Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said he will not “rule out” bold action to protect children as new figures showed fewer are receiving routine NHS vaccinations.
Mr Hancock, who said in April he could not rule out the possibility that unvaccinated children would be sent home from school in future, warned “devastating diseases can, and will, resurface”.
He suggested “bold action” could be taken if vaccination rates fail to improve.
The Department of Health and Social Care said a range of options have been suggested, including mandatory vaccination.
Mr Hancock’s comments come as figures showed a continuing decline in the proportion of children receiving 13 NHS childhood jabs, including the combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and those for meningitis.
Mr Hancock said: “Falling childhood vaccination rates are unacceptable. Everyone has a role to play in halting this decline.
“The loss of our measles-free status is a stark reminder that devastating diseases can, and will, resurface.