Small Protest Against Mandatory Vaccination Held in Split

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, June 9, 2019 – A peaceful anti-vaccination protest was held in Split to mark International Vaccine Injury Awareness Day, with protesters saying that the procedure should not be mandatory but based on informed consent.

The protest was organised by the Croatian Association of Parents and Activists (HURA), and a special guest at the event was Andrew Wakefield, a controversial British doctor who has lost his medical licence and who opposes vaccination, claiming it causes autism.

Speakers at the protest stood up for Wakefield, claiming that he was exposed to a media lynching campaign.

The protesters wore T-shirts and carried banners with messages warning about the consequences of vaccination such as “Report side effects”, “Mom and dad decide”, “Stop the import of unsuitable vaccines”, “These are our children”, and “Leukaemia means death”.

HURA president Alma Demirović said that vaccination is mandatory in Croatia, which violates some of the fundamental human rights, notably “to right to obtain full information on vaccination.” Vacines cannot be mandatory and noncompliance cannot be punished with discrimination, fines and other types of human rights violation, said Demirović.

She stressed that HURA was not advocating an end to get vaccinations but rather that it be done on the basis of a recommendation.

Wakefield said that Croatian citizens had to have control over their and their children’s bodies and that they should demand full informed consent with regard to vaccination.

Another speaker at the protest, doctor Lidija Gajski said Wakefield had been exposed to a media lynching campaign.

“The medical community is calling for the boycott of today’s protest. Science journalists have stood up against it. Andrew Wakefield’s visit was announced by almost all media outlets,” said Gajski, describing media reports as a lynching campaign aimed at distorting the truth.

The anti-vaccination gathering in Split was also attended by member of parliament Ivan Pernar, who recently left his Živi Zid party, and who told reporters that he came to support parents in their right to choose whether or not to have their children vaccinated.

“Vaccination should be voluntary and it will be voluntary when the parliamentary majority is made up of politicians who advocate voluntary vaccination,” Pernar said, calling on voters to support such politicians.

The Croatian Medical Chamber, the Croatian Medical Association and members of the Croatian Journalists Association who are science journalists recently expressed concern about Wakefield’s visit to Split, noting that vaccination was one of the most important medical achievements of modern times and one of the safest medical interventions.

More news about the issue can be found in the Lifestyle section.


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