This page of No Forced Vaccines includes press releases produced by No Forced Vaccines. If you are a member of the media and would like to interview a spokesperson as part of a story about the vaccination issue, please contact the coordinator through the site’s Contact Form.
NB: New press releases are now being added as separate posts. The links to these will be posted on this page with the most recent posts at the top of this list.
August 3, 2015
April 28, 2015
April 27, 2015
April 27, 2015
Simple, Effective Treatments for Common Childhood Illnesses: What Parents and Health Professionals Need to Know
April 22, 2015
April 19, 2015
April 18, 2015:
This page also includes thirteen archival press releases (from 2011 and 2012), with the most recent of these press releases being at the top of the page:
The press releases are:
• Immunisation decision “Important victory for human rights”
October 26, 2012
•Secret government plan to link school, preschool enrolments to children’s jabs “dictatorial and unwarranted
May 14, 2012
• Government’s “nasty” vaccine surprise
May 11, 2012
• Vaccination of children without parents’ consent outrageous”
April 24, 2012
• St John staff “deserve free and informed choice concerning measles vaccinations” November 1, 2011
• “Early Protection” vaccination programme for measles “may increase autism risk” October 26, 2011
• “‘Ignorance’ of Medical Officers of Health ‘Alarming'” October 20, 2011
• “No real ‘informed consent’ with meningococcal vaccine” October 17, 2011
• “Many health professionals reject influenza vaccinations: Do they know something that you don’t?” October 7, 2011
• “Sunday Programme on Vaccination ‘Shows importance of parents being able to make informed decisions'” July 25, 2011
• “Government response to Health Select Committee Vaccine Report raises serious concerns” (June 23, 2011)
• “Health Select Committee Report: Manufacturing consent for coercive vaccination policy” (June 20, 2011)
• “Coerced Vaccination ‘Unacceptable’” (June 10, 2011)
• “Proposed changes to immunisation policy cause concern” (April 27, 2011)
Immunisation decision “Important victory for human rights”
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%.
– October 26, 2012
Secret Government Plan to Link School, Preschool Enrolments to Children’s Jabs “Dictatorial and Unwarranted”
A document released under the Official Information Act shows that the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education are working together “to strengthen the requirements on parents to present immunisation information when their children enrol in early childhood centres and schools.”
Currently, there is no legal requirement for parents to bring their child’s “immunisation certificate” when enroling a child in a school or preschool, although schools and ECE centres are required under the 1995 Health (Immunisation) Regulations to ask to see the certificate. If a child does not have an immunisation certificate, he or she can still be enrolled but will be recorded as unvaccinated on the school’s vaccination register, and can be excluded from school if there are any disease outbreaks.
Health Report 20120196 does not state how the government intends to change the current situation concerning provision of “immunisation information” at enrollment. However a 2011 report by the Health Select Committee recommended to the government that “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.”
This recommendation has been roundly criticised by Katherine Smith, spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines.
“This recommendation appears to be designed to force parents to ‘choose’ between their children either having no vaccinations at all, or every vaccination recommended by the Ministry of Health,” she said. “The government has no right to try to dictate parents’ vaccination choices: most parents support vaccination but many are selective about the vaccines they want their children have, and choose for them to have some vaccines but not others.”
Any policy designed to force parents into making an “all or nothing choice” when it comes to vaccination, Smith said is a “dictatorial and unwarranted attempt to interfere in parents’ rights to choose their children’s health care.”
May 14, 2012
This press release was produced by No Forced Vaccines. For further information on this issue or to request an interview, please email through the contact form at http://www.noforcedvaccines.org/
Government’s “Nasty” Vaccine Surprise
(May 11, 2012)
A document obtained under the Official Information Act shows that the government plans to link children’s vaccinations with parental benefits in the “second Welfare Reform Bill”, due to be introduced into Parliament in the second half of this year.
According to Health Report 20120196, the Ministries of Health and Social Development have been working together to explore “opportunities for incentivising parents to ensure children receive their scheduled immunisations.”
Under the confidence and supply agreement between the National and Act parties, the government has undertaken to implement the Welfare Working Group recommendation “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.)”
The plan to implement the recommendation has been criticised by No Forced Vaccines, an organisation that opposes coerced or forced vaccination.
“First of all, the wording of the recommendation is so ambiguous that it’s impossible to know for sure whether parents have to choose between all Well Child checks and all vaccinations or no Well Child checks and no vaccinations, or some other combination,” Smith stated, adding that she had sought clarification of this matter from the government but was told that the WWG had disbanded so the answer was unavailable.
“I think it’s an insult to vulnerable people for the government to consider any legislation that infringes on parents’ rights to decide freely whether they want their children to have either all recommended vaccinations, some of them or none – or for the government to dictate to parents which Well Child checks their children should, or shouldn’t have, just because the parents are on a benefit,” said Katherine Smith, the spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines.
“I don’t think that people who have well paid jobs or their own successful businesses would put up with being treated in such an arrogant and patronising fashion.” Smith added.
Vaccination rates in NZ are at record high levels, and the majority of parents take their children to Well Child/Tamariki Ora health and development checks, Smith observed, “without any compulsion…because most parents support vaccination and also value the advice they can get from Plunket nurses and other Well Child providers.”
That the government has been quietly working on legislation to link children’s vaccinations with parents’ benefits, Smith continued “shows a worrying lack of respect for parents’ rights” and “institutional denial” about the potential for vaccinations to cause serious adverse effects that can have long term consequence for children and their families.
