May 24, 2016
No Forced Vaccines provided a statement to Lachlan Forsyth, a reporter for the 3 news programme “Story” on May 24, 2016. The statement may be accessed at the link below.
May 18, 2016
No Forced Vaccines spokeswoman interviewed on Morning Report. Please click the link below for details:
April 22, 2015
No Forced Vaccines
April 22, 2015
Act Party leader’s endorsement of Welfare Working group proposal “puts vulnerable children at risk”
Act Party leader David Seymour’s support for the Welfare Working Group’s proposal to link children’s vaccination to parental benefits is misguided because it risks harming vulnerable children.
That’s the warning from Katherine Smith, spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines, a group that opposes coerced or forced vaccination.
In 2012, the Welfare Working Group recommended “that beneficiaries be required to ensure that their children complete the 12 Well Child/Tamariki Ora health checks including completion of the immunisation schedule, (unless they make an informed choice not to.)”
“At the time of the Welfare Working Group’s pronouncement, No Forced Vaccines pointed out that any policy that infringed on parents’ rights to make healthcare decisions for their minor children was ‘an insult’ to parents who were receiving a benefit,” Mrs Smith continued.
“Moreover, any policy that forces parents to ‘choose’ between their child having all vaccines or none, puts children’s health at risk,” she added.
The greatest risk, of an “all or nothing” stance regarding vaccinations, Mrs Smith explained, would be for children who had begun to have progressively more serious adverse reactions to each vaccine that they received.
“Under normal circumstances, if a child were having increasingly severe side effects after each injection, many parents would decide against further vaccinations for that child,” Mrs Smith said, noting that in many case histories of vaccine-injured children, “a pattern of worsening reactions to each vaccine is evident prior to a child suffering a severe reaction from which they may never fully recover.”
The danger of using any sort of financial penalty to try to increase vaccination rates “is that financially stressed parents whose child has already had adverse reactions might feel they have no choice but to agree to that child having another vaccine – one that might lead to tragic consequences such as disability or even death,” she continued.
Mrs Smith added that it was “fortunate for vulnerable families” that in 2012 the NZ government decided against linking children’s vaccinations to parental benefits.
Prime Minister John Key recently acknowledged that vaccination could cause death in some cases, Mrs Smith stated.
Smith concluded: “It’s a shame that David Seymour doesn’t seem to realise that vaccination entails real risks and seems to think that using financial blackmail is an acceptable way of increasing vaccination rates.”
Note to media: Katherine Smith may be contacted for interviews via www.noforcedvaccines.org/contact/
Call for compulsory vaccination by prominent GP “alarming”
No Forced Vaccines,
April 19, 2015
The statement by GP Dr. Lance O’Sullivan who won the “New Zealander of the Year Award” in 2014 that parents should be “compelled” to have their children vaccinated is “frankly alarming”, according to Katherine Smith, spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines.
“I have no doubts that Dr. O’Sullivan is a dedicated doctor who cares about his patients and the community, and his recognition is well deserved given the initiatives he has taken to improve the health of people in Kaitaia, such as the Kainga Ora healthy housing initiative,” Mrs Smith says.
“However, his misguided advocacy of compulsion with regard to vaccination is frankly alarming, given that he is a doctor, and should therefore understand that medical ethics demand that except in extreme circumstances (such as an unconscious patient who needs emergency treatment to save his or her life), patients must be able to make a free and informed decision about their medical care.”
In practice, Mrs Smith explains, given that vaccination is a medical procedure that has serious risks, as well as potential benefits, health professionals who offer vaccination to their patients need to provide information about the benefits and risks of the vaccine. This allows people to make an informed decision about whether to be vaccinated.
In the case of vaccinations for children, their parents need to have this information to make a decision on behalf of their child, she says.
“For a doctor to advocate for vaccination to be compulsory, or to favour the use of financial penalties to try to coerce parents into vaccination their children shows a worrying disregard for basic medical ethics.” Mrs Smith continues. “Dr O’Sullivan’s statement that parents should be ‘compelled’ to have their children vaccinated suggests he has very little regard for the basic human right of people to make their own decisions about medical treatment for themselves and their minor children.
Noting that Prime Minister John Key had ruled out linking children’s vaccinations to benefits, Mrs Smith adds that it is reassuring that the government recognises that trying to coerce parents into vaccinating their children would be an infringement of the rights of both parents and children.
