Category Archives: NZ Political Parties’ Vaccination Policies

Act Party leader’s endorsement of Welfare Working group proposal “puts vulnerable children at risk”

No Forced Vaccines

Press Release

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 the using financial blackmail is an acceptable way of increasing vaccination rates.”

 

ENDS

 

Note to media: Katherine Smith may be contacted for interviews via www.noforcedvaccines.org/contact/

Election Guide (2011)

Election Guide

On October 28, 2011, No Forced Vaccines sent out a questionnaire regarding political parties policies concerning vaccination and specifically asking about parties’ positions about the recommendations of the Report of the Health Select Committee following its Inquiry into how to increase vaccination rates. (The text of the questionnaire will be at the bottom of this page.)

The coordinator for the site is not a member of any political party and does not know the political affiliations (if any) of the great majority of members/supporters of No Forced Vaccines.

Members of political parties who disagree with their party’s vaccination policy may like to consider working within their party to reform its policy.

NB: Letters from MPs/spokespeople from other parties concerning the Report of the Health Select Committee may be read at this link:

http://www.noforcedvaccines.org/political-responses/

 

 

To date(12/11/11)  two political parties have responded to the questionnaire.

In order of response, the replies have been received from:

 

Democrats for Social Credit (reply received 10/11/11)

Act  (reply received 11/11/11)

 

Reply from Democrats for Social Credit

“As a general indication of the Democrats for Social Credit approach to these matters (a) we are in favour of the public being given complete information regarding vaccines and (b) we absolutely oppose any compulsion regarding vaccination.
I have attached further comment (in red) to the individual questions below.
Yours sincerely,
David Tranter
Health Spokesman
Democrats for Social Credit.”

 

BELOW IS THE FULL REPLY FROM THE DEMOCRATS FOR SOCIAL CREDIT. ANSWERS TO SPECIFIC QUESTIONS ARE IN RED.

Dear Sirs/Madams,

On behalf of the group No Forced Vaccines I request your party’s position regarding key recommendations in the Report of the Health Select Committee following its Inquiry into how to improve immunisation completion rates.

This is a human rights matter of increasing public concern.

Response of political parties will be made available to the voting public on the website www.noforcedvaccines.org and distributed to a wide range of organisations which have an interest and health and human rights.

http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/BADCF722-D377-4451-8602-1E00938BFC74/188894/DBSCH_SCR_5060_Inquiryintohowtoimprovecompletionra.pdf

Please answer the following questions  by November 11.  (If you fail to respond to this questionnaire, it will be assumed that this is because your party supports the recommendations in the Report, and this will be noted on the organisation’s website.)

Thank you very much for your time.

Yours sincerely,

Katherine Smith

The questions are as follows:


1)  Is your party aware of the following provisions of the NZ Bills of Rights Act 1990 which pertains to medical treatment?     Yes.

New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990  Section 8 [Life]

“No one shall be deprived of life except on such grounds as are established by law and are consistent with the principles of fundamental justice.”  [This is relevant to vaccination since in rare cases adverse reactions may result in the death of the vaccine recipient.]

New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990  Section 10 [Experimentation]
“Every person has the right not to be subjected to medical or scientific experimentation without that person’s consent.”

New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990   Section 11 [Medical Treatment]
“Everyone has the right to refuse to undergo any medical treatment.”

2)  Is your party aware that the number of vaccinations that the Ministry of Health expects babies and children to receive has increased considerably in recent years; that vaccination can cause side effects that range from transient and trivial to severe and chronic or even life threatening and that there is a powerful pro-vaccine lobby that seeks to influence both government vaccination policy and the decisions of parents?  Yes.

For example:

2.1)  Are the health and welfare spokespeople for your party aware of the number of vaccines that the Ministry of Health recommends that babies and children aged from 6 weeks to four years receive?  (NB:  The current vaccination schedule may be downloaded from this link: http://www.immune.org.nz/?T=743)
Yes
2.2) Have your health and welfare spokespeople read the manufacturer’s datasheets (detailing vaccine ingredients, potential adverse effects etc.);  for each of the vaccines currently recommended for babies and preschool age children?  (NB:  The datasheet for each vaccine may be downloaded from Medsafe’s website by typing the name of the vaccine into the search box at the following link http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/Datasheet/dsform.asp )
No
2.3) Are the health and welfare spokespeople in your party aware of potential conflicts of interest between those promoting vaccines and the pharmaceutical companies which produce and/or market the vaccines?  (For example, that the Immunisation Advisory Centre – directed by Dr Nikki Turner – is funded by the NZ Ministry of Health but also receives financial support from “private industry” http://www.immune.org.nz/?t=1021 and has in the past  acknowledged  companies supplying vaccines to the NZ market as “sponsors”.)