“While most children do not suffer any significant side effects after vaccination, there are children up and down the length of NZ whose health and development has been severely damaged by vaccines.” Smith said. “Some of the families of these vaccine-injured children have given evidence on this matter the Health Select Committee, so the government cannot claim that it is ignorant of this problem. Given the potential of vaccines to cause devastating effects in some recipients, parents’ rights to freely decide about their children’s vaccination must be respected and the government must abandon its plans to link vaccinations to any form of government support for financially struggling families.”
May 11, 2012
This press release was issued by No Forced Vaccines. www.noforcedvaccines.org
A copy of the document obtained under the OIA will be emailed on request. Please email through the Contact form http://www.noforcedvaccines.org/contact/ to request the document or to arrange an interview with Katherine Smith.
Vaccination of children without parents’ consent “outrageous”
The report on TV3 news on April 24 that health officials are using social media to promote vaccination to teenagers, and then vaccinate underage teenagers without their parents’ consent, “should ring serious alarm bells”, says Katherine Smith, spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines.
“Parents make decisions about vaccination with the best interests of their child at heart, taking into account issues such as family history and lifestyle factors that may make some people more or less likely to develop particular illnesses” Smith says, adding that parents’ decisions regarding their children’s health “need to be respected.”
In contrast, Smith says: “Someone whose job it is to promote vaccination through social media will not know the child’s or family medical history that may indicate that a teenager they are targeting may be at a higher risk than normal of having an adverse reaction to a vaccine.”
Moreover, she adds that if underage teenagers are vaccinated by someone other than their family doctor or practice nurse, the health professional who gives the vaccination is unlikely to have enough information about the child’s personal or family history to know whether or not the child is a good candidate for vaccination.
“If parents have decided not to allow their child to have a certain vaccine because he or she had an adverse reaction to a previous vaccination as a baby or toddler, they might not necessarily have shared that with their teenager – or if they did, their teenager may have forgotten.”
In the event that an underage teenager is vaccinated without their parents’ consent and suffers serious side effects, “it is the teenager and their parents who will have to live with the problems,” Smith says.
“We expect parents to love and protect their children and take responsibility for their children’s health and development by ensuring they eat a nutritious diet, get enough exercise and sleep, and expect parents support their children to succeed in school and often extra curricular activities as well.” Smith continues, adding that “when parents neglect or abuse their children, the public is understandably outraged.”
“That the decision of responsible, caring parents not to allow a child to have one or more vaccinations out of concern that the vaccination could cause serious side effects is now being so grossly undermined by our public health authorities should be a matter of national shame.”
Until such a policy has abandoned, Smith says, parents who have chosen for their children not to have a particular vaccine because of concern about its potential health risks, or for any other reason “should talk to their children and explain why they made that decision.”
April 26, 2012
This press release was produced by No Forced Vaccines. For further information or to arrange an interview, Katherine Smith may be contacted via the Contact form at this link: http://www.noforcedvaccines.org/contact/
PRESS RELEASE: St John staff “deserve free and informed choice concerning measles vaccinations”
It would be worrying if the plan for “an immunisation campaign for all staff without immunity to measles” infringed the human rights of employees of St John Ambulance, says Katherine Smith, spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines (www.noforcedvaccines.org.nz), an organisation which opposes coerced or forced vaccination.
“It’s obviously important for St John Ambulance to take steps to minimise the risk to patients who could be particularly vulnerable to developing complications if they contract measles. It is a sensible precaution to quarantine staff who might have been exposed to measles so they cannot inadvertantly pass the disease on to other staff or patients.” Smith says.
“However, I hope that St John will respect the human rights of its employees when planning a vaccination campaign and ensure that paramedics and other staff will be able make a free and informed choice about whether or not to be vaccinated.”
The right to choose whether or not to accept any medication is a fundamental human right, Smith asserts. She adds that it is particularly important for female employees of St John to be able to make an informed decision about whether or not to be vaccinated.
“In New Zealand, the vaccine used for measles is the MMR vaccine which contains live attenuated (weakened) measles, mumps and rubella virsuses.” Smith says. “According to the datasheet produced by the manufacturer of the MMR vaccine, 12-20% women who are vaccinated with the MMR vaccine develop arthralgia and arthritis (joint pain). In most people, this is temporary event and resolves; however, in a small minority it evolves into a chronic arthritis that can be severely disabling.”
Any MMR vaccination involving adults also had implications for staff who may be planning to start a family, Smith added, with the manufacturer warning against becoming pregnant within three months of MMR vaccination due to the fact that possible harmful effects on a developing embryo or foetus cannot be ruled out.
“St John Ambulance staff provide an essential service and almost every New Zealander will be grateful to voluntary members or employees of St John for the professional care given to them, or a friend or family member,” Smith concludes. “New Zealanders can now show their appreciation by supporting St John staff’s human rights.”
“Early Protection” vaccination programme for measles “may increase autism risk”
On October 21, the Bay of Plenty District Health Board announced that in a bid to control measles in its area, it was changing the recommendations for the age at which children receive the controversial MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. For years, the Ministry of Health recommendation has been for children to receive their first dose of MMR vaccine at the age of 15 months, followed by a second dose at the age of four years.
However, in press release last Friday Medical Officer of Health Dr Phil Shoemack has said that babies can now receive their first dose of MMR vaccine at the age of twelve months and that “Once a baby has the vaccine at 12 months of age, the second dose of MMR vaccine can be given 28 days later.” 
The MMR vaccine has long been dogged with controversy due to research linking the vaccine with the development of autism and bowel disease in children whose health and development were previously normal. It appears that some children suffer from chronic infection of the bowel with the vaccine-strain of the measles virus following MMR vaccination which contributes to their developing regressive autism. 
