risk group. Not being in the country also makes it difficult, but as soon as it is available to me I will have no problem taking it. I don’t know if you expect me to fly into Edinburgh for the protest but I’m not going to do that, if nothing else because of the environmental impact. I also don’t consider asking questions ‘dirty work’. I know several people who intend to go and they’re generally very polite, they’re not going to cause any trouble at all. This isn’t a counter-protest.

  6. Claire says:

    I think one of the key issues here is that yes it is not manditory at present but in a recent House of Commons meeting (note’ sn/sc/05164) the legal framework in place for manditory vaccinations was discussed ‘should the case become serious enough’ not as you claim Alex in cases of the black death. So what justifies a case serious enough…we can only presume this would be a wide spread of the virus so we must then presume that the numbers are being accurately compiled before such a drastic step would be taken. Well… it appears not. The Health Protection Agency have this week announced that as little as 1 in 20 cases were being correctly diagnosed during the summer months (over the telephone by unqualified individuals) and approximately 1 in 5 people are correctly diagnosed at present throwing the whole statistical basis for a swine flu mass vaccination programme into disarray. We must then also take into account that a recent freedom of information act requested by a Mr Mcgilvey, who questioned how many seasonal flu deaths had occured in Scotland since the start of the H1N1 pandemic (considering the seasonal flu is 4 times more likely to kill than swine flu we would expect around 250 at this stage in the season) and the amount recorded is…0! If this does not look like statistical manipulation I don’t know what does. And if decisions are being discussed and made based on these figures which are inaccurately compiled and possibly deliberately manipulated then we must protest and ask that all vaccination campaigns, which are not without risk, be implemented on the back of solid statistical data…not in this haphazard way.

    As for the safety of the vaccine, a new hybrid virus may behave differently to seasonal flu and therefore should undergo long term testing before distribution to ensure it behaves in the same way. Viruses are advancing and mutating all the time and we shouldn’t be so presumption as to how this one will behave once injected into our bloodstreams. Both the Polish and retired Finnish Cheif Medical Officers believe the vaccine to be dangerous and Poland has refused to purchase the vaccine so we are not alone in our concerns.

    These concerns alone I feel are enough to justify a protest. Until we see a continuity of figures and a fully tested vaccine there is a very real cause for concern.

    Claire

  7. grammarking says:

    Oh, looks like Alex hopped in whilst I was watching a video. Oh well.

    So, John. Where are these countless reports of horrible side-effects? I’ve heard reports of people’s arms hurting for a few days, which turned up in the trials and is significantly better than getting the disease. Unless your horrific side effects involve having… what’s the number at, 240 odd deaths in the UK? Or, to be more statistically literate, a higher rate of death and symptoms than the illness itself, then I maintain that even making a choice as an individual, the vaccine is better than the flu.

    If you want to choose to not have the vaccine, go for it! I understand the takeup is quite low at the moment actually. That’s fair enough, I think that’s mainly down to the relatively low severity of the pandemic and the dropping level of media attention it’s getting. I don’t actually disagree with your right to choose, in all but very severe outbreaks. The government has not made the vaccination compulsory and have no plans to do so (why would they, for a start?) unless it becomes very serious, in which case, as I’ve said, I would support it. My reasons are in the post itself but just to recap, it’s because refusing would put not only yourself, but others at rist of a very serious illness.

    You mention the WHO level 5 alert. This level 5 refers to how widespread the pandemic is, not how bad the flu itself is. The combination of these two is what I mean by ‘seriousness’ in the above paragraph. The following link outlines what the 6 point scale means:
    http://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/phase/en/index.html

    And this one is the announcement of going to stage 5, which clearly does not announce mandatory vaccinations but instead “heightened surveillance, early detection and treatment of cases, and infection control in all health facilities”:
    http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2009/h1n1_20090429/en/index.html

    Really, refusing the vaccine is like taking an immunosuppressant. You are making your immune system worse than it could be, even in the face of a threat that we know exists. Just to be clear, they have done trials, I’ve already linked to some above, and they’re continuing to do more. This vaccine is almost exactly the same as other flu vaccines, there’s literally a few proteins’ difference. Having a longer term trial (and as I say, the trials are continuing) is unlikely to have shown any more short term side effects that the short term trial didn’t anyway, and if they’d taken too much time to check the long term effects, which are unlikely to be much different from the seasonal flu vaccine, there wouldn’t be a point in doing it anyway, because the flu would be upon us.

