Letter to the Editor: Compulsory vaccination goes against human rights

Letter to the Editor: Compulsory vaccination goes against human rights

I fear for children’s safety when I hear that Health Minister Simon Harris continues to push for mandated vaccines ‘Harris targets online lies over vaccines’ (Irish Examiner, August 28). Harris talks about scaremongering as the cause of some parents not choosing vaccination for their children, yet the real scaremongering emanates from government and media campaigns. Quotes of a 200% measles increase are totally misleading when Irish cases are only in double figures and are not out of sync with historical fluctuations in recent decades.

Exposing the ‘herd immunity’ myth, measles cannot be eradicated by vaccination anyway. Vaccines are not effective for everyone and lose effectiveness over time (three years for measles element of MMR), therefore adults are becoming prone to what were once childhood diseases. So adults can spread the disease. I wonder if those advocating compulsory vaccines for children would be happy if vaccines were mandated for adults too? Furthermore, a 2018 journal report quotes official figures that 31% of measles cases were in the already vaccinated, so even a 100% vaccination uptake would not stop measles.

It’s surely morally wrong to mandate a product that isn’t totally effective and isn’t safe for everyone. No one would accept mandatory car purchase with potentially serious health risks attached, so why is it acceptable to remove vaccine choice? We only have to read vaccine manufacturers package inserts to know the risk. A multi-billion profit-making product cannot be mandated with an element of serious risk. And according to a Harvard study, less than 1% of adverse reactions were offcially recorded, therefore the risk is greater than officially admitted. Anyway, misinformation is not the cause of vaccine reluctance.

The real reason is experience. The increase in the vaccine schedule has brought an increase in vaccine injury. Parents of a growing army of vaccine injured children cannot continue to be ignored. They have a duty to speak out to protect their children from further risk and to warn others. If a parent suspects historic vaccine injury, it’s surely wrong to force them to vaccinate a child or subsequent children. Furthermore, even a new parent should have the right to refuse while an element of risk remains.

Although too numerous to mention, on the legal side, compulsory vaccinations ignore numerous previously accepted rights such as the Nuremberg Code, several EU and UN human rights and the ‘Charter of Patients Rights.’ And in banning the unvaccinated from school or creche, it would create an educational apartheid contravening Irish laws on government obligations to provide children’s education.

If vaccines were as safe and effective as we are told, then the product would sell itself. There would be no purpose for mandates. And if you’re so sure about vaccines, why would you consider my unvaccinated children a threat to your vaccinated ones? It makes no sense.

Shaun Walton
Skibbereen
Co Cork

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