Recently, scientist Dr Helen Ratajczak, formerly a researcher with Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals postulated that the human DNA in MMR vaccines  (from the aborted foetus-derived cells used as a culture medium for the rubella viruses in the vaccine) may also contribute to autism. 
According to Katherine Smith, editor of The New Zealand Journal of Natural Medicine, changing the recommended age at which children receive their first and second doses of MMR vaccine is risky.
“To the best of my knowledge, such a dosing schedule has not been the subject of clinical trials, so it is essentially unknown whether giving two doses of the vaccine so close together is as safe as the usual schedule,” she says, adding that there is also evidence that a younger age at MMR vaccination is associated with increased risk of autism, compared with MMR vaccination at age three years or older. 
“It’s important to realise that the MMR vaccine contains three live viruses,” Smith continued “While these have been attenuated (weakened), they can still multiply in the body – and are capable of causing potentially fatal infections in people with compromised immune systems. According to the manufacturer of the MMR vaccine most commonly used in NZ, a person who has been vaccinated with the MMR vaccine may still have the live vaccine-strain rubella viruses in their nose and throat as late as 28 days after MMR vaccination.” 
The Bay of Plenty DHB’s recommendation that babies are given a first dose of MMR at 12 months followed by a second disease as early as 28 days later means, according to Smith that “A baby may only just have fought off the first dose of rubella viruses when he or she is injected with another lot of live attenuated measles, mumps, and rubella viruses. In some cases, this may be too much for a baby’s developing immune system to cope with.”
Smith describes the policy of giving a second injection of MMR vaccine twenty-eight days after the first as “unnecessarily risky”, citing the fact that “over 90% of people who receive a single MMR shot develop a level of antibodies consistent with immunity”  and adding that “in my opinion a second dose of the vaccine is not necessary in most cases”. Moreover, Smith states that it’s possible that giving a second dose only 28 days after the first may increase the chance that a child develops a chronic infection with any of the vaccine viruses.
Parents should not be panicked by reports of measles in the Bay of Plenty, but carefully consider the pros and cons of the MMR vaccine before making a decision, Smith continues. “As the spokeswoman for the human rights group No Forced Vaccines , I have been told by members who have vaccine-damaged children that they wished that they had investigated the vaccination issue for themselves rather than accepting at face value assurances from the authorities that the vaccines were ‘safe'”.
A useful place to start for parents, Smith suggests, is to read the manufacturer’s datasheet  for any vaccine that they are considering for their children, as well as to read more generally about specific vaccines on the internet.
“It’s also a good idea for parents to become familiar with the treatment options for measles, such as vitamins A and D,   or in serious cases, intravenous vitamin C.” Smith concludes.
This press release was produced on October 26, 2011 by No Forced Vaccines www.noforcedvaccines.org Please email the site coordinator through the Contact form if you require more information.
 The datasheet for the MMR-II vaccine which states that “WI-38 human diploid lung fibroblasts” are used in its manufacture. The datasheet may be downloaded from http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/Datasheet/dsform.asp ]
 MMR-II (TM) datasheet. This may be downloaded from the following link: http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/Datasheet/dsform.asp
 No Forced Vaccines www.noforcedvaccines.org was formed earlier this year to oppose coerced or forced vaccination
 Datasheets may be downloaded by typing the vaccine name into the search box at this link: http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/Datasheet/dsform.asp
 Curing the Incurable by Thomas Levy, MD, JD. 2002 edition ISBN 1 – 4010 – 6963 – 0
“Ignorance” of Medical Officers of Health
Public statements by a Medical Officer of Health from the Auckland Regional Public Health Service as well as another Medical Officer of Health from the Northland District Health Board show a “worrying” level of ignorance about some very important areas of medicine.
This is the assessment from Katherine Smith, editor of The New Zealand Journal of Natural Medicine and spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines, a human rights group opposing coerced vaccinations.
In July this year, Smith states, Dr Richard Hoskins, Medical Officer of Health for the Auckland Regional Public Health Service was quoted in the NZ Herald as saying that:
“There is no treatment for measles, the only thing that can stop you catching measles is to get immunised.”
According to Smith, it is concerning that a doctor in charge of the public health response to outbreaks of measles is apparently ignorant of the fact that there are treatments for measles.
“Starship Hospital paediatrician Dr Cameron Grant has stated publicly that ‘if a child is admitted to hospital with measles, we give them a treatment of vitamin A'”. Smith says.
“How is it that Dr Richard Hoskins is apparently ignorant of the fact that vitamin A is a standard treatment for children with measles in NZ’s largest children’s hospital?”
According to Smith, there are other potentially useful treatments for measles such as vitamin D (which has been used together with vitamin A since the 1930s)  and intravenous vitamin C – which has been used to successfully treat encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) a rare but life threatening complication of the disease.
“Parents deserve to know that there are indeed helpful treatments for measles,” Smith says. “It helps to reduce fear of the disease and knowing that there are treatments for measles is also important for making an informed choice about vaccination.”
Moreover, Smith says, earlier this week Dr Clair Mills, a Medical Officer of Health for the Northland District Health Board put out a press release that stated that “There is no evidence for the effectiveness of ‘homeoprophylaxis’ protecting against meningococcal disease.”
Dr Mills’s statement is untrue, according to Smith.
“Homoeoprophylaxis, which is the use of appropriate homoeopathic medicines to actually prevent disease, has in fact been shown to reduce the risk of developing meningococcal disease in two large clinical trials collectively involving tens of thousands of people,” Smith says.
She added that the press release  from No Forced Vaccines ( www.noforcedvaccines.org ) to which Dr Mills was responding included a footnote which referenced the studies.
