No Forced Vaccines Press Release

2 April 2019

It is “shocking” that Northland GP Dr. Lance O’Sullivan is using his public profile to promote a policy of mandatory vaccinations in New Zealand, says Mischele Rhodes, a spokesperson for No Forced Vaccines, an organisation of parents and health professionals that opposes forced or coerced vaccination.

A long-standing member of No Forced Vaccines, Ms. Rhodes has provided testimony to a select committee hearing about how her previously healthy, happy and plump baby, who was meeting all his milestones, lost so much weight (despite eating well and continuing to breastfeed) after receiving the MMR and other vaccines at the age of 15 months that the family GP referred him to a hospital paediatrician.

Referring to Dr. O’Sullivan’s comments on TV 1 on March 14 [1] that children should be required to be vaccinated prior to attending a public school, Ms Rhodes pointed out that the second right listed in the Health and Disability Commissioner’s “Code of Rights” specifies that people using health and disability services have “The right to freedom from discrimination, coercion, harassment, and exploitation” and that Right 7 provides for “The right to make an informed choice and give informed consent”.  [2]

“It’s shocking and disappointing that Lance O’Sullivan is promoting the idea of making vaccination a condition of school entry given that this policy is obviously coercive,” Ms Rhodes said, “because children are legally required to attend school unless their parents obtain an exemption and home school them.”

Ms. Rhodes pointed out that while home schooling can provide children with a good education, “it is not an option for many families because of parents’ work commitments”.

“A child has a right to an education and any policy that bars unvaccinated children from school attendance is obviously discriminating against those children.”

Parents who decide against some or all vaccinations, make these decisions with their children’s best interests at heart and often after doing considerable research, Ms. Rhodes added.

“Prior to our son being diagnosed as having global developmental delay following his becoming so sick after his 15 month vaccinations, my partner and I were not aware of the severity of adverse effects that can occur in some children following vaccination,” Ms Rhodes.  “In retrospect we made the decision for our baby to have those injections without being fully informed about the risks and he paid the price for it in terms of his health.”

“We know that in New Zealand, vaccination rates are very similar in low income and high income families but children living in poverty are more likely to be hospitalised for many infections,” she concluded.  “If we want to improve children’s health in New Zealand it’s important that we focus on the basics such as good nutrition and warm, dry housing.”

“Coercive vaccination policies such as those advanced by Lance O’Sullivan are not only unethical but likely to result in more children experiencing avoidable vaccine-related injuries and illnesses.”

[1] https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/no-jab-school-dr-lance-osullivan-says-vaccination-should-compulsory-kids

[2] https://www.hdc.org.nz/your-rights/the-code-and-your-rights/

[3] Pages 14-17 of this submission discusses how children who are living poverty are more likely to be hospitalised for many infections than are children from wealthy families. http://www.noforcedvaccines.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/No-Forced-Vaccines-submission-to-NSW-Public-Health-Act.pdf

[4] A comparison of the health of vaccinated and non vaccinated children found that while unvaccinated chidlren were more likely to have experienced some infections (chickenpox and pertussis), children who were vaccinated were more likely to have chronic health and/or developmental problems such as ADD and autism. https://childrenshealthdefense.org/news/unvaccinated-children-much-lower-rates-chronic-illness-jackson-state-study-finds/

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