Yes

3)  Regarding the recommendations of the Health Select Committee following its Inquiry into how to increase vaccination completion rates, how does your party stand on the following issues:

National vaccination targets:

3.1) Does your party support the recommended vaccination completion target of 95% of NZ babies and children aged 0-4 years to have received ALL recommended vaccinations? No

Vaccination and ECE/school enrolment:

3.2)  Does your party support the recommendation that parents should be required to produce documentation proving their children’s vaccination status as a condition of enrolling their child in an early childhood education centre or school? No

3.3)  Does your party support the recommendation that this documentation should be (i) a certificate stating that their child has had all recommended vaccinations for his/her age or (ii) a declination certificate stating that the parents have decided against vaccination? No

3.4)  Given that parents whose children have had some but not all vaccinations recommended for their age will not be able to supply the documentation required for enrolment that is specified in (3.3) will your party seek to modify any policy requiring documentation for school entry so that children who are partially vaccinated will be able to enrol in a school or ECE? Yes

Vaccination and access to government benefits/services:

3.5) Does your party support the recommendation that the Ministry of Health consider linking children’s vaccinations with “existing parental benefits”? No

3.6) If your party does support the recommendation that the Ministry of Health consider linking children’s vaccinations with “existing parental benefits” which “parental benefits” would your party support being linked to children’s vaccination status, and why?

In the Government Response to the Report of the Health Select Committee which may be downloaded from this link
( http://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/indexmh/immunisation ) there is the following statement:  “The Government is currently considering the Welfare Working Group’s final report, titled Reducing Long-Term Benefit Dependency. The Welfare Working Group recommended that every recipient of a welfare payment who is caring for children be required to ensure their children complete the 12 Well Child Tamariki Ora health checks, which include completion of the immunisation schedule, unless they make an informed choice not to.  The Ministry of Health is working with the Ministry of Social Development and other agencies to provide advice that will inform the Government’s response.”

3.7) Does your party support the agree that parents/guardians who are receiving any sort of benefit should have to choose between either all recommended vaccinations or none (as the text appears to imply) as a condition of receiving a benefit?  No

3.8)  Does your party support a requirement for parents/guardians who are receiving a benefit to ensure that their child/ren   complete all Well Child/Tamariki Ora checks (including a psychological asssessment as part of the B4 School check)? No

Dr Nikki Turner’s “Six star plan”:

4) Does your party support the recommendation to adopt Dr Nikki Turner’s “Six star plan”? [NB:  The Six Star Plan is in the appendix of the Report of the Health Select Committee which may be downloaded from the following link: http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/BADCF722-D377-4451-8602-1E00938BFC74/188894/DBSCH_SCR_5060_Inquiryintohowtoimprovecompletionra.pdf  ] No

4.1)  If your party does support the recommendation to adopt Dr Nikki Turner’s “Six star plan”, does your party support Nikki Turner’s proposal that eligibility for 20 Hour Free ECE funding be made conditional on parents supplying either:

(i) a certificate stating that their child has had all recommended vaccinations for his/her age or

(ii) a declination certificate stating that the parents have decided against vaccination

– given that if such a proposal were implemented, children who are partially vaccinated (or those whose parents cannot supply the required documentation for any other reason) would face discrimination and loss of their 20 Hours Free ECE funding?

4.2)   If your party does support the recommendation to adopt Dr Nikki Turner’s “Six star plan”,  that parents who are receiving “any child benefit”  will have to supply a “completed immunisation certificate or a declination form” when their child turns two years of age?

4.3)  If your party does support the recommendation to adopt Dr Nikki Turner’s “Six star plan”,  that parents who are receiving “any child benefit”  will have to supply a “completed immunisation certificate or a declination form” when their child turns two years of age, would your party make supplying the “completed immunisation certificate or declination form” a condition of continuing receipt of “any child benefit”.

4.4) If your party does plan to make supplying the “completed immunisation certificate or declination form” a condition of continuing receipt of “any child benefit”, please state which benefits you would include in the category of “any child benefit”.

Gagging of health professionals:

5)  Does your party support the recommendations in the Report that appear to be aimed at preventing health professionals who have concerns about either the safety, efficacy or morality of vaccines on the childhood vaccination schedule from sharing these concerns with their patients/clients or the public? No

Additional questions:

Human rights of adults and parents’ rights to make decisions for minor children:

6.1)  Does your party support the concept of individuals (adults) having freedom of choice and informed consent when it comes to medical treatment (including vaccinations)? Yes

6.2)  Does your party agree that it is parents/guardians who have the right to make medical decisions (including those concerning vaccinations) on behalf of their minor children (aged 15 years and younger)?
Yes
6.3)  Does your party support the right of adults to refuse vaccination – and not to be coerced into being vaccinated as a condition of  continued employment (or entry into) in any profession or course of study? Yes

6.4)  Is your party aware that the MMR vaccines used in NZ contain abortion-derived ingredients (the cell line in which the rubella viruses are grown is derived from aborted foetal tissue) therefore some parents (and other adults) who decide against MMR vaccination for themselves or their children do so due to religious reasons?  Any policy that thus ties vaccination completion to government benefits/services thus infringes on people’s human right to practice their religion. Yes

The right to informed consent prior to medical procedures:

7)  Does your party’s general policy in respect to vaccination acknowledge that parents/guardians of babies and children require comprehensive and accurate information about the risks, benefits, and treatments for “vaccine preventable” diseases as well as comprehensive and accurate information about the potential risks and benefits of vaccines that are included on the NZ national vaccination schedule so that parents/guardians can make an informed choice about which vaccination(s) (if any) they want their child/ren to receive (and at what age(s)? Yes

Transparency in the development/implementation of government health policy concerning vaccination:

8) Does your party support publicly-available “registers of interest” for those who are providing advice/lobbying on vaccination-related matters, including Ministry of Health staff, contractors and employees of organisations that receive Ministry of Health funding?  Yes

 

Reply from Act

“Hi,

Here are the answers about vaccines on behalf of ACT Party Health Spokesperson Robyn Stent. There were many question, we have given you general answers about our position after each set of answers.