“All Dr Mills had to do was to read the footnote and she would have been aware of the fact that homoeoprophylaxis is a proven method of reducing the risk of developing meningococcal disease.” Smith says. “I personally find it disappointing that she apparently didn’t bother to read the references. If she is really as concerned about ‘protecting our young children and youth from a disease that is very serious, and a tragedy for whanau affected’  as she claims, I would expect her to be keen to learn more about homoeoprophylaxis – because it provides another option for reducing the risks of developing meningococcal disease, which is especially important for people who cannot be vaccinated due to medical contraindications.”
Smith also says that she stands by the statements in the press release “No Real ‘Informed Consent’ with Meningococcal C Vaccine”  concerning the fact that the information forms produced by the Northland DHB for the meningococcal C vaccination campaign failed to inform readers of serious conditions such as collapse and seizures that even the vaccine’s manufacturer’s datasheet  acknowledges had occurred following vaccination with Meningitec, either on its own, or in combination with other vaccines.
“While some conditions that follow vaccination may be coincidental,” Smith says, “As a general rule, adverse effects following vaccination are under-reported.  In cases in which they are reported it is usually due to the fact that the parent or physician making the report believes that the vaccine is the most likely cause of the condition.”
According to Smith the Northland DHB has failed in its ethical obligation to include sufficient information for parents and teenagers aged 16 and over to make an informed choice about Meningitec[TM] by omitting potential adverse effects acknowledged by Meningitec’s manufacturer from the DHB information form.
“It is impossible for people to make an informed decision about any vaccine if they don’t have all the facts.” Smith says, adding that Northland DHB also has an “ethical obligation” to inform people about other means of reducing the risk of developing meningococcal disease such as healthy lifestyle practices and homoeoprophylaxis.
“In my opinion for Northland DHB to produce information forms that provide information about the potential benefits of meningococcal vaccination without disclosing all of the risks or any of the alternatives is deceptive,” Smith says. “I can understand that someone who genuinely believes that the vaccination campaign is necessary might worry that giving people this information might reduce uptake of the vaccine. However, when people in positions of authority such as Medical Officers of Health make public statements that can easily be proven false, it not only reflects badly on them as individuals but undermines public confidence in vaccination programmes and the public health system as a whole.”
This, Smith states, “is a shame given that most doctors are hard working, honest and eager to improve their knowledge and skills for the benefit of their patients and the community.”
 Curing the Incurable by Thomas Levy, MD, JD. 2002 edition ISBN 1 – 4010 – 6963 – 0
 The datasheet may be accessed by typing the vaccine name into this link: http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/Datasheet/dsform.asp
This press release was produced by No Forced Vaccines on October 20, 2011. More information on the meningococcal C vaccination campaign is available at the following link: http://www.noforcedvaccines.org/meningococcal-c-vaccination-campaign/
To request an interview, please email the site coordinator through the Contact form on www.noforcedvaccines.org
No Real “Informed Consent” with Meningococcal C Vaccine
– Public not being told of “serious risks” of vaccine in new meningococcal C vaccination campaign
Information forms prepared for the meningococcal C vaccination campaign in Northland do not include enough information for potential vaccine recipients (or their parents) to make an informed decision about whether or not to be vaccinated.
This shocking revelation was made by Katherine Smith, spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines, an organisation founded to oppose coerced or forced vaccination. 
“It’s important that people who are considering any vaccination have enough information about the potential risks and benefits of the vaccine as well as information about any other ways by which they may be able to reduce their risk of becoming ill.” Smith says.
“Unfortunately the information sheets available from the website of the Northland District Health Board  omit many of the potential adverse effects of Meningitec (TM), the vaccine used in this vaccination campaign. The information sheets do include the more common and less serious side effects. However, according to the datasheet  produced by Meningitec’s manufacturer, some very serious conditions such as collapse, seizures and Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a life threatening skin condition, have occurred following vaccination with Meningitec(TM).”
According to Smith failing to disclose these (and other) potentially serious side effects on the information forms is “unethical” and “also undermines public confidence in the public health system.”
“If parents do consent to their child being vaccinated and he or she subsequently suffers a serious side effect that they did not know could occur because there was no mention of it on the information form, parents naturally become very upset and angry,” says Smith.
“Meningococcal disease does not strike entirely randomly,” Smith continues. “There are number of well-established risk factors for meningococal disease including including living in overcrowded housing. People who smoke  and those who drink heavily  are more likely to carry meningococcal bacteria in the back of their throat making them more vulnerable to the disease or passing the bacteria along to others who may be susceptible. Passive smoking also increases the risk for children in the family.”
Nutritional deficiencies may also make people more vulnerable to develop meningococcal disease, according to Smith.
“Vitamin C is important for immune system function  and iron deficiency  is a well-established risk-factor for meningococcal disease.” Smith says. “New research also suggests that vitamin D deficiency  may also contribute to increased risk of meningococcal disease.”
Vitamin D deficiency is more common in winter and early spring because the vitamin is mainly obtained through exposure of the skin to sunshine.
Smith cautions parents about giving children either vitamin D or iron supplements without professional advice as both can be toxic in excess. Moreover, as a general rule, iron supplements should not be given during an acute infection as they may increase the risk of developing a secondary bacterial infection, or worsen an existing bacterial infection. A GP or other doctor can arrange a simple blood test for vitamin D and iron.
“A healthy smoke-free, alcohol-free lifestyle with a nutritious diet and supplements if necessary is one way to reduce the risk of developing meningococcal disease.” Smith says. “This sort of approach is also safe for people who cannot be vaccinated because of pre-existing medical conditions or because of pregnancy.”
Homoeoprophylaxis  is also an option worth considering by people who cannot be vaccinated, Smith adds.
