Proposal to Ban Unvaccinated Children from Childcare “Assault on Parents’ and Children’s Rights”
No Forced Vaccines, Press release March 14, 2017
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s support for banning unvaccinated children from childcare centres and preschools “shows a worrying lack of knowledge about the risks of vaccines and a lack of respects for the parents’ and children’s rights”, according to Katherine Smith, spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines, a New Zealand based organisation that opposes forced or coerced vaccination.
“Parents have the right to choose whether or not to vaccinate their children,” Smith says, adding that Australia’s current childhood vaccination rate (95%) shows that most parents support vaccination.
Those parents who choose not to vaccinate, she says, are usually well educated middle class parents who have made this decision after carefully weighing up the risks and benefits of the procedure.
“Parents make vaccination decisions based on the best interests of their children,” Smith says, adding that vaccines were “well documented to cause a variety of side effects ranging from mild adverse effects to fatal adverse reactions” and while these risks were acceptable to some parents, others parents’ perception was that their children’s health was better served by avoiding the risks of vaccination.
“For a government to use any sort of coercive tactics to try to increase vaccination rates is not acceptable in a democracy where people have the right to make a free and informed decision about medical treatment.”
Australian parents who had made an informed decision not to vaccinate their children would no doubt be “extremely concerned about their Prime Minister’s proposal that their healthy children should be banned from childcare or preschool and the potential impact on their children’s education and family finances if such a discriminatory ban were to become a reality,” Smith added.
Smith said that she was “relieved” that the current NZ government, while a strong supporter of vaccination, did not consider denying unvaccinated children the opportunity to attend a childcare centre or preschool to be an appropriate way to increase vaccination rates.
She was concerned that a quote from Andrew Little suggested that he thought that the idea of banning unvaccinated children from childcare centres or preschools was worth considering.
“I hope that Mr. Little will reconsider this position once he gives the matter some thought. New Zealand parents deserve respect for the job that they are doing raising the next generation of New Zealanders and it is not the government’s place to interfere with the healthcare decisions that parents make in the best interests of their healthy babies and children by using coercive tactics to increase vaccination rates.
“I hope that Mr. Little will educate himself about New Zealand’s already very high vaccination rates, and how these have been achieved, as well as the reasons why some parents choose not to vaccinate their children” she added.
“I hope Mr. Little will attend the New Zealand premiere of the film Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe that details how evidence of a vaccine-autism link was covered up by scientists from the US Centers for Disease Control. This will help him to understand why some parents prefer not to vaccinate their children – or to avoid the use of some vaccines that they consider to pose unacceptable risks to their children’s health”, Smith concluded.
NB: Information about the premiere of Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe (in English, Tongan, Samoan and Chinese) may be found by clicking HERE.
A NZ media report with comments by Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman and Andrew Little (leader of the Labour party) may be accessed by clicking HERE.