'Vaccinations for children could be made compulsory to stop the dangerous fall in take-up, Matt Hancock said today.
The Health Secretary said there was a 'very strong argument' for making inoculations mandatory to avoid the re-emergence of diseases such as polio and measles.
There has been growing alarm about slumping immunisation levels, with an NHS report last week revealing that rates for all nine childhood jabs have dropped again in England.
Rates for the six-in-one jab, which protects against illness such as polio and tetanus, fell to 92.1 per cent among one-year-olds – the lowest figure in at least 10 years.
Other parents may miss giving their children the jabs because they believe illnesses such as polio have been eradicated in the UK.
Speaking at a fringe event at Tory conference in Manchester today, Mr Hancock said there was 'a very strong argument for having compulsory vaccinations for children when they go to school, otherwise they're putting other children at risk'.
He told the HuffPo event that he had taken legal advice on how the measure could be introduced.
The intervention will spark renewed concern that vulnerable children will be excluded from mainstream education.
Coverage of the MMR jab, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella, dipped for the fifth year in a row. One in ten children does not now receive their first dose of the vaccine last year.
Experts have blamed the drop on online claims that jabs don't work or are harmful, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson has dismissed as 'superstitious mumbo jumbo'.'
Read more: Vaccinations for schoolchildren could be made COMPULSORY: Health Secretary Matt Hancock calls for urgent action after slump in take-up for protection against diseases such as polio and measles
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