 They are available from this link: http://www.northlanddhb.org.nz/home/read-more/northland-meningococcal-c-immunisation-programme.html
 The datasheet may be downloaded by typing the vaccine name into the search box at this link: http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/Datasheet/dsform.asp
More information about the meningococcal C vaccination campaign, meningococcal disease risk factors and homoeoprophylaxis may be found at this link: http://www.naturalmedicine.net.nz/articles/
This press release was produced by No Forced Vaccines on October 17, 2011. For further information please contact the site coordinator via the Contact Form on www.noforcedvaccines.org.
Many health professionals reject influenza vaccinations: Do they know something that you don’t?
A recent analysis of influenza vaccination uptake rates among health professionals has shown that a large proportion decide against being vaccinated. The national average for influenza vaccination rate for doctors, nurses and midwives is approximately 50%, according to the NZ Herald.
“It’s a very interesting finding,” comments Katherine Smith, the spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines,  an organisation formed earlier this year which upholds the right for people to make free and informed choices regarding vaccination for themselves and their children.
“It suggest that a large proportion of NZ health professionals think that the potential benefits of the vaccine are outweighed by the risks. Most likely health professionals are more aware than are the general public of rare but potentially devastating adverse effects that can occur following influenza vaccination, such as Guillan Barre syndrome, which can cause paralysis.”
Another possibility for the low influenza vaccination rate, Smith says, “could be that health professionals are aware of the research that shows that the effectiveness of influenza vaccines is poor.”
Smith also suggested that health professionals may be choosing to use nutritional medicine to reduce their risk of developing influenza and other viral illnesses.
“A lot of health professionals will be aware of research showing that vitamin C supplements can reduce the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections. There is also a lot of new research that shows that adequate levels of vitamin D help to protect against infections, including influenza  and also reduce the risk of developing some cancers.  Given the choice between vaccines that have the potential to cause serious side effects and nutrients that can help optimise immune system function I wouldn’t be surprised if many health professionals are choosing the latter option.”
New Zealanders, Smith added, need to support the right of health professionals to be able to continue to make free and informed decisions about vaccination, especially when publications like the NZ Medical Journal have reportedly called for “mandatory” vaccination of for health professionals. The people who work so hard keeping our public health system running, she says, “do not deserve to be bullied into being vaccinated.”
As a nation, Smith says, “We need to value our health professionals. They give us the care that we need if we’re sick or injured. Good ante-natal care and skillful midwifery, or if needed, obstetric care, can make all the difference for expectant parents and their new babies. Now is the time to show our appreciation to the health professionals who provide these essential services by supporting their right to make their own decisions about their own healthcare, including vaccination, without coercion.”
This press release has been prepared by No Forced Vaccines. To request an interview, please visit www.noforcedvaccines.org and email the site coordinator using the Contact form.
Sunday Programme on Vaccination “Shows Importance of Parents Being Able to Make Informed Decisions”
Ian Sinclair’s story on this week’s Sunday programme “highlights the importance of New Zealand parents being able to make free and informed decisions about vaccination” says Katherine Smith. Smith is the spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines, an organisation set up to oppose coerced or forced vaccinations. 
“Most children manage to cope with the routine vaccination schedule without suffering any discernible long term effects,” Smith says. “Unfortunately, as the Sunday programme story vividly illustrated, the health of a small minority of children can be severely damaged by vaccinations.”
Cases like that of Brittany Collins who had a severe reaction after being vaccinated against whooping cough and is now brain damaged and confined to a wheelchair  demonstrate the importance of parents being properly informed about the risks of vaccinations so that they can make an informed choice about this medical procedure, Smith asserts.
“Unfortunately,” Smith continues, “While ACC has compensated children because they have suffered terrible vaccine damage, Ministry of Health publications for parents such as the booklet ‘Immunisation Choices’  omits most of the risks of the vaccines that are recommended for NZ children.”
According to Smith it is “impossible” for parents to make an informed choice regarding vaccination if they rely on Ministry of Health produced information materials alone. When asked what sort of information sources she would recommend to parents who want to make an informed decision she said:
“I suggest to parents that a good start is to read the manufacturer’s datasheet for any vaccine that they are considering for their children. These are available on Medsafe’s website and list the adverse effects that may occur within a short time frame following vaccination.”
She cautions that longer term adverse effects that are linked to some vaccines, such as autism or diabetes are not acknowledged by vaccine manufacturers, making it desirable to do further reading and research about controversial topics.
“It’s important to be discerning when using the internet as a resource for vaccination information,” Smith adds. “While some sites have excellent quality, well referenced information, others are factually incorrect or have dubious claims.” Bias can also be a problem with certain sites, Smith warns, even those that are maintained by government-funded organisations.
“The website of the Immunisation Advisory Centre which receives funding from the Ministry of Health and also acknowledges funding from ‘private industry’  is often recommended to New Zealand parents as a good source of information about vaccination.” Smith says. “However, information on its site (www.immune.org.nz) intended for parents omits most side effects of the vaccines, so it is not a good resource for parents who want to make an informed choice about vaccinations for their children.” 
Problems with getting accurate information about vaccine benefits and risks pale compared to the challenges potentially facing parents in the future, if the government accepts recommendations in the Report of the Health Select Committee following its Inquiry into how to improve vaccination completion rates, Smith adds.
“Currently New Zealand parents have complete freedom of choice regarding vaccinations,” Smith explains. “They can choose for their children to have all, some or none of the vaccinations recommended by the Ministry of Health. Given that it is parents and their children who have to live with the consequences if anything goes horribly wrong after vaccination, this is as it should be.”
