Australian Prime Minister will force parents to vaccinate their children
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced reforms to tighten immunisation requirements, potentially denying parents who don’t vaccinate their children of up to $15,000 in government payments.
Parents must already immunise their children in order to access the Child Care Benefit, Child Care Rebate and Family Tax Benefit A payment.
However, they are currently able to opt out of vaccinations by signing a form stating they are a “conscientious objector”. The proposed reforms – which enjoy bipartisan support – would close this option from January 1, 2016.
Medical reasons for vaccination exemptions would continue to be accepted under the reforms, while religious exemptions would be tightened. Only parents affiliated with religious groups which have had an objection formally approved by the government will be eligible.
As parents it is your duty to make decisions for your children that you believe are best for them, especially when it comes to optional medical interventions like vaccinations. This is a choice that is not taken lightly and parents must make this choice without coercion or manipulation, as stated on the Australian Government’s own website:
“For consent to be legally valid, the following elements must be present:
- It must be given by a person with legal capacity, and of sufficient intellectual capacity to understand the implications of being vaccinated.
- It must be given voluntarily in the absence of undue pressure, coercion or manipulation.
- It must cover the specific procedure that is to be performed.
- It can only be given after the potential risks and benefits of the relevant vaccine, risks of not having it and any alternative options have been explained to the individual.”
By trying to take away family and childcare payments away from low income families who conscientiously choose to selectively vaccinate or not vaccinate, you are putting them in the impossible position of having to choose between feeding and housing their families and vaccinating their children against their will.[adrotate group=”2″]
If any of these children are injured or killed because their parents have been forced to vaccinate under duress, is the Government ready to be legally responsible? Especially as there is no vaccine injury compensation scheme in Australia.
If raising already high vaccination rates is the purpose of this part of the legislation and the wealthy areas of Australia have the lowest rates, then how does targeting low income families change the vaccination rates of high income families?
There have been children who have been injured or killed after vaccination in Australia, like Saba Button, Ashley Epapara and Lachlan Neyland and the hundreds of children rushed to hospital during the Fluvax debacle of 2009 . By bringing in punishments for families who choose not to vaccinate you are saying that these children are acceptable collateral damage and that they have less value than children injured or killed by diseases, how would you feel if that was your child?
Pertussis notifications from 1991-2013 NNDSS
Pertussis vaccination rates for 2011
Pertussis Vaccination rates in 1990-2001