It's European Immunization Week—but not everyone's celebrating. Protests are being planned around Europe as some EU countries, including Austria, consider making vaccinations compulsory.
Austrians had their protest in Vienna on May 6th, and Poles protested on June 3rd, which last year the Czechs designated 'Light a Candle' day to commemorate the lives lost or damaged because of vaccination.
The Italians demonstrated against compulsory vaccination last March, and protests have also taken place in Croatia—where vaccines are already mandatory—earlier this month.
The European Forum for Vaccine Vigilance, which is helping to co-ordinate the protests, describes compulsory vaccination as a breach of fundamental human rights. It says that "a number of European countries" are considering making childhood vaccination mandatory.
Asset, a pro-vaccine group, does not believe that a compulsory program is the way to go. The group says that vaccination levels are not necessarily higher in countries where it is compulsory; Latvia, for instance, doesn't have a higher take-up rate than other Baltic states even though parents are legally obliged to have their children vaccinated.
Instead, some countries fine parents who don't get their children vaccinated, while others make attendance at school more difficult. In France, two parents were jailed after refusing to have their child vaccinated. To find out more about the protests, go to: www.efvv.eu
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