In a rather sinister move, 2017 sees more and more EU member states transitioning to mandatory, rather than voluntary, vaccination (see Table 1 below) schedules for children. In tandem, there are more and more punitive measures being issued to parents who choose to not vaccinate their kids.
Parallel to this is the growing awareness of the potential health risks associated with vaccination and a demand for properly informed consent. Freedom of choice is, after all, one of our basic human rights. When it comes to vaccines, the European Forum for Vaccine Vigilance (EFVV) has been campaigning to inform the general public, politicians and the press about vaccines and the vaccination procedure in terms of its health benefits and risks since 1998. Its annual conference in Hainburg, Austria, last weekend, focused solely on the subject of mandatory vaccination and its implications.
One message – a right to freedom
Melissa Smith, on behalf of ANH-Intl, joined representatives from 15 European countries as part of the EFVV annual meeting to discuss how best to respond to the removal of parental rights over vaccine choice and consent for their children. Recognition that there needs to be a full and proper debate on the issues surrounding vaccination, parental choice and informed consent was at the core of the weekend’s meeting.
Under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 18, everyone is entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Article 19 provides for the right to freedom of opinion and expression. Increasingly these rights don’t seem to include opinions on vaccination unless they toe the official line. Those who doubt, or choose differently, are usually left with a weight of social censorship.
Parents the world over have been caring for their offspring since time immemorial. Parents today are no different in feeling that they are best placed to make decisions about their child’s healthcare due to their unique knowledge of their family history — and let’s not deny the power of a mother’s innate intuition. The question of whether governments and health authorities should have the right to override parental choice when it comes to medical interventions —particularly where those decisions are driven by commercial interests — was central to the meeting.
It is now common to label anyone who chooses not to vaccinate either themselves or their children as ‘anti-vax’. But, what the people choosing to use this term seem not to understand is that a lot of those so called ‘anti-vaxxers’ are in fact parents who were pro-vaccine and allowed their children to be vaccinated. Their stance only changed after witnessing their child suffer serious adverse reactions to one or more vaccines.
The right to choose
As part of its ongoing strategy, EFVV will be developing resources to give parents information on promoting natural health to develop natural immunity, as a best preventative defence. This outreach initiative, which ANH-Intl will be supporting, will be translated into the languages of the 25+ EFVV member countries to support parents across Europe.
Table 1: European countries mandating vaccination
Childhood vaccination is strongly recommended, but not mandatory. Vaccination is mandatory for healthcare workers
Coconut oil poison; Decline in US life expectancy; High dose vitamin D; Cancer busting veggies; Insects good for your gut; Swopping bee poisons; Water fluoridation=mass medication; Coercion to vaccinate