Regards,

Clodagh”

 

BELOW IS THE FULL REPLY FROM ACT. ANSWERS TO SPECIFIC QUESTIONS ARE IN BOLD.

 

1)  Is your party aware of the following provisions of the NZ Bills of Rights Act 1990 which pertains to medical treatment?

New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990  Section 8 [Life]

“No one shall be deprived of life except on such grounds as are established by law and are consistent with the principles of fundamental justice.”  [This is relevant to vaccination since in rare cases adverse reactions may result in the death of the vaccine recipient.]

New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990  Section 10 [Experimentation]
“Every person has the right not to be subjected to medical or scientific experimentation without that person’s consent.”

New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990   Section 11 [Medical Treatment]
“Everyone has the right to refuse to undergo any medical treatment.”

Yes.

2)  Is your party aware that the number of vaccinations that the Ministry of Health expects babies and children to receive has increased considerably in recent years; that vaccination can cause side effects that range from transient and trivial to severe and chronic or even life threatening and that there is a powerful pro-vaccine lobby that seeks to influence both government vaccination policy and the decisions of parents?

For example:

2.1)  Are the health and welfare spokespeople for your party aware of the number of vaccines that the Ministry of Health recommends that babies and children aged from 6 weeks to four years receive?  (NB:  The current vaccination schedule may be downloaded from this link: http://www.immune.org.nz/?T=743)

2.2) Have your health and welfare spokespeople read the manufacturer’s datasheets (detailing vaccine ingredients, potential adverse effects etc.);  for each of the vaccines currently recommended for babies and preschool age children?  (NB:  The datasheet for each vaccine may be downloaded from Medsafe’s website by typing the name of the vaccine into the search box at the following link http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/Datasheet/dsform.asp )

2.3) Are the health and welfare spokespeople in your party aware of potential conflicts of interest between those promoting vaccines and the pharmaceutical companies which produce and/or market the vaccines?  (For example, that the Immunisation Advisory Centre – directed by Dr Nikki Turner – is funded by the NZ Ministry of Health but also receives financial support from “private industry” http://www.immune.org.nz/?t=1021 and has in the past  acknowledged  companies supplying vaccines to the NZ market as “sponsors”.)

 

ACT is aware that the number of vaccines children now have has increased, but we believe these are vitally important to protect our children against disease. ACT doesn’t believe in compulsory vaccination but believes that the role of the public health sector is to educate people as to the importance of vaccines.

3)  Regarding the recommendations of the Health Select Committee following its Inquiry into how to increase vaccination completion rates, how does your party stand on the following issues:

National vaccination targets:

3.1) Does your party support the recommended vaccination completion target of 95% of NZ babies and children aged 0-4 years to have received ALL recommended vaccinations?

Yes

Vaccination and ECE/school enrolment:

3.2)  Does your party support the recommendation that parents should be required to produce documentation proving their children’s vaccination status as a condition of enrolling their child in an early childhood education centre or school?

3.3)  Does your party support the recommendation that this documentation should be (i) a certificate stating that their child has had all recommended vaccinations for his/her age or (ii) a declination certificate stating that the parents have decided against vaccination?

3.4)  Given that parents whose children have had some but not all vaccinations recommended for their age will not be able to supply the documentation required for enrolment that is specified in (3.3) will your party seek to modify any policy requiring documentation for school entry so that children who are partially vaccinated will be able to enrol in a school or ECE?

ACT supports getting as many children vaccinated as possible. We are open to exploring all the recommendations of Health Select Committee about how to get more children immunised, such as requiring children to be vaccinated before they go to school or childcare.

Vaccination and access to government benefits/services:

3.5) Does your party support the recommendation that the Ministry of Health consider linking children’s vaccinations with “existing parental benefits”?

3.6) If your party does support the recommendation that the Ministry of Health consider linking children’s vaccinations with “existing parental benefits” which “parental benefits” would your party support being linked to children’s vaccination status, and why?

In the Government Response to the Report of the Health Select Committee which may be downloaded from this link
( http://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/indexmh/immunisation ) there is the following statement:  “The Government is currently considering the Welfare Working Group’s final report, titled Reducing Long-Term Benefit Dependency. The Welfare Working Group recommended that every recipient of a welfare payment who is caring for children be required to ensure their children complete the 12 Well Child Tamariki Ora health checks, which include completion of the immunisation schedule, unless they make an informed choice not to.  The Ministry of Health is working with the Ministry of Social Development and other agencies to provide advice that will inform the Government’s response.”

3.7) Does your party support the agree that parents/guardians who are receiving any sort of benefit should have to choose between either all recommended vaccinations or none (as the text appears to imply) as a condition of receiving a benefit?

3.8)  Does your party support a requirement for parents/guardians who are receiving a benefit to ensure that their child/ren   complete all Well Child/Tamariki Ora checks (including a psychological asssessment as part of the B4 School check)?