    So not to be insulting but I’m afraid your response is down to misinformation (not least by the anti vaccinations movement).

  8. grammarking says:

    I do like it when people outside skeptical circles comment. It at least means that people can find it, and that even if these commenters don’t pay any attention, maybe others will try to examine all the evidence.

  9. grammarking says:

    Oh another one, you guys are quick!

    Hi Claire,

    I actually wrote the blog post, not Alex. I said black death, but I just used that as an example of a particularly terrible pandemic, I wasn’t saying that it would only be the black death. Sorry if that wasn’t clear. A serious enough case would be a widespread outbreak with serious consequences. There are plenty of illnesses that are widespread but they in themselves do not warrant mandatory vaccinations. Nevertheless I have written to the DH to ask specifically what kind of seriousness would be needed to justify mandatory vaccination. I think this is something that VAN should have done before launching a protest over something which in my opinion isn’t even likely to happen (it’s never been used before to my knowledge and I don’t think this is the worst pandemic we’ve had).

    How long do you think the trial should have lasted, just out of interest? The side effects have been noted up to the amount of time it takes for the vaccine to take effect and beyond, and it’s still continuing to look for more long term side effects. If they waited too long, it would have been too late. The trick with vaccines for epidemics is clearly finding a balance between the two. You seem to be saying they didn’t wait long enough, but on what do you base that? And how long would you have been satisfied with?

  10. grammarking says:

    Oh I’m forgetting to sign these. When replying, feel free to call me Mike, that’s my name, and I’m the author of this post.

    Although it’s a bit strange that we’re getting the sciencey stuff here when all I’ve commented on is the content of the website.

  11. grammarking says:

    Ok, figured out where the traffic’s coming from. This post has been linked to by The Swine Flu Scam, http://swinefluscam.weebly.com/, saying that they need to watch out for arguments and attacks. I hope they don’t mean physical attacks or abuse of some kind, that’s not on the cards, at least I hope not. All it’ll be is a couple of people asking questions and constructing arguments. It also asks the protest attenders to bring all the research they’ve done. That’s good, I look forward to hearing about the exchanges after tomorrow. I’m certainly not closed-minded enough to say that they’re definitely wrong.

    It does reveal a little about this group, though. The next significant post after the one linking here is celebrating that Jane Burgermeister will be attending the protest. This is from her website:

    “This site is the official site of Jane Burgermeister and her investigation regarding the flu vaccines, WHO and the criminal conduct of several companies and organisations. Here evidence is collected and presented which, according to Jane Burgermeister, reveals that there is a plan in action to reduce the world population by using contaminated vaccines. Jane Burgermeister shows that several international organisations are involved with this plan as are several international companies. Together these form a criminal syndicate which in secret intend to “save the planet” from what is considered harmful overpopulation.”

    There’s also an interview with her posted at the Swine Flu Scam website, which I don’t have time to watch now but I’ll see if I can do that tomorrow.

  12. Claire says:

    I notice you haven’t commented at all about the misdiagnosis of thousands of people which is taking place that is actually the crooks of what level pandemic we are at and whether manditory vaccines should be implemented. If we ignore this practice anything could happen. Thats not to mention the 36000 out of 40000 weekly prescriptions for Tamiflu that were incorrectly distributed to members of the public which again is not without risk and caused the death of a young child in Britain alone.

    To say that longer term testing (this can vary depending on the tests ran and what outcomes are reached at each stage of the testing procedure) would be ‘unlikely’ to show any more short term side effects is a sweeping statement and certainly without grounding. And what about the long term side effects? This is certainly not substantial enough for me to take a vaccine and I believe we have the right to ask for a new unprecedented virus to undergo full term testing before administering it into our bodies.

    However, back to the pandemic level and statistics…due to the widespread of the virus which again can not be substantiated due to a misrepresentation of figures, our vaccine schedule has been handed over to the Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation giving them full powers to introduce new vaccines into the schedule with little or no testing. Considering that various members of the JCVI either work for or have financial interests in the large pharmaceutical companies that produce the vaccines we yet again see a cause for concern and decisions being made that are undoubtedly tainted by bias. Should our vaccine schedule really be in the hands of those who will profit from them…surely you can not believe this is a healthy situation?