“Most Kiwi parents support vaccination, as evidenced by the fact that 94% of children here are now vaccinated – a record for NZ,” she adds. “Any type of compulsion with regard to vaccination is not only unethical but unnecessary.”
Prime Minister John Key to congratulated for support for human and parental rights
Press release from No Forced Vaccines, April 18, 2015
Immunisation decision “Important victory for human rights”
The announcement that parents who are on benefits will not be required to vaccinate their children is an “important victory for human rights” says Katherine Smith, spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines, a group that opposes coerced or forced vaccination. In the recently released “Welfare Reform Paper 3: Social Obligations for Parents” the Minister for Social Development, Paula Bennet stated that that she had “considered whether to establish an obligation in relation to child immunisation, but decided against this”. The minister wrote that decisions about vaccination “should remain with parents because immunisation is a medical procedure” and that “removing the right to refuse medical treatment would be an unjustifiable breach of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act”. The NZ Bill of Rights states that “everyone has the right to refuse to undergo any medical treatment”. Responding to Paula Bennet on this issue, Katherine Smith added: “Making a free and informed decision about any medical treatment, including vaccination is a basic human right.” Smith said. “No Forced Vaccines is very pleased that the government has recognised that any move to make vaccination compulsory for children in benefit-dependent families would be incompatible with the NZ Bill of Rights.” The challenge now for No Forced Vaccines will be to ensure that “the vaccination industry does not manipulate the NZ government into introducing any other coercive vaccination policies.” Smith added. NZ’s vaccination rate for two years olds currently stands at a record high 93%. – October 26, 2012
Government planning to link NZ children’s vaccinations to parents’ welfare benefits (May 11, 2012)
A document obtained under the Official Information Act shows that the government plans to link children’s vaccinations with parental benefits in the “second Welfare Reform Bill”, due to be introduced into Parliament in the second half of this year.
According to Health Report 20120196, the Ministries of Health and Social Development have been working together to explore “opportunities for incentivising parents to ensure children receive their scheduled immunisations.” Under the confidence and supply agreement between the National and Act parties, the government has undertaken to implement the Welfare Working Group recommendation “that beneficiaries be required to ensure that their children complete the 12 Well Child/Tamariki Ora health checks including completion of the immunisation schedule, (unless they make an informed choice not to.)”
The plan to implement the recommendation has been criticised by No Forced Vaccines, an organisation that opposes coerced or forced vaccination. “First of all, the wording of the recommendation is so ambiguous that it’s impossible to know for sure whether parents have to choose between all Well Child checks and all vaccinations or no Well Child checks and no vaccinations, or some other combination,” Smith stated, adding that she had sought clarification of this matter from the government but was told that the WWG had disbanded so the answer was unavailable.
“I think it’s an insult to vulnerable people for the government to consider any legislation that infringes on parents’ rights to decide freely whether they want their children to have either all recommended vaccinations, some of them or none – or for the government to dictate to parents which Well Child checks their children should, or shouldn’t have, just because the parents are on a benefit,” said Katherine Smith, the spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines. “I don’t think that people who have well paid jobs or their own successful businesses would put up with being treated in such an arrogant and patronising fashion.” Smith added.
Vaccination rates in NZ are at record high levels, and the majority of parents take their children to Well Child/Tamariki Ora health and development checks, Smith observed, “without any compulsion…because most parents support vaccination and also value the advice they can get from Plunket nurses and other Well Child providers.” That the government has been quietly working on legislation to link children’s vaccinations with parents’ benefits, Smith continued “shows a worrying lack of respect for parents’ rights” and “institutional denial” about the potential for vaccinations to cause serious adverse effects that can have long term consequence for children and their families. “While most children do not suffer any significant side effects after vaccination, there are children up and down the length of NZ whose health and development has been severely damaged by vaccines.” Smith said.
“Some of the families of these vaccine-injured children have given evidence on this matter the Health Select Committee, so the government cannot claim that it is ignorant of this problem. Given the potential of vaccines to cause devastating effects in some recipients, parents’ rights to freely decide about their children’s vaccination must be respected and the government must abandon its plans to link vaccinations to any form of government support for financially struggling families.”