ACT supports getting as many children vaccinated as possible. We are open to exploring all the recommendations of Health Select Committee about how to get more children immunised.

Dr Nikki Turner’s “Six star plan”:

4) Does your party support the recommendation to adopt Dr Nikki Turner’s “Six star plan”? [NB:  The Six Star Plan is in the appendix of the Report of the Health Select Committee which may be downloaded from the following link: http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/BADCF722-D377-4451-8602-1E00938BFC74/188894/DBSCH_SCR_5060_Inquiryintohowtoimprovecompletionra.pdf  ]

4.1)  If your party does support the recommendation to adopt Dr Nikki Turner’s “Six star plan”, does your party support Nikki Turner’s proposal that eligibility for 20 Hour Free ECE funding be made conditional on parents supplying either:

(i) a certificate stating that their child has had all recommended vaccinations for his/her age or

(ii) a declination certificate stating that the parents have decided against vaccination

– given that if such a proposal were implemented, children who are partially vaccinated (or those whose parents cannot supply the required documentation for any other reason) would face discrimination and loss of their 20 Hours Free ECE funding?

4.2)   If your party does support the recommendation to adopt Dr Nikki Turner’s “Six star plan”,  that parents who are receiving “any child benefit”  will have to supply a “completed immunisation certificate or a declination form” when their child turns two years of age?

4.3)  If your party does support the recommendation to adopt Dr Nikki Turner’s “Six star plan”,  that parents who are receiving “any child benefit”  will have to supply a “completed immunisation certificate or a declination form” when their child turns two years of age, would your party make supplying the “completed immunisation certificate or declination form” a condition of continuing receipt of “any child benefit”.

4.4) If your party does plan to make supplying the “completed immunisation certificate or declination form” a condition of continuing receipt of “any child benefit”, please state which benefits you would include in the category of “any child benefit”.

Yes ACT does support Dr Turner’s Six Star Plan. The plan focuses on greater education for parents and the community about immunisation and using primary health carers to track children to ensure they are up to date with immunisation. We feel this is the best way to lift the rate of vaccination.
Gagging of health professionals:

5)  Does your party support the recommendations in the Report that appear to be aimed at preventing health professionals who have concerns about either the safety, efficacy or morality of vaccines on the childhood vaccination schedule from sharing these concerns with their patients/clients or the public?

ACT believes the Government should have no role in telling doctors what kind of medical advice they give their patients. Doctors should present their patients with all the information and the vast majority of medical evidence points to the fact that the merits of vaccination outweigh the risks.
Additional questions:

Human rights of adults and parents’ rights to make decisions for minor children:

6.1)  Does your party support the concept of individuals (adults) having freedom of choice and informed consent when it comes to medical treatment (including vaccinations)?

6.2)  Does your party agree that it is parents/guardians who have the right to make medical decisions (including those concerning vaccinations) on behalf of their minor children (aged 15 years and younger)?

6.3)  Does your party support the right of adults to refuse vaccination – and not to be coerced into being vaccinated as a condition of  continued employment (or entry into) in any profession or course of study?

6.4)  Is your party aware that the MMR vaccines used in NZ contain abortion-derived ingredients (the cell line in which the rubella viruses are grown is derived from aborted foetal tissue) therefore some parents (and other adults) who decide against MMR vaccination for themselves or their children do so due to religious reasons?  Any policy that thus ties vaccination completion to government benefits/services thus infringes on people’s human right to practice their religion.

 

As stated earlier ACT strongly believes that New Zealand needs to increase our rate of immunisation as it protects people against fatal disease. However we don’t support compulsion and think education and incentives are the best tools to encourage vaccination.
The right to informed consent prior to medical procedures:

7)  Does your party’s general policy in respect to vaccination acknowledge that parents/guardians of babies and children require comprehensive and accurate information about the risks, benefits, and treatments for “vaccine preventable” diseases as well as comprehensive and accurate information about the potential risks and benefits of vaccines that are included on the NZ national vaccination schedule so that parents/guardians can make an informed choice about which vaccination(s) (if any) they want their child/ren to receive (and at what age(s)?

Yes and this is a legal requirement in New Zealand under the Code of Health and Disability Consumer’s Rights.
Transparency in the development/implementation of government health policy concerning vaccination:

8) Does your party support publicly-available “registers of interest” for those who are providing advice/lobbying on vaccination-related matters, including Ministry of Health staff, contractors and employees of organisations that receive Ministry of Health funding?

 We have no policy on this particular issue.

 

Clodagh O’Connor-McKenna

Researcher

 

 

Text of Letter Sent Out to All Parties Known to be  Standing Candidates in the 2011 General Election

Dear Sirs/Madams,

On behalf of the group No Forced Vaccines I request your party’s position regarding key recommendations in the Report of the Health Select Committee following its Inquiry into how to improve immunisation completion rates.

This is a human rights matter of increasing public concern.

Response of political parties will be made available to the voting public on the website www.noforcedvaccines.org and distributed to a wide range of organisations which have an interest and health and human rights.

http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/BADCF722-D377-4451-8602-1E00938BFC74/188894/DBSCH_SCR_5060_Inquiryintohowtoimprovecompletionra.pdf

Please answer the following questions within by November 11.  (If you fail to respond to this questionnaire, it will be assumed that this is because your party supports the recommendations in the Report, and this will be noted on the organisation’s website.)

