Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Australia fights back against anti-vaxxers ... by withholding their government benefits

Here's a report from Salon.com on what the Australian PM Tony Abbott proposes, and why.

On Sunday, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced a harsh new policy targeting anti-vaxxers: as of January 1, 2016, parents who opt out of vaccinating their children will be denied childcare-related government benefits. The measure, which could deprive families of up to $11,500 in government funds, still needs to be approved by Parliament before it can take effect.

"Parents who vaccinate their children should have confidence that they can take their children to childcare without the fear that their children will be at risk of contracting a serious or potentially life-threatening illness because of the conscientious objections of others," Abbott said.

NPR’s Stuart Cohen reports that around 90 percent of Australian children are properly immunized, but almost 40,000 parents have claimed objections, which can be religious, medical, or even philosophical in nature.

Philosophical? WTF? Abbott's proposal tightens up the criteria for opting out of vaccinations.

"The government is extremely concerned at the risk this poses to other young children and the broader community," Abbott continued. "The choice made by families not to immunize their children is not supported by public policy or medical research nor should such action be supported by taxpayers in the form of child care payments."

We in America are faced with the same libertarian-based objections to immunization. Maybe we should learn from the Aussie approach.

Oops. Slap me up side the head. We didn't learn from their ban on firearms and the reduction in firearm homicides. Why would we we learn from them about vaccination policy?

Well, to answer that one here is a case study of an ex-anti-vaxxer who freaked out when all 7 of her kids came down with whopping cough (from Daily Kos).

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