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 from which they may never fully recover.”


The danger of using any sort of financial penalty to try to increase vaccination rates “is that financially stressed parents whose child has already had adverse reactions might feel they have no choice but to agree to that child having another vaccine – one that might lead to tragic consequences such as disability or even death,” she continued.


Mrs Smith added that it was “fortunate for vulnerable families” that in 2012 the NZ government decided against linking children’s vaccinations to parental benefits.


Prime Minister John Key recently acknowledged that vaccination could cause death in some cases, Mrs Smith stated.


Smith concluded: “It’s a shame that David Seymour doesn’t seem to realise that vaccination entails real risks and seems to think the using financial blackmail is an acceptable way of increasing vaccination rates.”




Note to media: Katherine Smith may be contacted for interviews via