London (CNN)The UK's health secretary Matt Hancock said anti-vaccination campaigners were "morally reprehensible, deeply irresponsible" and had "blood on their hands," in an interview with The Times published Saturday.
Anti-vaxxers 'have blood on their hands,' says UK health secretary
His comments came days after a study by UNICEF, the United Nations' children's agency, found that measles deaths were up globally by 22% in 2017, and complacency and fear of vaccines were among the factors leading to less vaccinations.
Speaking the same day on BBC Radio 4's Today program, Hancock said the UK needed to "consider all options" to ensure more children were vaccinated, refusing to rule out the possibility of compulsory vaccination.
"I don't want to reach that point and I don't think we are near there," he said.
"If you don't vaccinate your child, it's not only your child that is at risk. It's also other children, including other children who, for medical reasons, can't be vaccinated," he continued.