Questions and Answer about Measles, Mumps and Rubella

Website Editor’s Note:  This post is intended to provide a basic  overview of measles, mumps and rubella.

It has been intentionally written in simple, non- technical English.

(If you are bi-lingual and would be interested in volunteering to translate the information on this page into another language, please contact No Forced vaccines via our contact form at this link http://www.noforcedvaccines.org/contact/ )

Links at the end of the article provide access to more detailed information, including some information suitable for health professionals.

Please note that the information below is not intended to replace a consultation with a health professional to discussion options for the prevention or treatment of these infections.

 

Q:  What are measles, mumps and rubella?

A: They are illnesses that are caused by viruses.

 

Q:  What are the symptoms?

A: Measles is an illness that starts with a cough and runny nose and sore eyes and a fever. Then comes a red rash which gradually fades. It is generally a mild to moderately serious illness in children who are usually healthy.

Mumps is an illness with a fever and swollen face (which is due to swollen salivary glands).  A headache is another common symptom. Mumps is generally a mild illness in children who are usually healthy.

Rubella is an illness with a red rash and a fever.  Rubella is usually a mild illness in in children who are usually healthy.

It is important for children to have good care while they have measles, mumps and rubella. This can help to prevent complications, such as ear infections, pneumonia or meningitis or brain inflammation (encephalitis).  In NZ, where children are generally well nourished and healthy the risk of death or disability from measles, mumps or rubella for children is very low.

However for  children who have a serious illness (such as cancer) these illnesses, especially measles, can be very serious and may cause life-threatening complications and the risk of death is substantially higher. (For this reason, these children should be under the care of a specialist doctor who should be advised if exposure to these infections is known or suspected.)

 

Q:  Is there a vaccine available in NZ for measles, mumps and rubella?

A:  Yes, in NZ vaccination with the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella vaccine) can be used to try to prevent these illnesses.  This vaccine contains live (weakened) measles, mumps and rubella vaccines and is given by injection. It is free to children in NZ (because it is taxpayer subsidised.)

After an MMR vaccination, many children experience side effects. These side effects can include fever, rash, and cough. More serious side effects may include sore joints, seizures, meningitis and paralysis. (More information on side effects in English may be found at this link: http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/Datasheet/p/Priorixvac.pdf or http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/Datasheet/m/MMRIIinj.pdf )

If you choose to be vaccinated (or for your child to be vaccinated) you may like to first read the information in the section called “Choosing to Vaccinate” at the brochure that may be downloaded from this link:  http://wavesnz.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/WAVESnz-Brochure-PRINT.pdf

A single measles vaccine is not available at present in NZ.

Single rubella and single mumps vaccines are not available in NZ either.

 

Q:  Is there an alternative to MMR vaccination?

A:  Some parents choose not to vaccinate their children with MMR vaccine. Some of these parents expect that their children will be develop measles, mumps and rubella some time in their childhood and thereafter become immune to these illnesses prior to adulthood.

Some of these parents who choose not to vaccinate their children with the MMR vaccine choose “homoeopathic immunisation” (also known as “homoeoprophylaxis” or homeoprophylaxis) as an option to try to prevent their child from developing measles, mumps or rubella. Homoeoprophylaxis is available in tablets or drops from some practitioners of homoeopathy. Homoeopathic immunisation may cause a fever. (An introduction to homoeoprophylaxis may be read at this link: http://www.naturalmedicine.net.nz/news/an-introduction-to-homeoprophylaxis/)

 

Q:  If I choose not to use vaccination or homoeopathic immunisation (or vaccination or homoeopathic immunisation does not prevent these diseases) are there treatments for measles, mumps and rubella?

A: Yes.  Illnesses caused by viruses, like measles, mumps and rubella can be treated using vitamin C.  A health professional can advise on an appropriate dosage depending on a child or adult’s weight.

If necessary, vitamin C may be given by injection to treat complications of these infections (such as pneumonia or viral meningitis or encephalitis).

Vitamin D (from sunshine and/or supplements) helps the body fight illnesses that are caused by viruses. A health professional can advise on an appropriate dosage for a vitamin D supplement as too much vitamin D is toxic.