Recommendations in the Report of the Health Select Committee, Smith warns, could change this, as the report recommends that the Ministry of Health investigate the possibility of linking vaccination to “existing parental benefits”  and the government is considering changing the requirement for parents to supply vaccination information for children when enrolling them at an early childhood centre or school.
The Report of the Health Select Committee states that 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.”
According to Smith, this appears to be designed to force parents to make an “all or nothing” choice between either their children having all recommended vaccinations or none in order to supply the documentation necessary to enroll a child in a preschool or school.
“It’s important that parents are able to keep the best interests of their children’s health foremost in their minds when making vaccination decisions,” Smith says. “Parents shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not the decisions they make regarding vaccinations might cause difficulties enrolling their children at a preschool or school – and vaccinations certainly shouldn’t be linked to any government benefits as no parents should suffer financial hardship as a result of making vaccinations decisions for their children that they believe are in their children’s best interests.”
 HE1323 ISBN 978-0-478-19201-8 (Revised May 2008. Reprinted June 2009)
 You can prove this for yourself by comparing the information about the relevant vaccine on the datasheet from Medsafe’s website with information on the website of the Immunisation Advisory Centre.
 The government response to the Report of the Health Select Committee may be accessed by visiting the following link and clicking the relevant link in the blue box at the right hand side of the page: http://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/indexmh/immunisation
July 25, 2011
This press release has been produced by No Forced Vaccines www.noforcedvaccines.org To contact the spokeswoman, please visit the site and email using the form on the Contact page.
Government response to Health Select Committee Vaccine Report raises serious concerns
On June 22, the government issued its response  to the Report of the Health Select Committee following its Inquiry into how to increase vaccination completion rates. Katherine Smith, the spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines , an organisation set up to oppose the coercive recommendations in the Health Select Committee Report says that while the parts of the government’s response to the Report are “encouraging” – others raise significant concerns.
The government’s statement that “immunisation is a choice in New Zealand” and that “Efforts to achieve on-target immunisation must respect the individual’s, parent’s, and guardian’s rights to make an informed choice and decision” is an encouraging affirmation of human rights, Smith says.
However, other parts of the government’s response to the Health Select Committee Report  still give cause for concern, according to Smith.
“One of the most disturbing recommendations in the report of the Health Select Committee was that parents be required to supply information about their children’s vaccination status when enrolling a child in an early childhood centre or school.” Smith says. “Recommendation 18 in the report stated that the required information ‘should consist of either a certificate demonstrating hat a child has received all the appropriate vaccinations, or a written statement that the parents have declined to immunise their child.’ ”
This recommendation, Smith maintains, appears to be designed to force parents to choose between their child either having all vaccinations recommended by the Ministry of Health or deciding against vaccination entirely, in order for them to be able to supply the documentation necessary to enrol their children in a preschool or school.
“I am concerned” Mrs Smith continues, “that the recommendation allows no middle ground for the many parents who support vaccination but want their children to have some vaccines but not others. Given that presently the Health (Immunisation) Regulations (1995)  allow for ECE centres and schools to identify children who have been vaccinated against a particular disease, or not, as the case may be, there is no need to change the current legal framework concerning the provision of information about children’s vaccination status to schools or preschools. The government should have rejected recommendation 18 entirely. Instead, the decision has been made to ‘explore the issue further.”
Recommendation 12 of the report of the Health Select Committee includes “examining the possibility of linking existing parental benefits to immunisation” – which Smith says, opens up the possibility that parents who do not vaccinate their children according to Ministry of Health recommendations may face financial penalties.
Smith says it is good that the government’s response states that “any incentive scheme needs to be carefully thought through to ensure there are no perverse, unintended or inequitable consequences”. However, she says it is worrying that the government has not ruled out “linking existing parental benefits” to children’s vaccinations, given that “any policy that does link children’s vaccinations to parental benefits opens up the possibility that parents could be effectively financially blackmailed into vaccinating their children – even if it is apparent to parents that the vaccinations are having a detrimental effect on their children’s health.”
Another part of the government’s response that is of concern, Smith says, is that the government has not rejected outright the recommendations in Dr Nikki Turner’s “Six star plan” that were highly coercive, including making continuing access to 20 Hours Free ECE conditional on children either having had all recommended vaccinations for their age, or their parents having decided against vaccination.
“This part of Dr Turner’s plan should have been singled out by the government as unacceptable, given that if it were instituted it would deprive many children of the chance to participate in early childhood education as the loss of the 20 Hour Free ECE funding would make children’s attendance at an early childhood centre unaffordable for many parents.”
Other recommendations of concern in the “Six star plan”, Smith says, included using contracts with health professionals to gag those who have concerns about vaccination safety or ethics from sharing their concerns with either the general public – or even their own patients. This recommendation too, she maintains should have been rejected outright since if instituted it would infringe the freedom of expression of health professionals. Moreover, according to Smith, it could compromise public health and safety as health professionals could face loss of vital government contracts if they spoke out against any vaccine that they considered to be causing unacceptable side effects – a penalty that could deter many would-be whistle blowers.
The Ministry of Health is due to report back to the government on Dr Turner’s “Six star plan” by 31 March, 2012.
“All New Zealanders who support the basic human right of being able to make a free and informed decision about medical treatments, including vaccinations, need to remain vigilant given that the government has not decisively rejected the coercive recommendations in either Dr Turner’s ‘Six star plan’ and the report of the Health Select Committee,” Smith concludes.
 The report may be accessed by visiting the following link and downloading the response from the blue box at the right handside of the page: http://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/indexmh/immunisation
The press release below was sent to most NZ media on June 20, 2011.
Health Select Committee Report: “Manufacturing consent for coercive vaccination policy”
On June 22, the government is due to respond to the report produced by the Health Select Committee following its Inquiry into how to increase vaccination rates.