Thank you very much for your time.

Yours sincerely,

Katherine Smith

The questions are as follows:


1)  Is your party aware of the following provisions of the NZ Bills of Rights Act 1990 which pertains to medical treatment?

New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990  Section 8 [Life]

“No one shall be deprived of life except on such grounds as are established by law and are consistent with the principles of fundamental justice.”  [This is relevant to vaccination since in rare cases adverse reactions may result in the death of the vaccine recipient.]

New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990  Section 10 [Experimentation]
“Every person has the right not to be subjected to medical or scientific experimentation without that person’s consent.”

New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990   Section 11 [Medical Treatment]
“Everyone has the right to refuse to undergo any medical treatment.”

2)  Is your party aware that the number of vaccinations that the Ministry of Health expects babies and children to receive has increased considerably in recent years; that vaccination can cause side effects that range from transient and trivial to severe and chronic or even life threatening and that there is a powerful pro-vaccine lobby that seeks to influence both government vaccination policy and the decisions of parents?

For example:

2.1)  Are the health and welfare spokespeople for your party aware of the number of vaccines that the Ministry of Health recommends that babies and children aged from 6 weeks to four years receive?  (NB:  The current vaccination schedule may be downloaded from this link: http://www.immune.org.nz/?T=743)

2.2) Have your health and welfare spokespeople read the manufacturer’s datasheets (detailing vaccine ingredients, potential adverse effects etc.);  for each of the vaccines currently recommended for babies and preschool age children?  (NB:  The datasheet for each vaccine may be downloaded from Medsafe’s website by typing the name of the vaccine into the search box at the following link http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/Datasheet/dsform.asp )

2.3) Are the health and welfare spokespeople in your party aware of potential conflicts of interest between those promoting vaccines and the pharmaceutical companies which produce and/or market the vaccines?  (For example, that the Immunisation Advisory Centre – directed by Dr Nikki Turner – is funded by the NZ Ministry of Health but also receives financial support from “private industry” http://www.immune.org.nz/?t=1021 and has in the past  acknowledged  companies supplying vaccines to the NZ market as “sponsors”.)

3)  Regarding the recommendations of the Health Select Committee following its Inquiry into how to increase vaccination completion rates, how does your party stand on the following issues:

National vaccination targets:

3.1) Does your party support the recommended vaccination completion target of 95% of NZ babies and children aged 0-4 years to have received ALL recommended vaccinations?

Vaccination and ECE/school enrolment:

3.2)  Does your party support the recommendation that parents should be required to produce documentation proving their children’s vaccination status as a condition of enrolling their child in an early childhood education centre or school?

3.3)  Does your party support the recommendation that this documentation should be (i) a certificate stating that their child has had all recommended vaccinations for his/her age or (ii) a declination certificate stating that the parents have decided against vaccination?

3.4)  Given that parents whose children have had some but not all vaccinations recommended for their age will not be able to supply the documentation required for enrolment that is specified in (3.3) will your party seek to modify any policy requiring documentation for school entry so that children who are partially vaccinated will be able to enrol in a school or ECE?

Vaccination and access to government benefits/services:

3.5) Does your party support the recommendation that the Ministry of Health consider linking children’s vaccinations with “existing parental benefits”?

3.6) If your party does support the recommendation that the Ministry of Health consider linking children’s vaccinations with “existing parental benefits” which “parental benefits” would your party support being linked to children’s vaccination status, and why?

In the Government Response to the Report of the Health Select Committee which may be downloaded from this link
( http://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/indexmh/immunisation ) there is the following statement:  “The Government is currently considering the Welfare Working Group’s final report, titled Reducing Long-Term Benefit Dependency. The Welfare Working Group recommended that every recipient of a welfare payment who is caring for children be required to ensure their children complete the 12 Well Child Tamariki Ora health checks, which include completion of the immunisation schedule, unless they make an informed choice not to.  The Ministry of Health is working with the Ministry of Social Development and other agencies to provide advice that will inform the Government’s response.”

3.7) Does your party support the agree that parents/guardians who are receiving any sort of benefit should have to choose between either all recommended vaccinations or none (as the text appears to imply) as a condition of receiving a benefit?

3.8)  Does your party support a requirement for parents/guardians who are receiving a benefit to ensure that their child/ren   complete all Well Child/Tamariki Ora checks (including a psychological asssessment as part of the B4 School check)?

Dr Nikki Turner’s “Six star plan”:

4) Does your party support the recommendation to adopt Dr Nikki Turner’s “Six star plan”? [NB:  The Six Star Plan is in the appendix of the Report of the Health Select Committee which may be downloaded from the following link: http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/BADCF722-D377-4451-8602-1E00938BFC74/188894/DBSCH_SCR_5060_Inquiryintohowtoimprovecompletionra.pdf  ]

4.1)  If your party does support the recommendation to adopt Dr Nikki Turner’s “Six star plan”, does your party support Nikki Turner’s proposal that eligibility for 20 Hour Free ECE funding be made conditional on parents supplying either:

(i) a certificate stating that their child has had all recommended vaccinations for his/her age or

(ii) a declination certificate stating that the parents have decided against vaccination

– given that if such a proposal were implemented, children who are partially vaccinated (or those whose parents cannot supply the required documentation for any other reason) would face discrimination and loss of their 20 Hours Free ECE funding?