For measles, vitamin A is very important and this can be found in some foods including butter, eggs, whole milk and beef liver.  Vitamin A supplements can be given to children who have the measles.  A health professional can advise on appropriate dosages as too much vitamin A is toxic. (Lack of vitamin A during a measles infection can cause temporary blindness and if the deficiency is not corrected, this blindness can become permanent.)

Other treatments include herbal medicine and/or homoeopathic medicines.

A health professional such as a naturopath or a homoeopath can advise which remedies are suitable.

When a children has a fever it is important to ensure that they have plenty of fluids such as diluted fruit juice, diluted coconut water, herbal teas, water and/or home made chicken soup to make sure that they do not get dehydrated.

In most cases, it is best not to give children who have a fever medications such as paracetamol or  ibuprofen.  This is because lowering a fever may prolong the illness. (Your child’s doctor will be able to advise if you should give one these medications to your child.)

Please note that if you or your child has one of these illnesses and you would like the advice or assistance of a doctor or other health professional, please phone ahead before you go to your  local medical centre, health clinic or hospital so that staff can  ensure that you can be isolated from pregnant women or other people for whom measles, mumps or rubella may pose a serious health risk. 

 

Q:  What is autism and can the MMR vaccine cause autism?

A:  Autism is a serious disorder in which affected people have difficulties with communication and behaviour. Autism may develop because of brain damage that occurs before birth or regressive autism may develop in children who were developing normally in the second year of life.

Research from the USA, presented in the film Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe shows that children who have MMR vaccination at an early age (age 12-18 months) were more likely to develop regressive autism than children who were not vaccinated with MMR until they were three years old. (The data on which the film is based may be accessed through the film’s website at this link: http://vaxxedthemovie.com/download-the-cdc-autism-mmr-files-released-by-dr-william-thompson/)

NB: If you are interested in seeing this film, the link for information about NZ screenings is https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/d/new-zealand/vaxxed/  

 

Q:  Is there an advantage to being sick with measles, mumps and rubella in childhood?

A:  Yes.  Measles, mumps and rubella are generally milder illnesses in children than they are in adults.

After someone has had measles, mumps and rubella, they will almost never get this illnesses again.

It is best for children to have rubella before puberty because older girls and women are more likely to get sore joints during a rubella infection than are young children. Also, rubella can be dangerous during pregnancy. If a pregnant mother develops rubella, especially early in the pregnancy, the baby may be born with problems such as brain damage or birth defects.    A rubella infection during childhood should ensure that a woman is immune during her adult life and  therefore not vulnerable to developing the illness during any pregnancy.

Measles infection during pregnancy can also cause problems including miscarriage or premature labour.  For this reason, contracting the illness in childhood and thereafter having natural immunity can be considered desirable.

A mother who has had a natural measles infection in childhood should also have a good  level of antibodies to pass to her developing baby via the placenta during pregnancy. These antibodies can help to protect the baby from measles infection in infancy when the disease can be more serious than in older children. (If a mother has had a natural measles infection, her breast milk can also be another source of antibodies for her baby.)

Mumps is usually a mild illness in children but in women mumps can cause swelling of the ovaries and in men, mumps can cause swelling of the testicles. For these reasons, it can be considered desirable to have this infection in childhood, before puberty.

 

Links to further information on measles, mumps and rubella are below:

 

 

The NZ Ministry of Health’s “Immunisation Handbook” has sections on measles, mumps and rubella which may be read at the links below:

 

 

 

  • Vitamin A (including information on food sources)

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-A

  • Vitamin D (including information on food sources)

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-D

  • Vitamin C:

Measles:  Measles is listed in the excellent book Curing the Incurable by Thomas Levy, MD (ISBN 1-4010-6963-0 ) as being “Curable and Preventable” with vitamin C. This book includes some of Dr. Klenner’s case histories, including that of an uneventful recovery of a child suffering from measles encephalitis (inflammation of the brain – which according to the NZ Ministry of Health occurs in one in 1000 people who get measles.)  Prompt treatment of encephalitis, regardless of the cause is important since the condition may result in death or survivors may be brain damaged.

Mumps:  This childhood illness is also listed as being  “Curable and Preventable” with vitamin C in Curing the Incurable by Thomas Levy, MD (ISBN 1-4010-6963-0 ).

The book cites a report by Dr. Klenner in which 33 out of 33 cases of mumps responded promptly to vitamin C injections with fever resolved in 24 hours and pain gone by 36 hours, including two whose mumps were complicated with orchitis (inflammation of the testicles), one of whom was a 23 year old man whose testicles were reported to be have swollen to the size of tennis balls with severe pain.

