“Science, not bureaucracy, should be at the heart of NZ vaccination policy”

Press release April 27, 2015 “Science, not bureaucracy, should be at the heart of NZ vaccination policy”     If NZ wants to continue to improve public confidence in vaccination and increase vaccination rates, “The Ministry of Health needs to focus on using science to make vaccination safer.” That’s the message from Katherine Smith, spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines, an organisation that opposes coerced or forced vaccinations.   “The government has done a good job of promoting vaccination to parents and vaccination rates are consequently at an all-time high,” Mrs Smith said.   However, in order to sustain high vaccination rates, public confidence in vaccination needs to be maintained, she warned.   “A key reason why many adults, especially health professionals, decide against vaccination for themselves or their children is the risk that a vaccine could cause serious side effects,” Katherine Smith said. Noting the recent disclosure by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) scientist Dr. William Thompson, that the CDC had suppressed data that showed an increased risk of autism for African-American boys who received the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine prior to the age of three, she said that, “This revelation has understandably reduced public confidence in agencies that promote vaccination – even those that nothing to do with the MMR-autism cover-up detailed by Dr. Thompson.” [1]   Here in NZ, Mrs Smith continued, “One way to improve public confidence in vaccination would be to screen people prior to vaccination – so that those who are at a higher risk of suffering an adverse reaction from a particular vaccine can be identified prior to vaccination.”   For example,...

Simple, Effective Treatments for Common Childhood Illnesses: What Parents and Health Professionals Need to Know

April 27, 2015 Press Release: Simple, Effective Treatments for Common Childhood Illnesses: What Parents and Health Professionals Need to Know   The NZ government needs to do more to make sure that parents and health professionals “are better informed about treatment options for common childhood illnesses.” That’s the advice from Katherine Smith, spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines, a group that opposes coerced or forced vaccinations. “The government has been very successful in promoting vaccination to parents,” Mrs Smith stated, “And the fact that most vaccines for childhood illnesses are free is also a factor in NZ’s record high vaccination rates.” Mrs Smith added. “However, as no vaccine is 100% effective, parents still need information about treatments for the common childhood infections.” Mrs Smith said. For example, chickenpox,measles, mumps and rubella and other acute viral infections have a long, successful history of being treated with supplementary vitamin C, Mrs Smith stated. “Unfortunately, many parents and even some health professionals don’t realise this.” This simple treatment, she said, “Supports the immune system in fighting the virus and is safe for the vast majority of patients.” Noting that some of the diseases for which there are vaccines, such as diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough) “are dangerous because of the toxins produced by bacteria”, Mrs Smith added, “and there is more than ample evidence that vitamin C could be a helpful treatment in these conditions, either as sole treatment or in combination with other treatments, depending on the individual situation.” [1][2][3] It was important that parents who are considering using vitamin C to treat a child who is suffering from any type of...

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...

No Forced Vaccines contributions to the Health Select Committee Inquiry

No Forced Vaccines contributed to the 2012 “Inquiry into improving health outcomes and preventing child abuse with a focus from preconception until three years of age.” The submission was drafted by No Forced Vaccines’ spokeswoman Katherine Smith.  It was then sent out to everyone in the group so that  corrections could be made and the diverse range of health professionals who are members of No Forced Vaccines, as well as parents and grandparents could contribute their perspectives. The submission may be downloaded from this link: http://www.parliament.nz/resource/mi-nz/50SCHE_EVI_00DBSCH_INQ_11221_1_A239186/9e2640cef12c6740f68afe4ddab203e69d43bbf2   In addition, a Supplementary Submission for No Forced Vaccines was made by Mischele Rhodes.  This document describes her experiences after her previously health baby son developed health problems  following routine vaccinations. It may be downloaded from this link: http://www.parliament.nz/resource/mi-nz/50SCHE_EVI_00DBSCH_INQ_11221_1_A258987/3f3bdfe29deac973cb8a26eb46f070304c1ea7bc   In addition Christopher Savage, a former police officer, contributed a hard copy document (in the form of a Statutory Declaration) which was posted to the “Inquiry into improving health outcomes and preventing child abuse with a focus from preconception until three years of age” as a further Supplementary Submission in support of No Forced Vaccines. This document does not appear to be on the Parliamentary website.  However, a scanned version of the document is below. Christopher Savage’s contribution describes his work on cases in which children died following adverse reactions to vaccines. Christopher Savage Statutory Declaration Page 1` Christopher Savage Statutory Declaration Page 2 Christopher Savage Statutory Declaration Page 3 Christopher Savage Statutory Declaration Page 4 Christopher Savage Statutory Declaration Page 5 Christopher Savage Statutory Declaration Page...