4.2)   If your party does support the recommendation to adopt Dr Nikki Turner’s “Six star plan”,  that parents who are receiving “any child benefit”  will have to supply a “completed immunisation certificate or a declination form” when their child turns two years of age?

4.3)  If your party does support the recommendation to adopt Dr Nikki Turner’s “Six star plan”,  that parents who are receiving “any child benefit”  will have to supply a “completed immunisation certificate or a declination form” when their child turns two years of age, would your party make supplying the “completed immunisation certificate or declination form” a condition of continuing receipt of “any child benefit”.

4.4) If your party does plan to make supplying the “completed immunisation certificate or declination form” a condition of continuing receipt of “any child benefit”, please state which benefits you would include in the category of “any child benefit”.

Gagging of health professionals:

5)  Does your party support the recommendations in the Report that appear to be aimed at preventing health professionals who have concerns about either the safety, efficacy or morality of vaccines on the childhood vaccination schedule from sharing these concerns with their patients/clients or the public?

Additional questions:

Human rights of adults and parents’ rights to make decisions for minor children:

6.1)  Does your party support the concept of individuals (adults) having freedom of choice and informed consent when it comes to medical treatment (including vaccinations)?

6.2)  Does your party agree that it is parents/guardians who have the right to make medical decisions (including those concerning vaccinations) on behalf of their minor children (aged 15 years and younger)?

6.3)  Does your party support the right of adults to refuse vaccination – and not to be coerced into being vaccinated as a condition of  continued employment (or entry into) in any profession or course of study?

6.4)  Is your party aware that the MMR vaccines used in NZ contain abortion-derived ingredients (the cell line in which the rubella viruses are grown is derived from aborted foetal tissue) therefore some parents (and other adults) who decide against MMR vaccination for themselves or their children do so due to religious reasons?  Any policy that thus ties vaccination completion to government benefits/services thus infringes on people’s human right to practice their religion.

The right to informed consent prior to medical procedures:

7)  Does your party’s general policy in respect to vaccination acknowledge that parents/guardians of babies and children require comprehensive and accurate information about the risks, benefits, and treatments for “vaccine preventable” diseases as well as comprehensive and accurate information about the potential risks and benefits of vaccines that are included on the NZ national vaccination schedule so that parents/guardians can make an informed choice about which vaccination(s) (if any) they want their child/ren to receive (and at what age(s)?

Transparency in the development/implementation of government health policy concerning vaccination:

8) Does your party support publicly-available “registers of interest” for those who are providing advice/lobbying on vaccination-related matters, including Ministry of Health staff, contractors and employees of organisations that receive Ministry of Health funding?

Edit

MPs Respond to Vaccination Issue

Political Responses

This page is where the responses of members of  different political parties to the issue of freedom of choice concerning vaccination are posted.  (Political parties can email the Coordinator through the Contact page with statements or press releases on the issues raised by the Report of the Health Select Committee following its Inquiry into how to increase immunisation completion rates and similar issues.)

The coordinator for the site is not a member of any political party and does not know the political affiliations (if any) of the great majority of members/supporters of No Forced Vaccines.

The Health Select Committee  that produced the Report on increasing vaccination rates was a multi-party committee and included representatives from National, Labour and also included one Green party MP. (The majority of the MPs were National Party MPs.)

Any MPs who were part of the Select Committee who disagreed with the recommendations in the Report had the option of producing a minority report. The fact that they did not do this suggests that the parties listed above agreed with the coercive recommendations in the Report at least at the time that it was written.  (The Green Party has since gone on record as opposing the coercive recommendations – see below.)

If you are a member of a political  party, and disagree with the recommendations in the Report, you may like to address this issue within your party.

There are currently six political responses (they are ranked in most recent to least recent):

1) An email from Peter Dunne (leader of UnitedFuture, Minister of Inland Revenue and Associate Minister of Health) stating his party’s support for parents to have information about vaccination so that they can make “informed decisions”.

2) An email from Green Party healthspokesman Kevin Hague stating the Green Party’s support of parents’ rights  to choose which vaccine(s) (if any) their children receive without financial penalties.

3) An email from National Party MP Michael Woodhouse who was a member of the Health Select Committee that made the recommendations (replying to the same letter to which MP Jacqui Dean (see below) was also replying

4) An email from National Party MP Jacqui Dean in response to a letter from a member of No Forced Vaccines (and the letter to which Jacqui Dean was replying)

5) A letter from a National Party MP Michael Woodhouse who was a member of the Health Select Committee that produced the Report on vaccination.

6) A press release from the Kiwi Party stating its opposition to a coercive vaccination policy and emphasising its support for parents’ rights to make vaccination decisions for their children.

 

 

Response 1

On August 26, 2011,  Peter Dunne (leader of UnitedFuture, Minister of Inland Revenue and Associate Minister of Health) sent the following message through the Contact page:

“UnitedFuture wants to ensure that information about immunisation is widely
circulated, including the latest international developments, to promote informed
decisions by parents.”