An article that gives an overview of using vitamin C to treat infections (and some other medical problems) may be accessed at this link: http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom/1999/articles/1999-v14n03-p143.shtml

 

 

Please note that the information on this website is for educational purposes. It not intended to replace a consultation with your doctor or other health professional who can give personalised advice about your or your child’s healthcare.

How NZ Health Professionals Could Have Been Affected by a Coercive Vaccination Policy

Editor’s Note

The information on this page summarises the concerns of No Forced Vaccines following the 2011 Report of the Health Select Committee following its enquiry into “How to improve immunisation completion rates in NZ”.  This information has been archived on the No Forced Vaccines website to help new members who are health professionals understand the concerns of  No Forced Vaccines members, many of whom are health professionals.

In 2012, the government announced that it did not plan to link access to school or early childhood education or parental benefits to children’s vaccinations.  (See: http://www.noforcedvaccines.org/nz-government-vaccination-policy/immunisation-decision-important-victory-for-human-rights/)

If any of the recommendations relating to health professional that were made in the 2011 Report that are summarised below have been instituted, please let No Forced Vaccines know through the Contact Form.

Thank you.

 

 

Introduction

Many of the recommendations  in the Health Select Committee Report following its Inquiry into “How to improve immunisation completion rates in NZ” will affect health professionals if they are adopted by the government.

The Report was published on the parliamentary website on March 24, and may be read in its entirity at this link: .

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

 

Recommendations that affect parents

The report makes a number of recommendations, including linking children’s vaccination status to enrollment in early childhood centres and schools as well as for the government to consider linking vaccination status to “existing parental benefits”.  It appears that there is an agenda to force parents to choose between an “all or nothing” policy when it comes to vaccination, with parents either obtaining an exemption from  vaccination for their child or signing him/her on for ALL the recommended vaccines in order for him/her to enrol in an early childhood education service or school. (These recommendations can be read on Page 6 of the Report).

The proposed vaccination target is 95% of babies and children up to the age of 4 years, with an “age appropriate target” for 11 year olds. (See Page 5 of the report.)  Page 33 of the Report also states that access to the 20 Hours Free ECE could be withdrawn from children unless their parents comply with the new vaccination policy.

 

Plan to increase access to childbirth education and promote vaccination to expectant parents attending childbirth education classes

There is a plan to expand childbirth education services for first time parents, as explained in this paragraph of the report:

“Some submitters argued that immunisation information is crucial during the antenatal, birth, and perinatal periods. We were told by the ministry that DHBs are required to fund pregnancy and parenting education for at least 30 percent of the population of pregnant women in each area. The Primary Maternity Services Notice 2007 contains clauses requiring the provision of ministry information about immunisation to clients during the third trimester of pregnancy, but DHB midwives are not covered by this legislation. The ministry is creating a service specification for the pregnancy and parenting education that is provided or funded by DHBs, to be implemented by 1 July 2011.”[Page 23 HSCC report]

The summary of recommendations on page 7 of the Report contains some recommendation which have specific relevance to LMCs and childbirth educators.

“that the Ministry of Health strengthen the legal and contractual requirements for health professionals involved in maternity care to provide scientifically credible immunisation information, in contexts including antenatal classes (page 25)

“that the Ministry of Health build websites about immunisation with content written by and designed for antenatal educators, lead maternity carers, and well child providers (page 25)

“that it fund free antenatal classes for all first-time parents, and ensure that scientifically credible information about immunisation is provided to them (page 25)”

It appears the the author of the Report (presumably Dr Paul Hutchison) is concerned that parents receipt of “discouraging” information about vaccination during pregnancy could be one of the “factors that prevented immunisation rates from rising”. (Page 19)   Dr Hutchison made his preferences regarding vaccination policy crystal clear as early as 2005 when he wrote in the NZ Herald “And I repeat: all preschools and schools make it compulsory for children to present a certificate that either confirms the child has been immunised or confirms the parent has made a firm conscientious objection.”  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=3577255

 

Plan to use contracts with health professionals to infringe on their rights to free speech

The Report of the Health [Select] Committee further states:

“The ministry should also ensure that all contracts for immunisation services oblige the contracted party to promote immunisation, and the evidence behind it. We consider that all health care professionals should be prevented from undermining the national immunisation programme.”  [Page 24 HSC report]

and

From Dr Nikki Turner’s “Six star plan” (which the Health Select Committee has recommended that the government adopt):

All health care professionals to be under a legal obligation to neither promote nor disseminate immunisation information that is not evidence-based and not supported by the national programme.”  [emphasis added – Page 32 HSC report]  (As you may already be aware, until recently IMAC, Dr Nikki Turner’s employer, acknowledged on its website financial support from the Ministry of Health as well as five companies involved in manufacturing and/or distributing vaccines to the NZ market; the link was removed in 2010 after it was publicised.  The “Funding” page on IMAC’s website now states that it now has a link  mostly funded by the Ministry of Health but also acknowledges “private industry” as providing “minimal funding”  for “special projects”. See  http://www.immune.org.nz/?t=1021 )

The proposed legal prohibition against the dissemination or promotion of “immunisation information” that is “not supported by the national programme clearly has important implications for health professionals.

Many parents are concerned about the possible side effects of vaccination and wish to discuss areas of controversy with their family doctor or practice nurse before making a decision about vaccination in general (or one vaccine in particular.)

Currently some Ministry of Health produced materials (which presumably, the Ministry of Health considers to be “evidence based”) contain statements that, frankly, are deceptive when it comes to dealing with possible risks pertaining to some vaccines.  For example, currently (April 5, 2011) the Ministry of Health website makes the following statement regarding hepatitis B vaccines:

“Severe risks associated with Hep B or Hib-Hep B vaccines

“Anaphylaxis occurs extremely rarely.
“No links have been reported between the vaccine and multiple sclerosis (a disease of the nervous system), diabetes, or encephalitis.”

http://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/indexmh/immunisation-diseasesandvaccines-hepatitisb

However a five minute search on the Net brings up references to the medical literature that demonstrate evidence of a link between MS and hepatitis vaccination (  http://www.primalhealthresearch.com/study/id/0741/ ) although it appeared to be confined to one brand of Hepatitis B vaccine.  There is also evidence of link between hepatitis B vaccination and diabetes ( http://www.vaccines.net/1TOPEDJ.pdf )  and leukoencephalitis has been reported following hepatitis B vaccination http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/33/10/1772.full.  (Another study of eight patients who developed neurological problems following hepatitis B vaccination reported on how the MRIs initially suggested encephalitis but ongoing inflammation suggested MS as an appropriate diagnosis. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10430433 )

Clearly  the statement on the  Ministry of Health’s website that there  are “No links” between Hepatitis B vaccines and these conditions is incorrect.  Nevertheless, this is the Ministry of Health’s official position on this matter.

Consider a hypothetical situation in which a parent were to raise concerns, about, for example, Hepatitis B vaccination and a GP (or practice nurse) were to discuss the evidence above, putting it into the context that these potential adverse effects are rare, given that most children are vaccinated and few develop diabetes, MS or encephalitis … would this doctor or nurse be considered to be guilty of “undermining the national immunisation programme”?  Would the medical practice’s contract with the Ministry of Health be put at risk?

On the other hand, if in this same hypothetical situation, the GP or practice nurse did not disclose known links between a vaccine and particular condition after an enquiry from a parent – and the child subsequently developed a condition that has been linked to the vaccine, the health professional could face a complaint to the Health and Disability Commissioner  from the parent on the basis that s/he withheld information necessary to make an informed decision about the vaccination.  This would obviously cause the health professional concerned and his/her employer considerable stress and result in adverse publicity that could impact on the health professional’s career and business where s/he works.

Let us consider another example, one in which a health professional who has strong religious beliefs concerning abortion – for example a Catholic, Muslim or Buddhist health professional – chose to disclose to parents (who were members of the same faith) in the context of a consultation relating to their child/ren’s health – that the rubella viruses in the MMR vaccine are cultured on a human diploid cell line derived from aborted foetal tissue.  Would this violate their “legal obligation to neither promote nor disseminate information” that is “not supported by the national programme”?

New contract provisions could impact on doctor-patient relationships

Doctors and nurses in general practice (particularly those that serve stable communities) know that the respectful relationships that they develop with the patients help to facilitate the delivery of both preventative health care as well as the effective  management of acute and chronic health problems.

