Press release from No Forced Vaccines
October 26, 2012
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%.