Parents are angry at the government’s new exemptions for children under two

Parents are angry at the government’s new exemptions for children under two

COVID-19 vaccinations for young children now expected to start later in the year

Published: 18:19 Monday 18 April 2020

Children under two are currently exempt from compulsory immunisations.

Last week, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) confirmed that the current age cut off point for children under two is to be extended to include children who live at or below the poverty line. This means that if their parents and carers have ‘limited income’, then they will be allowed to go through with the vaccination schedule.

The DHSC said more than 1,500 children living in poverty have now been granted exemptions from going through with the compulsory childhood immunisation schedule.

But there are reports that a number of other parents who are trying to exercise their right to be exempt from immunisation are finding that the government’s new exemptions only apply to children from a certain age, or to only certain families.

There has also been a backlash against the government’s changes to children below the age of two, with many parents who are not eligible for the new cut-off point, complaining in blogs and Facebook groups.

“I’m having my 2yo boy immunised as I am unable to afford the child’s vaccine,” one mum wrote on the Facebook group Pregnancy Vaccination Without Cost. “The exemption is not available to children who are under 2, but that is not the only problem with the vaccine.”

“My child (2yrs old) is exempt for the first two doses, but we live in a state which does not provide exemptions,” another poster wrote. “Are we just supposed to put up with this? I’m desperate.”

“My son is 2 yrs old, can’t wait for the first dose, and am not receiving his 2nd dose,” another person wrote.

In response to the angry parents, the DHSC said that the changes to the schedule would take effect “from 7th May”, but this has only been officially confirmed on Friday.

“Parents who are under or close to the poverty line are able to have their children vaccinated for free through this website,” the DHSC said. “We have recently extended the age cut-off to two, meaning that those who cannot

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