One of the recommendations in Dr Turner’s “Six star plan” – which the Report recommends that the government adopt, states:

  • Health professionals involved in immunisation service delivery to be committed to offering timely immunisation to all children for best protection (i.e. keeping to the recommended schedule time frames).

This recommendation obviously raises problems for those medical professionals in cases in which parents who support vaccination but would prefer to wait until a baby is older than six weeks before beginning to vaccinate him/her.  Health professionals  could face considerable conflict between respecting parents’ decisions and maintaining a good relationship with the family and meeting contractural requirements  if the medical practice’s vaccination delivery programme contract specifies rigid timelines for vaccination services.

Coerced vaccination of children could lead to coerced vaccination of adults

Many of the recommendations in the Report appear to be modeled on the vaccination system currently in use in Australia which in 1997 adopted a similar policy to Dr Nikki Turner’s “Six star plan” regarding vaccination requirements for school entry and eligibility for childcare subsidies as part of the “Seven Point Plan”. (This Seven Point Plan is discussed on Page 16 of the Health Select Committee’s Report.)

Ten years after this policy was introduced the human rights of health professionals to choose their own healthcare without coercion was under assault in New South Wales with a directive in 2007 stating that existing employees in the public health system had to submit to disease screening and vaccination procedures or (with very few exceptions) be barred from working in “high risk” areas of the NSW public health system. It also appears that health professionals applying for jobs (and health care students applying for practicum placements) in the NSW public health system must agree to undergo screening and vaccination procedures in order to gain employment or practicum placements. The relevant document can be downloaded from the following link:

http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/policies/PD/2011/PD2011_005.html

 

Conclusion

Thank you for taking the time to read this summary.  If you are concerned about the issues raised on this page, please read the full report of the Health Select Committee as there may be other recommendations in the Report that are of personal or professional significance.  If you would like to help with the campaign against the infringements on human rights represented by the recommendations in the Report, please check out the “How you can help” suggestions and/or contact the No Forced Vaccines coordinator  through the Contact FormThank you.

 

Information about measles and measles treatments:

Website editor’s note: The information below is a brief introduction to measles and measles treatment options.  it is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace personalised advice from a health professional.

 

Measles and Its Symptoms

In people who are usually healthy, measles is usually a mild-moderate illness.

The initial symptoms are often “cough and cold” type symptoms and may include a runny nose, cough, red eyes (viral conjunctivitis) and an elevated body temperature (fever).  (Please note that during this period of the illness, and until at three days after the emergence of the rash, people who have measles can easily spread the virus to others.  People who are immunocompromised remain infectious for longer; please seek professional advice about the risk of transmitting measles to others if you are in this situation.)

The rash of measles generally appears 3-5 days after the other symptoms. Diarrhoea and vomiting can also be measles symptoms in some cases. The first couple of days of emergence of the rash is usually when the patient is sickest; thereafter their condition should improve.

Treatment Options for Measles

The conventional treatment for measles is bed rest and “supportive care”, including plenty of fluids to ensure that a feverish patient does not become dehydrated.  (Occasionally IV fluids are needed.)

The website emedicine.com states that “Fever management with standard antipyretics is appropriate.”  However, please note that giving medication to reduce the body temperature has the potential to reduce the response of the immune system and therefore prolong or worsen illness. (See: http://www.australianprescriber.com/magazine/18/2/33/5/ )

Supplemental vitamin A may be given to people who have measles and in fact in recommended by the WHO for all children with measles. (Information about dosages of vitamin A for children with measles may be found at this link: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/966220-treatment#d12 – Please note that these are large dosages of vitamin A and as such they are designed for short term use, not long term use.)

People who have a significant immune deficiency may be offered measles immunoglobulin as part of a plan to prevent or treat measles. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/966220-treatment#d13

If someone with measles develops a bacterial ear infection or a secondary bacterial chest infection, antibiotics can be used to treat these complications.

Other treatments that have been used for people with measles include supplementary vitamin C.  (IV vitamin C may be needed in severe cases.)

Measles is listed in Curing the Incurable by Thomas Levy, MD (ISBN 1-4010-6963-0 ) as being “Curable and Preventable” with vitamin C and includes some of Klenner’s case histories including that of an uneventful recovery of a child suffering from measles encephalitis (inflammation of the brain – which according to the NZ Ministry of Health occurs in one in 1000 people who get measles.)  Prompt treatment of encephalitis, regardless of the cause is important since the condition may result in death or survivors may be brain damaged.

