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.

Article 3 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union states clearly: ‘Free and informed consent must be respected in the fields of medicine and biology’. EFVV estimates approximately 40% of EU citizens do not have this basic right when faced with a medical intervention such as vaccination.

Parents – and some doctors – know best

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.

However, it’s not just parents who are finding themselves in trouble. In many countries, doctors are being prosecuted for supporting those opposed to mandatory vaccination. Stricter requirements are being imposed on children at school in Italy. Children could be kicked out of nursery and parents are being fined if children remain unvaccinated.

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

Country______ Mandatory_status Vaccination Policy
Austria

X

Childhood vaccination is strongly recommended, but not mandatory.

Vaccination is mandatory for healthcare workers

Belgium

Y

The ONE (Office de la Naissance et de l’Enfance, Belgian National Bureau for Childbirth and Childhood governing French-speaking Belgium) requires vaccinations for entry to all of its registered French-speaking nurseries and childcare centres. Flemish speaking day care centre and nurseries only require Polio vaccine.

Hep B is mandatory for healthcare workers

Bulgaria

X

Seven mandatory vaccines 
Croatia

Y

Ten mandatory vaccines. Parents can be fined if they choose not to vaccinate.
Cyprus

X

No mandatory vaccines
Czech Republic

Y

Nine mandatory vaccines.
Denmark

X

No mandatory vaccines
Estonia

X

No mandatory vaccines
Finland

X

No mandatory vaccination
France

Y

Currently three mandatory vaccines. This will probably rise to eleven in 2018.
Germany

X

No mandatory vaccination. However, parents are required to have a consultation with their doctor and have to produce a certificate to show that this has been done for their child to be allowed entry to kindergarten.
Greece

X

No mandatory vaccination
Hungary

Y

Eleven mandatory vaccines. Parents of children who choose not to vaccinate may be fined. Children who are unvaccinated can be removed from parental care.
Ireland

X

No mandatory vaccination
Italy

Y

Ten mandatory vaccines since August 2017
Lithuania

X

No mandatory vaccination, however children cannot attend kindergarten if they are unvaccinated.
Luxembourg

X

No mandatory vaccination
Malta

X

No mandatory vaccination
Netherlands

X

No mandatory vaccination
Norway

X

No mandatory vaccination
Poland

Y

Ten mandatory vaccines
Portugal

X

No mandatory vaccination
Romania

X

No mandatory vaccination
Serbia

Y

Ten mandatory vaccines. Parents who choose not to vaccinate can be fined for each refusal.
Slovakia

Y

Ten mandatory vaccines
Slovenia

Y

Nine mandatory vaccines
Spain

X

No mandatory vaccination
Switzerland

X

No mandatory vaccination
United Kingdom

X

No mandatory vaccination

 

What can you do?

 

  1. Share information and educate each other. By becoming informed, you will find it easier to make informed choices and challenge the imposition of mandatory vaccination
  2. Sign the EFVV petition calling for health authorities and governments throughout the EU to ‘Respect, promote and protect freedom of informed vaccination consent throughout Europe’
  3. Sign the ANH-Intl petition calling on health authorities around the world to stop claiming vaccines are ‘safe’.
  4. Share both petitions as widely as you can.

Comments

  1. Your health and your children’s health is in your hands and you, as a parent, should be able to chose the appropriate treatment for their child, otherwise it is not Democtratic. We are supposed to live in a Democratic Society of Human Rights therefore it is the human right of every parent and person to chose and decide which type of health treatments they trust and believe in. If something goes wrong, it is due to their decision and cannot blame anyone else.

  2. I agree with Yolanda. I have multiple sclerosis from a reaction to a tetanus booster which paralyzed both my arms for several days, brachial plexus neuropathy, and was later diagnosed with sometimes-paralyzing MS by MRI. My daughter reacted to the hep-B vaccine given at the hospital at birth without my knowledge or permission: she reacted with inconsolable, constant screaming for sixteen hours a day for four days and night: vaccine encephalitis, which can be caused by any vaccine, the brain damage from which can cause autism (now in one in forty children in the US) or seizure disorders. She was slow to start speaking, because of the vaccine-induced brain damage, but was saying two words by 18 months. Both disappeared as soon as she got the DTaP booster at that time, and she was diagnosed with autism two months later. She’s still very low-verbal now, at 17, and will never be independent.

    Vaccines sensitize the immune system to vaccine ingredients or substances which resemble them, so that when it sees the substance again, it is frequent for it to trigger an autoimmune reaction, often starting an autoimmune disease like asthma (one in nine vaccinated children in the US now), allergies (in half), diabetes (one in 200), or bowel disease (one in ten).

    I’d recommend the DT series after the age of two years old, the Hib series after four months old for babies not breastfed and in daycare (even though it causes peanut allergy in one in fifty children in the US now), not necessary after 18 months old, and the polio series if polio came back locally. No others. Both measles and pertussis evolved in the early twentieth century to become much less virulent than they had been. Sweden didn’t give the pertussis vaccine between 1979 and 1997: 60% of Swedish children got pertussis in those years, but there was less than one death from pertussis a year. In the US in 1960, 99% of children got measles before the vaccine. Four million a year got it, the entire birth cohort, but there were only 450 deaths a year from it. One death in 10,000 cases. The mortality from measles in the UK in the ’80s was one or two per 10,000 cases. The childhood diseases, measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox, are very good for strengthening and maturing the immune system. They give permanent immunity, the ability to protect future infants, and protect against many diseases in later life, including many cancers. Having a feverish illness like flu (with no fever reducers) gives good protection from cancer for five years.

    It would be better for schools to deliberately give elementary school children one of the childhood diseases at the end of the school year, when they could stay home for several weeks. Say mumps at the end of first grade, rubella second grade (well before the childbearing years), measles third grade, and chickenpox fourth grade. There is no other way for a child to develop a strong and resilient immune system than by going through the natural diseases.

    The EU has been a disaster. This new trend evidently pushed by the EU on its members is yet another example of a diktat which will degrade or even ruin the lives of millions of children and their families.

    1. Hi, Thanks for taking the time to ask for additional information.

      ‘See notes’ was referencing the comments in the third column of the table. We have now removed this to save further confusion.

      Warm Regards
      Melissa Smith

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