Letter: Moral reasoning on schools' rubella vaccination

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The Independent Online
Sir: As a Catholic and an Old Amplefordian, I am gravely concerned about Ampleforth College's decision not to immunise pupils against rubella. While it is the duty of such an institution to raise ethics and moral questions, it must also heed medical advice.

The virus can cause deafness, blindness and brain damage in babies born to mothers who have contracted rubella in pregnancy. The severe degree of disability which can result is preventable by a comprehensive immunisation of all schoolchildren - boys and girls - as boys can harbour and pass on the virus.

I hope Ampleforth College will reflect on the illogicality of advocating that girls, but not boys, can be immunised and that parents will be provided with all necessary information to make informed choices about their children's health.

BERNARD DONOGHUE Campaigns Officer Sense (the National Deafblind and Rubella Association) London, N4 26 October

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