IV vitamin C has also been used successfully to treat viral pneumonia which is another serious complication of measles and one that is more much more common than encephalitis. (According to the Ministry of Health, about six percent of people who develop measles develop pneumonia as a complication.)

Many New Zealanders will be familiar with the story of Waikato farmer Mr. Allan Smith who was critically ill with double  white-out pneumonia in both lungs and alive only because he was on life support.  An ECMO machine was oxygenating his blood for him.) As reported on 60 Minutes “Living Proof” Mr Smith made a complete recovery after being administered high dose intravenous vitamin C.

Other treatment options:  Vitamin D is important for resistance to infections.  Many people may have marginal or deficient levels of Vitamin D due to use of sunscreen, sun avoidance or some medical conditions.  Blood tests for vitamin D are available (although there may be a charge to the patient)  and high-dose prescription vitamin D tablets are available in NZ for people who need these.  (These tablets should be kept out of reach of children as they do not come in childproof packaging.)

Further information about measles (including the more unusual complications) and more information about treatments may be found at this link: http://www.naturalmedicine.net.nz/vaccination/whats-worse-measles-or-the-vaccine/ )

The NZ Ministry of Health’s “Immunisation Handbook” (available online) has information about the rarer complications of measles which are not mentioned in this article.

Concluding comments:

While measles is usually a mild-moderate illness in usually healthy people who have good nutrition, some of the complications of measles can be life-threatening.  While the risk of disability or death from measles is generally very low in NZ, certain people are at higher risk of developing complications including babies under the age of one, people who develop measles as adults, and people who are immunocompromised, including people who are taking high dose steroids or are undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.  For pregnant women, who are not already immune to measles, a measles infection can be very serious with miscarriage or premature labour among its risks.

If you or your child have been in contact with someone who has measles and you want to consult a doctor or other health professional, please phone ahead of your visit to the clinic so that arrangements can be made to minimise your risk of transmitting the virus to people for whom measles carries higher than normal risks.

NB: Please note that the information on this section of the website is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for advice from a doctor or other competent health professional.

How NZ teachers could have been affected if NZ had adopted a coercive vaccination policy

The information below (written in 2011) summarises how the recommendations made in the Report of the Health [Select] Committee Inquiry into How to Improve Completion Rates of Childhood Immunisation which was published in 2011.

In 2012, the NZ government ruled out linking children’s vaccinations to  ECE centre or school enrolments or parental benefits. (Please see this link for details: http://www.noforcedvaccines.org/nz-government-vaccination-policy/immunisation-decision-important-victory-for-human-rights/). The text below has been retained because it documents  No Forced Vaccines’ concerns prior to the government’s rejection of a coercive vaccination policy; please see this link for details.

This information has been retained on this website as historical background for teachers and others  who are interested in the vaccination issue in Nz.

If you are interested in joining No Forced Vaccines please see this link: http://www.noforcedvaccines.org/join-us/

 

Introduction

On March 24, 2011, the Report of the Health [Select] Committee Inquiry into How to Improve Completion Rates of Childhood Immunisation was published on the NZ parliament website at the following link:

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

 

Teachers, ECE centres and schools  could all be adversely affected if the government accepts some of the recommendations in the Report:

 

1)  Teachers could be forced to discriminate against children on the basis of their vaccination status and deny some children their right to attend an ECE centre or school

A number of  recommendations in the Select Committee Report (if accepted by the government) will impact on parents and children, and potentially undermine the ability of schools to maintain positive relationship with parents and provide the educational opportunities that the children in your community deserve.

One of the recommendations in the report is the following:

“We recommend to the Government that it strengthen the requirements on parents to present immunisation information when their children enrol at early childhood centres or schools. The required immunisation information should consist of either a certificate demonstrating that the child has received all the appropriate vaccinations, or a written statement that the parents have declined to immunise their child. We consider this should be implemented within one year.” (Page 20 – emphasis added)

If the government accepts this recommendation, it could mean that children who have not had all the recommended vaccinations for their age (or none) could be barred from enrolling at a school or early childhood centre.