The report was published on the parliamentary website on March 24, 2011,  and while it has received little media attention to date, it has caused substantial concern among members of the public due to the coercive recommendations it contains.
A new organisation No Forced Vaccines  has been established to oppose those recommendations in the report that impinge on parents’ rights to make free and informed decisions about vaccination.
According to Katherine Smith, the organisation’s spokeswoman:
“If the government were to adopt the recommendations in the Report, it would usher in a new era of medical coercion in New Zealand. There are many recommendations in this Report that are of serious concern specifically the one directing the Ministry of Health to consider linking children’s vaccinations to ‘existing parental benefits’. If this recommendation is adopted I shudder to think how it might be implemented. Could parents who choose not to vaccinate or to choose for their children to have some vaccines, but not others, potentially face loss of government financial support such as Family Support payments or even the family’s major (or sole) source of income such as the government benefits upon which many people in Christchurch now depend, given the recent devastating earthquakes?”
Other recommendations in the Report, Smith say, encroach on the right of children to education, with a recommendation in the Report to require parents to supply information about their children’s vaccination status in order to enroll them in an early childhood education centre or school. It appears from the Report, Mrs Smith maintains, that children who have received some vaccines, but not all those recommended for their age, might be unable to enroll in an ECE centre or school if this recommendation were accepted. She also warned that partially vaccinated children might lose eligibility for 20 Hours Free ECE funding.
Smith also states that the report contains substantial and serious “factual errors and omissions”.
Among her criticisms of the report are its inclusion of tables purporting to list side effects following vaccination against a number of diseases, including polio, measles and pertussis (whooping cough) that omit most of the side effects that are even acknowledged by the manufacturers of the relevant vaccines on the NZ market. 
“The failure to list large numbers of potential vaccine adverse effects makes vaccination appears to be very much safer than it actually is, she says. Smith questions whether “there may have been an intention to mislead parliament (and the NZ public) on the part of whichever person(s)/organisation(s) provided information relating to vaccination side effects.”
She also criticises the chairman of the Health Select Committee, Dr Paul Hutchison, for including the tables in the Report on the basis that “he is a doctor and would likely have known that the information [relating to vaccination side effects in the tables] was inaccurate.”
Misleading information about vaccination is nothing new, according to Smith, who states that information intended for parents on the websites of the Ministry of Health and the Immunisation Advisory Centre (which is partly funded by the Ministry of Health and also acknowledges funding from “private industry”) similarly omits large amounts of information relating to vaccine side-effects necessary for parents to make an informed choice about whether or not to vaccinate their children. However, the context of the “factual errors and omissions” relating to vaccination side effects in the Report of the Health Select Committee is new, and worrying, according to Smith.
“The Report contains recommendations that appear to be designed to coerce parents into making a choice between their child having either all recommended vaccinations, or none at all,” Smith says.
“They are an obvious assault on parents’ rights to make informed decisions about their children’s health care. The fact that the Health Select Committee that has made these recommendations also chose to omit most of the possible side effects following vaccination for several key diseases on the NZ national childhood vaccination schedule from its Report, is in my opinion, indicative of the Report’s author(s)’ desire to manufacture consent for a new coercive vaccination policy that tramples human rights.”
 You can prove this assertion for yourself by comparing the information about vaccine side effects on the MoH website and the pages on the IMAC website intended for parents with the information on the manufacturer’s datasheet (available on Medsafe’s website) for the relevant vaccine.
This press release was produced as a public service by No Forced Vaccines. To contact Katherine Smith please email the site coordinator by using the Contact form on www.noforcedvaccines.org
June 20, 2011
The following press release was sent to most NZ media On June 10, 2011.
Coerced Vaccination “Unacceptable”
The situation in West Auckland, where approximately 100 children have been barred from attending Oratia School for two weeks because they have not been vaccinated against measles is symptomatic of what happens when public health policies are highjacked by corporate interests, says Katherine Smith. Smith is the spokeswoman for the group No Forced Vaccines set up to oppose coerced or forced vaccinations.
“Measles is usually a benign childhood disease that poses little risk to normally healthy children. In fact, it is generally beneficial to have measles in childhood, as measles is generally more serious in adults than it is in children and because after a natural measles infection most people have lifelong immunity thereafter,” says Smith. “It is ridiculous to treat children who have been exposed to a normal childhood illness like the measles as social pariahs and bar them from attending school.”
Such a policy, she asserts, is not likely to prevent the spread of measles – given that children who have been exposed to the measles may continue to have contact with other people outside the school environment who may not have had measles and could be susceptible to the infection.
“I believe the policy has been instituted to pressure parents who have decided not to give their children the controversial MMR vaccine to their children into vaccinating them – as the Ministry of Health knows that most parents of school age children work in paid jobs outside the home – and will be hurt economically by the edict banning their healthy, unvaccinated children from school.” Smith says.
Moreover, she asserts, this is not a decision based on health, but corporate profits. “Ministry of Health policy when it comes to vaccinations is heavily influenced by pharmaceutical companies.” Smith continues, “In fact, the Ministry of Health is so cosy with the pharmaceutical industry that it continues to fund the Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC) even though the organisation has acknowledged pharmaceutical companies supplying vaccines to NZ as “sponsors”  and its website states that it receives funding from ‘private industry’.” 
Information about vaccination on both the Ministry of Health and IMAC websites is misleading Smith says, as the pages intended for parents omit most of the potential side effects of the vaccines on the NZ childhood vaccination schedule. 