    And to top all that off Baxter have recently admitted releasing 72 kilos of live bird flu virus and distributing it in vaccine material to 48 different countries and Bayer AG the sister company of Glaxo SmithKline are convicted criminals with a whole array of ‘mishaps’ including putting heroin in cough mixture, putting methyl pantheon in milk powder and producing an insecticide that killed 70% of all French honeybees…. to name but a few!! I see we are in good hands then!!

  13. Claire says:

    Also, can you stp refering to the protestors as a group all with the same interests and beliefs. There is no group, we are all individuals with differing points of views about vaccinations and other issues but we all have concerns (some concerns different to others) about the swine flu vaccination programme. Vaccine Risk Awareness are not the organisers…I am, so please try to confirm facts before printing them. I have been alarmed by the scaremongering created by the media and government from the very outbreak of the pandemic and have followed it closely. The facts and figures about the virus have continued to be distorted in order to create panic and justify a mass vaccination campaign that appears not to be neccessary. We are not the scaremongerers here!! We were initially told 65000 people in Britain would die this winter from swine flu, then it was down graded to 19000 and has quietly been downgraded to 1000 with current deaths (after the apparent peak of the virus)standing at around 250 80% of whom had underlying serious health conditions (data from Health Protection Agency). Coupled with the figures of misdiagnosis above this is concerning, the numbers do not justify any pandemic let alone level 6 (WHO) which then hands control of vaccine issues to the JCVI and allows implementation of the civil contingencies act should they feel it neccessary…well based on their figure compilations so far…yes we should be concerned and we should be asking questions!!!
    This is not an anti-vaccine march although many people who attend may have these beliefs, this march is solely dedicated to raising awareness around the concerns people have about the swine flu pandemic and the miscrepancies that have arisen.

    Oh, and as you have mentioned twice now I have written to both Chief Medical Officers (Scotland/England), and various other health officials and this is how I know that a widespread of the disease would possibly activate manditory vaccinations so we must ensure that the figures are compiled absolutely correctly before we get to such a horrendous situation…we are not seeing this at present. I would also like to point out the ministers can be comfortable in ensuring that there will be no manditory vaccinations in place because should the civil contingencies act be initiated anything they preiously ruled is overridden to it accounts for nothing. And obviously we also have a framework in pace which allows the World Health Organsition to overrule current legal systems in any country if the figures fed back to them are concerning enough for them to take action as we have just seen in the Ukraine where a state of emergency was declared and all borders were closed.

    These are my particular concerns, they are founded and deserve to be debated with the authorities rather than sitting back complacently allowing new health frameworks to be imposed without question. This is after all a democracy and we have organised a democratic process to allow individuals to come along and express there concerns. We do not have to provide medical journals or anything of the like to ask these simple questions….we are not the ones requesting all HEALTHY children under the age of 5 be vaccinated…show ME the research and reasoning behind this in a medical journal….and do not wave phoney figures that have been calculated over the previous 6 months at me because they are proven to be widely exaggerated.

  14. […] the form of a swine flu vaccine protest. Keir has covered the lead-up and the aftermath, Mike has slagged the anti-vax website, and Alex has provided some extra info. What else can I add? Well, the […]

  15. grammarking says:

    So briefly, got a reply from the Department of Health, here it is:

    ——–

    Thank you for your email of 11 December to the Department of Health about the swine flu vaccine. I have been asked to reply.

    Vaccination against swine flu is not compulsory. Everyone has a right to refuse the swine flu vaccination or any other vaccination. Where a child is too young to consent themselves to being vaccinated, the right to decide rests with the person with parental responsibility.

    The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (CCA) provides a framework to enable the Government to use exceptional powers to help deal with the most serious of emergencies. Any use of such powers would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and subject to a robust set of safeguards, and must also be compatible with the Human Rights Act 1998.

    Any use of emergency regulations would have to be made by the Queen by an Order in Council or by a senior Minister in cases of urgency, and would need to be endorsed by Parliament. There are also requirements to consult a devolved administration if the regulations are to apply within that administration’s area. However, the devolved administrations do not have the authority themselves under the CCA to introduce such a scheme.

    While it might theoretically be possible to introduce a mandatory vaccination scheme in some exceptional circumstances under the CCA, the Department has no plans to do so in response to swine flu.

    I hope this reply is helpful.

    ——–

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