This came via email on June 20, 2011 from Katherine Smith, the editor of The New Zealand Journal of Natural Medicine.
On March 24, 2011, the Report of the Health Select Committee’s Inquiry into “How to improve [increase] immunisation [vaccination] completion rates” in New Zealand which was published on the parliamentary website. The government has 90 days (from March 24) to respond to the report. The government’s response to this report is due on June 22. The full report is posted at this link: http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/BADCF722-D377-4451-8602-1E00938BFC74/188894/DBSCH_SCR_5060_Inquiryintohowtoimprovecompletionra.pdf
The Health Select Committee (under the leadership of Dr Paul Hutchison) has produced a report that recommends raising the targeted vaccination completion rate to 95% for NZ children aged 0-4. It also proposes a target be set for 11 year olds. The report also recommends that the government make children’s enrollment at school and early childhood centres dependent on parents producing proof of their children’s vaccination status and – even more ominously – suggests that government direct the Ministry of Health to consider linking “existing parental benefits” to vaccination. (See Page 6 of the Report.) If the government accepts the recommendations in the report, it appears that parents will be forced to choose whether their child has no vaccinations – or all vaccinations on the schedule – in order to be able to supply the documentation necessary to enroll their child in a school or early childhood education centre. Eligibility for the 20 Hours Free Early Childhood Education may also be restricted to children who have had all recommended vaccinations (or whose parents have decided against vaccination) according to Page 33 of the Report. Christians (and others) who decide against MMR vaccination because of the use of cells derived from aborted foetal tissue in its production* (or for any other reason) could be particularly badly affected if the government adopts these sort of discriminatory policies. Clear Conflict of Interest The recommendations to link ECE 20 hours free funding to vaccination come from Dr Nikki Turner, who works for the Immunisation Advisory Centre. IMAC claims to be “a local source of independent, factual information including benefits and risks regarding immunisation, and vaccine-preventable disease.” http://www.immune.org.nz/?t=561 However its site discloses that it receives funding from the Ministry of Health… and also that “Private industry offers some minimal funding for special projects…” (See: http://www.immune.org.nz/?t=1021 ) The site used to have a page that displayed the logos of five major vaccine companies that the organisation acknowledged as sponsors, but it was removed after it was publicised. A cursory look at IMAC’s website shows that the organisation, far from being “independent” is vociferously pro-vaccine and much of the information on their website downplays the risks of vaccines to the point of being factually inaccurate. (See below for examples.) Despite Dr Nikki Turner’s working for an organisation that has even acknowledged its vaccine company funding, the Report of the Health Select Committee has recommended adopting her recommendations when “where there is a clear evidence base for doing so within the resources available.” Vaccines: Far from “Benign” It is important to realise that vaccination is not a benign health promoting procedure but a medical intervention that puts a healthy recipient at risk of side effects, including death. There is an on-line memorial to babies, children and adults who have suffered serious side effects or died following vaccination at the following link: http://www.nvic.org/Vaccine-Memorial/Search-Memorial.aspx In fact, new research now correlates increased numbers of vaccinations in the first year of life with increased infant mortality. http://het.sagepub.com/content/early/2011/05/04/0960327111407644 This underlines the importance of parents (and everyone else) being able to make a free and fully informed choice about vaccination. The Report of the Health Select Commitee on vaccination rates represents a significant attack on parents’ rights to make health care decisions for their children. We are in an election year; if you disagree with the recommendations in the report, please act NOW to let all political parties know that you find this unacceptable. Please forward this message widely and visit the website www.noforcedvaccines.org as soon as you can for more information and for ideas on how you can help with the campaign to resist the erosion of human rights threatened by this Report. There is a template letter that you can email to politicians and email addresses on the Resources page of the site. Thank you.
The New Zealand Journal of Natural Medicine
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