Advice from the Auckland Regional Public Health Service in leaflets sent home to parents of children at Oratia School, Mrs Smith says, has not been accurate. A leaflet sent home with children stated that there “is no specific treatment for measles. Supportive treatment includes rest, plenty of fluid and paracetamol for fever.”
Smith expresses concern about the leaflet, citing research that showed that using drugs to lower fever during infections may prolong the illness and, in the case of severe infections, increase the risk of death.
“The recommendation for children with measles to rest and have plenty of fluids is good advice. However, these helpful supportive treatments are not the only options for people with the measles. It has been known since the 1930s that vitamins A and D can be helpful treatments for the measles, and have the potential to reduce the risk of complications. Vitamin C is also an important nutrient which helps the immune system to function efficiently during an infection,  and vitamin C supplements may be useful for children with measles.”
Smith adds that because too much vitamin A and vitamin D can be toxic and high doses of vitamin C can cause problems for some people with rare genetic conditions,  advice from a health professional with training in nutritional medicine is important to ensure children receive the correct doses.
In the case of rare but serious complications of measles, such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) Smith says, megadoses of vitamin C given by injection can be potentially lifesaving, noting that Dr Thomas Levy’s book about vitamin C called Curing the Incurable describes how a boy who was suffering from measles encephalitis recovered quickly and completely after being given vitamin C by injection. 
“Knowledge of these treatments is empowering for parents and can put their mind at ease that if their child does develop measles, there are treatments which can be helpful,” Smith comments, adding that in her opinion “Given the excellent access to medical care available in modern New Zealand, no one should die from measles.” The exception, she stated, might be people who were already suffering from life threatening medical problems at the time of developing the infection.
She also expressed concern about the claim in information sheets given to parents claim that the MMR vaccine is “safe and effective” given that the numerous adverse effects, some very serious, listed by the vaccine manufacturers’ datasheets   and the large amount of scientific evidence linking MMR vaccination to autism. 
 A screen shot of the relevant page of IMAC’s website will be emailed upon request: please contact the coordinator of www.noforcedvaccines.org
 You can prove this assertion for yourself by comparing the information about vaccine side effects on the MoH website and the pages on the IMAC website intended for parents with the information on the manufacturer’s datasheet (available on Medsafe’s website) for the relevant vaccine.
 A copy of this leaflet will be emailed upon request: please contact the coordiator of www.noforcedvaccines.org
http://www.whale.to/a/ellison1.html (Modern research has focused on vitamin A. See:
 Curing the Incurable by Thomas Levy, MD, JD. 2002 edition ISBN 1 – 4010 – 6963 – 0
A few examples should suffice: http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Society/documents/2003/05/20/MMRresearch.pdf
This press release has been produced as a public health service by No Forced Vaccines www.noforcedvaccines.org
To contact the site coordinator or to request an interview with Katherine Smith, please email through the Contact form on the website.
The press release below was sent out to all NZ media outlets on April 27, 2011.
Proposed changes to immunisation policy cause concern
“I am really worried about the recommendations in this report,” says Hamilton mother Mischele Rhodes, who explains that her son Callum’s life “unravelled’ after he had his 15 month vaccinations. Callum went from a “fat breast-fed and solid food eating baby to one ‘failing to thrive’ as described by our GP and Waikato Hospital Paediatrician.” As Callum was still eating well, Mischele deduced that he was no longer properly absorbing nutrients from food. Results of tests at the time he was under the care of the paediatrician showed that a test for liver function (alkaline phosphatase) showed liver problems with this enzyme being more than twice the normal upper limit.
Worse, Callum’s development, previously normal, slowed. He was diagnosed as having “global developmental delay” with some autistic features as a preschooler, necessitating that he have speech therapy and help from a teacher aide when he started school. Although natural therapies have improved Callum’s health since this time, he still struggles with school work.
Like many parents, Mischele explains, she used to consider that vaccinations were safe, never having been informed of potential serious side effects by the medical staff at the clinic where she brought Callum to be vaccinated as a baby. Now she sees things differently.
“I – as the mother of a vaccine damaged child – will not longer advocate any vaccines. The price to pay is too high.”
That’s why she’s chosen to speak out now that the Health Select Committee has released a report that recommends the government consider linking children’s vaccination status “to exisiting parental benefits” and also recommends that children only be able to enrol in an early childhood centre or school if their parents can produce a certificate stating the the child is fully vaccinated for their age or a signed statement that they have decided against vaccinating their child.
Continued eligibility for 20 Hours Free Early Childhood Education may also be made conditional on children’s vaccination status.
“I wish I had known about the potential side effects of the vaccines that Callum received when he was 15 months – particularly the link between the MMR vaccine and bowel problems and autism,” Mischele continues. “If I had known before he was vaccinated, I could have decided against vaccination and he might not have the disabilities that he has now. Parents should be given full information about vaccine side effects so that they can make an informed choice about vaccination – and if they do decide they want their children to be vaccinated, they should be free to stop vaccinating at any time without any sort of penalty. I think it’s appalling that the Health Select Committee Report has recommended discriminating against children who haven’t had all recommended vaccines and denying them their right to education.”
A new group No Forced Vaccines has been set up to inform parents about this issue.
The government has six weeks from the release of the report to decide whether or not it will accept the recommendations, including a recommendation to adopt the “Six star plan” presented to the Health Select Committee by Dr Nikki Turner. Dr Nikki Turner is the Director of the Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC). Until 2010, IMAC’s website disclosed that the organisation received funding from the Ministry of Health as well as five of the major manufacturers and distributors supplying vaccines to the NZ market. IMAC’s site now states that the organisation receives some funding from “private industry” for “special projects”.
This press release is a public information service from www.noforcedvaccines.org Please visit the site for more information or to request an interview. The site coordinator may contacted through the Contact form.