Call for compulsory vaccination by prominent GP “alarming”

Call for compulsory vaccination by prominent GP “alarming” PRESS RELEASE No Forced Vaccines, April 19, 2015   The statement by GP Dr. Lance O’Sullivan who won the “New Zealander of the Year Award” in 2014 that parents should be “compelled” to have their children vaccinated is “frankly alarming”, according to Katherine Smith, spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines.   “I have no doubts that Dr. O’Sullivan is a dedicated doctor who cares about his patients and the community, and his recognition is well deserved given the initiatives he has taken to improve the health of people in Kaitaia, such as the Kainga Ora healthy housing initiative,” Mrs Smith says.   “However, his misguided advocacy of compulsion with regard to vaccination is frankly alarming, given that he is a doctor, and should therefore understand that medical ethics demand that except in extreme circumstances (such as an unconscious patient who needs emergency treatment to save his or her life), patients must be able to make a free and informed decision about their medical care.”   In practice, Mrs Smith explains, given that vaccination is a medical procedure that has serious risks, as well as potential benefits, health professionals who offer vaccination to their patients need to provide information about the benefits and risks of the vaccine. This allows people to make an informed decision about whether to be vaccinated.   In the case of vaccinations for children, their parents need to have this information to make a decision on behalf of their child, she says.   “For a doctor to advocate for vaccination to be compulsory, or to favour the use of...

Prime Minister John Key to be congratulated for support for parental and human rights

Prime Minister John Key deserves the gratitude of every thinking New Zealander for his sensible decision not to follow the example of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott regarding linking children’s vaccinations to childcare subsidies or welfare payments. “It’s refreshing when a public figure who supports vaccination is also honest about the fact that for some people, vaccination can have unintended adverse consequences,” comments Katherine Smith, spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines. “While most children and adults who are vaccinated experience only minor or temporary side effects, in a few cases adverse reactions to vaccines can be life-threatening, such as the severe reaction that left Australian child Saba Button profoundly disabled and in need of 24 hour care for the rest of her life, or even fatal, such as the case of Ashley Jade Epapara who died after a routine influenza vaccination.” Explaining that vaccination is unusual among medical interventions in that it is a procedure designed for healthy people with the aim of preventing illness rather than treating someone who is already sick, Katherine Smith continues: “It is a basic human right to be able to make a free and informed choice about medical treatments – and in the case of children, parents need to be able to make this decision on their children’s behalf, since if anything does go wrong it is parents and children who have to live with the consequences.” Noting that New Zealand’s current vaccination rate is at a “record high 94%”, Mrs Smith adds, that “It’s clear that most New Zealand parents support vaccination without any compulsion and the current initiatives that are being taken...

Immunisation decision “Important victory for human rights”

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...

Vaccination Policy Timeline

Introduction The NZ government funds a national vaccination programme so that selected vaccines (those on the “National Immunisation Schedule”) are free for babies and young children and some other groups who are at higher risk of either developing or experiencing complications from some illnesses. Vaccination in NZ is voluntary: the Ministry of Health promotes vaccination vigorously but parents are still free to choose not to vaccinate, and those who want to vaccinate may choose to delay vaccinations or select some, but not others from those on the national schedule. This being said, NZ has a strong pro-vaccine lobby, and key members of this lobby have been working towards eroding parents’ rights to make free and informed decisions about which vaccinations their children should (or should not) have.  The document below  gives a timeline of key events in the push towards a coercive vaccination policy. Timeline 1995: The Health (Immunisation) Regulations 1995 requires education services to ask parents or caregivers to provide an immunisation certificate for children fifteen months or over or born after January 1995.  http://www.lead.ece.govt.nz/ManagementInformation/EstablishingAnECEService/Legislation.aspx#Health   2005 National Party MP, Dr Paul Hutchison writes in the NZ Herald that “Too many NZ children miss immunisation”, praises Dr Nikki Turner’s leadership at the Immunisation Advisory Centre (see below) writes that that “I advocate that the Government makes it compulsory for all preschools and schools to require 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 2010  The NZ parliamentary health select committee, under the leadership of Dr Paul Hutchison calls an Inquiry into “how...

TV3 News report: NZ teens vaccinated without parental consent

  On April 24, 2012 TV3 news reported that the Waikato District Health Board had been using social media to promote vaccination to teenagers and that some teenagers under the age of 16 had been vaccinated without parental consent. See:  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10805358   The Waikato DHB later responded to press releases put out on this issue by No Forced Vaccines, Family First and the Immunisation Awareness Society by issuing a press release of its own. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE1204/S00098/vaccination-of-children-without-parents-consent.htm http://www.familyfirst.org.nz/2012/04/vaccine-programme-should-not-exclude-parents/ http://www.ias.org.nz/vaccination-2/ias-unsurprised-at-waikato-dhbs-social-media-campaign-to-illegally-vaccinate-minors/...