(United Future does not currently have a position regarding the issue of linking children’s vaccinations to any type of “welfare benefit” or enrollment at an early childhood centre or school.)

 

Response 2

 

June 22, 2011

Dear Katherine

 

Metiria passed on your email to me as Health spokesperson, and has done a good job of outlining our situation below. Our official position is influenced by the fact that we do not have a firm policy on it as we don’t have consensus from our members. However there are some key points on which we all do agree;

 

  1. Immunisation is an individual medical choice, and should never be mandatory. Nor should it be promoted in a way that makes people feel pressured into being immunised, or immunising their children.
  2. Parents should have access to impartial information which provides them with information about the risks and benefits of immunisation, so that all individuals (and parents in the case of children) can make an informed decision about immunisation.
  3. Parents should not be penalised for not immunising their children, nor should there be incentive payments or rewards or access to other goods and services, or any linking of immunisation to benefit entitlement.
  4. Some parents will choose to have their child immunised against some diseases, but not others. No parents should be forced to make a decision between their child having all immunisations or having none.

 

I am confident that the intent of the Select Committee’s report is not to require parents to choose between their child having all available immunisations or none at all, or to force immunisation in any way. The Government’s response seems to support this position too. However, should Government respond to the Committee’s report in either of these ways, then the Green Party will oppose them.

 

I hope that clarifies our stance for you.

 

Naku noa na

 

Kevin Hague

 

Response 3

 

Dear [NAME REMOVED TO PROTECT MEMBER’S PRIVACY]

 

Thank you for your email.  I am very familiar with the report, having been one of its authors.

 

Parents who have made a conscious decision to immunise, or not to immunise, have nothing to be concerned about and are not the focus of the recommendations to which you refer.  The focus is on ambivalent parents.  Enrolment in education is an excellent opportunity to remind parents of the importance of immunisation.

 

The Government is not obliged to accept the Committee’s recommendations including those contained in Dr Nicky Turner’s Six Star Plan.  The recommendations are intended to be positive not punitive and while the committee considered the issue of exclusion from education for non-compliance, it did not make such a recommendation.

 

I absolutely support parental sovereignty over decisions on children’s care and welfare and the strategies recommended by the Committee are designed to reduce the level of ambivalence about this most important issue. It is certainly not intended to be punitive and there will always be protection for conscientious objection in respect of vaccination.

 

Thank you for expressing your views on the Select Committee report.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Michael Woodhouse

 

Response 4

 

From: Jacqui Dean MP
To: [NAME REMOVED TO PROTECT MEMBER’S PRIVACY]
Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2011 11:39 AM
Subject: RE: Discrimination as a result of Dr Nikki Turner’s proposal to the government

Dear [NAME REMOVED TO PROTECT MEMBER’S PRIVACY]

Thank you for your e-mail and sharing your concerns.

The Committee makes it clear in the report that the inquiry was not undertaken to make immunisation compulsory and acknowledges that there must be room for parents who object.  The Committee seeks to identify ways to improve immunisation completion rates.  Immunisation is one of the most effective tools we have to prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases that can lead to serious complications for children.  These complications, which may lead to hospitalisation, and the impact of these diseases on families, communities, and our health system, is why increased immunisation is one of the Government’s Health Targets.

The Committee recommends in its report that the Ministry of Health explore various options for improving the timeliness and completion rates of immunisation.  These include the possibility of linking existing parental benefits to immunisation and strengthening the requirements on parents enrolling their children in an early childhood education centre or school to present immunisation information.  The latter would involve parents being required to produce a certificate showing their child has had all the recommended immunisations for their age, or a written statement that they have declined to immunise their child.  This is not a proposal to restrict the entrance of children who have not received immunisations.

The report also highlights the importance of parents making informed decisions about immunisation.  It recommends that the Ministry ensure parents are provided with up-to-date, readily accessible information about the adverse effects as well as the benefits of immunisation.  The Government is carefully considering the recommendations of the report and will respond on 22 June 2011.

Hope your find this helpful feedback.

Kind regards

Jacqui

Jacqui Dean MP for Waitaki
T: 03 434 7325
F: 03 434 7359
W: www.jacquidean.co.nz

Disclaimer: The information contained in this e-mail is intended for the named recipient only. It may contain privileged material or information in confidence and if you are not the intended recipient, you must not copy, distribute or take any action in reliance on it. If you have received this e-mail in error, please notify us immediately by telephone (03) 434 7325 or e-mail waitaki.mp@parliament.govt.nz

 

 

Below is the letter sent by the No Forced Vaccines’ member to Jacqui Dean. (Astute readers will note that Ms Dean does not respond to the concerns expressed by the No Forced Vaccines member about discrimination against children who are “partially  vaccinated” ; that is, those who have had some, but not all, of the vaccinations recommended for their age.)

 

From: [NAME REMOVED TO PROTECT MEMBER’S PRIVACY]
Sent: Wednesday, 15 June 2011 8:06 p.m.
To: Jacqui Dean MP
Subject: Discrimination as a result of Dr Nikki Turner’s proposal to the government

 

Dear Jacqui Dean (my local MP)

 

On March 26, 2011, the Health Select Committee made a report to the government on its Inquiry into how improve completion rates of childhood immunization.