This recommendation is clearly discriminatory and appears to be designed to force parents to choose between their child having no vaccinations at all or having all the recommended vaccinations – and if the government accepts this recommendation, it is teachers and support staff at schools who will be expected to be the enforcers of this coercive policy.

 

2) ECE centres could face a funding crisis as 20 Hours Free ECE subsidies could be withdrawn from some children

For children who are already enrolled in an ECE centre continuing attendance at an early childhood centre may also be threatened if the recommendations are accepted since on Page 33 the report suggests making access to the 20 Hours Free ECE policy dependent on parents’ supplying proof of their children’s vaccination status.)

3)  Many parents could be face additional financial stress which could impact adversely on children’s ECE attendance and the ability of schools to run their programmes

In addition, the Report of the Health [Select] Committee made the following recommendation:

“We recommend to the Government that it direct the Ministry of Health to explore providing incentives to immunisation providers and parents. This exploration should include reviewing the way that the immunisation benefit is paid, recognising the costs of reaching those most in need, and examining the possibility of linking existing parental benefits to immunisation.”  (Page 18 – emphasis added)

The possibility that the government could link “existing parental benefits” to vaccination is worrying, especially because the report does not define what these “existing parents benefits” might be.  Could the “existing parental benefits” mean Family Support payments or the In-Work Tax Credit that many families depend upon to make ends meet?

Some parents (such as those with strong religious beliefs or those whose children had had adverse reactions to previous vaccines so they decide against allow them to have further vaccinations) might be prepared to forgo “existing parental benefits” and suffer considerable financial hardship should the government decide to link “existing parental benefits” to children’s vaccination status.

This would obviously impact on the family – and reduce the ability of parents to foster their children’s learning by taking them on educational outings such as to the zoo or museums, or paying for music or dance lessons or sports club membership.

At the ECE level, the financial hardship suffered by some families if the government were to decide to withhold “existing parental benefits” on the basis of children’s vaccination status, might make attendance at an ECE centre an unaffordable luxury.

At school level, parents who lost income due to the linking of “existing parental benefits” to vaccination would have less ability to pay the fees and donations necessary to support their school to provide educational programmes.

4) Special issues for Special Character schools

Catholic parents (and Catholic schools) could be particularly badly affected by the punitive aspects of these recommendations given that many Catholic parents who are supportive of vaccination in general decide against giving their children the MMR vaccine due to the fact that “human diploid cells” derived from aborted human foetal tissue in its manufacture.*

5)  The present situation

Currently NZ parents can choose whether they want their children to have all, some or none of the vaccines on the childhood vaccination schedule, according to what they think is best for each individual child and their family’s beliefs and lifestyle.  Perhaps most importantly, if they choose to vaccinate their child but then find that their son or daughter is suffering from unacceptable side effects from the recommended vaccination schedule, they have the option of delaying vaccinations until his/her health improves or deciding against further vaccines.  This right, vitally important to running a vaccination programme that is as safe as possible, could disappear if the government adopts a new “all or nothing” approach to vaccination.

6)  Coerced vaccination of children could lead to coerced vaccination of teachers

The submission to the Inquiry of the Health Select Committee by Children’s Commissioner stated that there is a “need to ensure that all adults especially those working directly with children and young people are themselves immunised”.

http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/73959804-E4E5-444E-A396-5560D070EA39/135712/49SCHE_EVI_00DBSCH_INQ_9658_1_A37168_ChildrensComm.pdf

The Report of the Health Select Committee did not mention any plan to mandate vaccination for teachers. However, given the recommendation by the Commissioner for Children, and the fact that the Report of the Health Select Committee is recommending that NZ restrict educational opportunities for children on the basis of their vaccination status, it is possible that teachers could face similar discrimination in the future.

In Australia, the rights of health professionals (and health care students) to make decisions about their own medical care have already been under attack in New South Wales with a directive in 2007 stating that existing employees had to submit to disease screening and vaccination procedures or be barred from working with “high risk” areas of the health system. It also appears that health professionals applying for jobs (and health care students applying for practicum placements) in the NSW public system must agree to undergo screening and vaccination procedures in order to gain employment or  practicum placements. (The relevant document can be downloaded from the following link:

http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/policies/PD/2011/PD2011_005.html

 

Conclusion

If the NZ government were to decide to accept these recommendation and link access to education and “existing parental benefits”  to children’s vaccination status many parents might have no option but to choose for their child/ren to have all vaccines – or none – even if their preferred option would be for their child to have some vaccines – but choose to avoid others.  This would be frankly coercive and should be unacceptable in a democracy where parents have the right to make decisions pertaining to the care of their children, and where people are able to exercise freedom of religion.

If you would like to see New Zealand parents continue to be able to decide which vaccines their children should have – without their child potentially being denied his or her right to an education or their family suffering from financial hardship, now is the time to act.  Please read the rest of  the site www.noforcedvaccines.org to learn more about this issue and how you can help with this vital campaign to protect parents’ and children’s democratic rights.  Thank you.

 

* http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/Datasheet/m/MMRIIinj.pdf
http://www.rtl.org/prolife_issues/LifeNotes/pdf/Vaccines.pdf

 

 

 

Information about pertussis (whooping cough)

Pertussis (whooping cough)

 

Pertussis (whooping cough) is a bacterial infection that primarily affects the lungs, causing a cough.  The illness begins with a catarrhal stage which could be mistaken for the cough that accompanies a common cold. (This is the stage at which the disease is most infectious; pertussis is considered to be contagious from three weeks after the onset of coughing.)

Some (not all) people who contract pertussis have a cough which has a characteristic “whooping” sound. Continue reading Information about pertussis (whooping cough)

No Forced Vaccines submission to Pharmac consultation on changes to funded vaccines

In 2016, Pharmac (the NZ government agency responsible for deciding which medications will be subsidised by the NZ government for New Zealanders) announced a consultation on proposed changes to the vaccines funded in NZ.

No Forced Vaccines prepared a submission for this consultation, which closed on June 20.

You may read the submission at the link below:

 

No Forced Vaccines submission on Pharmac Vaccine Consultation June 2016 for website

 

Pharmac’s announcement of its decision following the consultation may be read at this link: https://www.pharmac.govt.nz/news/notification-2016-07-28-immunisation-schedule/

No Forced Vaccines submission on NSW Public Health Act consultation

Introduction:  While No Forced Vaccines is a NZ-based organisation, there are some members who live in other countries, including Australia, hence the contribution of a document to a consultation on proposed changes to the Public Health Act in NSW, Australia.

The No Forced Vaccines submission may be downloaded below:

No Forced Vaccines submission to NSW Public Health Act

No Forced Vaccines Statement to TV 3 on Measles Cases May 24. 2016

Introduction:

On May 23, 2016, Lachlan Forsyth, a reporter for TV3 news, emailed through the Contact Form on the No Forced Vaccines website asking whether No Forced Vaccines could provide a statement or whether a spokesperson would like to be interviewed for a news item on the recent measles cases.

No Forced Vaccines spokeswoman emailed back indicating her willingness to be interviewed and/or to provide a written statement.

On May 24 Mr. Forsyth asked No Forced Vaccines to provide a written statement in response to a claim made by the Ministry of Health that the recent measles cases “shows the importance of widespread vaccination, and that the virus is currently able to spread due to pockets of the population where vaccination rates are lower.”

You can read the full statement by downloading at the link below:

No Forced Vaccines statement regarding measles cases May 24, 2016

 

Measles cases update and information

Measles, MMR and Legal Information Update

 

Website editor’s note:  The following information bulletin is designed to help families and school staff affected by the recent cases of measles in schools in the Waikato and Horowhenua given the school closures and concern about the measles cases.

It may also be of interest to other people who are living in an area (such as Northland) where there are currently reported measles cases and would like more information about measles and MMR vaccination.

This information primarily is designed to help the following groups of people:

  • People who may have been exposed to measles and are looking for information about measles and measles treatments.
  • People who are considering MMR vaccination and would like information about the vaccine.
  • People who want information about the legal basis for the exclusion of some unvaccinated people from schools while they are considered to be infectious.

Continue reading Measles cases update and information

No Forced Vaccines spokeswoman on Morning Report May 17 2016

On May 17, 2016, No Forced Vaccines  spokeswoman Katherine Smith was invited to be a guest on Radio New Zealand’s “Morning Report” to discuss the recent measles cases in the Waikato area. Please read on the access the audio file of the interview.  (A summary of key points is also included on this post for people who have poor internet connections.)  Continue reading No Forced Vaccines spokeswoman on Morning Report May 17 2016