You can read the full report here:

http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/BADCF722-D377-4451-8602-1E00938BFC74/188894/DBSCH_SCR_5060_Inquiryintohowtoimprovecompletionra

There are recommendations in this report that are extremely disturbing. They include;

 

  • forcing parents to provide a written declaration regarding their choice not to vaccinate when enrolling their children into schools or preschools

 

  • “examining the possibility of linking existing parental benefits to immunization.”

 

 

Dr Nikki Turner wants to discriminate against families who have chosen not to vaccinate or partially vaccinate their children. She proposes to do this by;

 

  • removing 20 Hours Free Early Childhood Education (pg 33 of report) from parents who have not provided the necessary information or from those who have decided to partially vaccinate.

 

How is it that children who have a right to schooling can suddenly be discriminated against and denied free child-care on the basis of their vaccination status?

There are many reasons why parents choose not to vaccinate. Often parents who choose not to vaccinate or to partially vaccinate are stereotyped as ignorant middle class members who have alternative views to keeping their kids healthy through diet and organic food.  While most of this picture is true, they are certainly not ignorant. With so little information available on the dangers of vaccination from the Ministry of Health, you can be assured that anyone choosing not to vaccinate must have done some research to make that decision.

I do not wish to assume you ignorant about the matters of vaccinations, but in case you are unaware, vaccinations contain toxic ingredients such as Aluminum, Formaldehyde, and Mercury. These are especially lethal to children with autoimmune deficiencies. Also, the chance of severe reactions increase with each booster shot a child receives. In NZ, a child receives 12 shots by the time they are twelve, with an extra offered for girls, and so  many parents are fearful of their child becoming damaged due to a vaccine. This is a valid fear. In America, parents of children who have been damaged by vaccines are actually financially compensated. Is it fair then to discriminate against these parents who have made informed decisions and who genuinely believe and fear for the health of their children if they receive vaccinations?  It is a person’s right to choose whether or not they take a drug/medicine that has life threatening side effects.  This right would then be revoked if they were discriminated against because of their vaccination status.

While I have no real problem with signing a declaration form stating my choice for my child’s health, my fear is that with Dr Nikki Turner’s proposal, this would become a difficult thing in the future. What if I had to pay for this form or had to obtain a doctor’s signature to complete the form. This would not only inconvenience me, but also the doctor, and what if they refused to sign it? All this would pose problems for me as a parent and for my child, who would therefore miss out on childcare. Why should these hurdles be set up for me when I have valid reasons for choosing not to vaccinate in the first place? Also, why only for me and not for those choosing to vaccinate? As you can see, there is a real danger in breaching the rights of both parents and children by linking vaccination status to enrolment and financial assistance.

If you, as a concerned politician, were interested in reading a very good resource on this, might I recommend the book, “Investigate before you Vaccinate” by Sue Claridge. I’m sure after reading this, you would also find yourself considering seriously if you would want your own children vaccinated.

I hope you will do everything in your power to support parents’ rights to make health care decisions for their children without duress or financial disadvantage.  My family and I thank you.

 

Yours sincerely,

[NAME REMOVED TO PROTECT MEMBER’S PRIVACY]

 

 

 Response 5

 

2)  The letter below was sent to a member of No Forced Vaccines who wrote to Mr Woodhouse and explained that her children were currently completely unvaccinated but she was planning for them to have some limited vaccines in the future and was concerned that the recommended changes to vaccination policy might adversely affect her children.

 

 

Response 6

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE KIWI PARTY

Parents’ Right to Choose

The Kiwi PartyPress Release

May 6, 2011
“The Kiwi Party supports all parents and caregivers’ rights to
freely choose, without pressure from the State, whether or not to
vaccinate their children”, says Robyn Jackson Natural Health
spokesperson for the party.  “And no child should suffer
discrimination because of their vaccination status”, added Jackson.

“Currently a number of parents are expressing their concern over
the recommendations in the Report of the Health Select Committee’s
inquiry on ‘How to Improve Immunisation Completion Rates in New
Zealand’ which, if implemented as they currently stand, would place
them under increasing pressure to vaccinate their children.  In a free
society, this is utterly unacceptable”, says Jackson.

“Amongst a number of other concerns in these recommendations is
that the legal right of ‘Informed Consent’, which is a fundamental
concept in the provision of health care services in a democratic
society, would change dramatically. Without ‘Informed Consent’,
parents’ rights to ask, and have access to, all evidence-based
information, would stop doctors from being able to freely give that
information.

“This is not about whether one is for or against vaccinations,
but about the loss of Informed Consent and the freedom for parents to
choose what they consider is best for their children’s health. Even
the Ministry of Health, in correspondence with the Select Committee,
expressed concern about Dr Nikki Turner’s ’5 Point Plan’ to increase
vaccination rates. This Plan is now included as part of the Select
Committee’s recommendation awaiting the National Government’s
approval. If the recommendations as they currently stand are passed
into law, this represents a significant attack on parents’ rights to
make health care decisions for their children.

“The National Party should think carefully about adopting these
recommendations as, if they do, not only will it be over-riding the
fundamental concept of Informed Consent, but it will also result in a
gross invasion into Kiwi families’ lives”, concluded Jackson.

Ends