By Kalee Brown
A couple months ago, we published an article on Italy’s plans to make specific vaccinations mandatory for all children in schools (you can read it here). This means that any parent who doesn’t want their kid to be vaccinated and refuses them will not be able to send their child to school.
Italy’s decision was in response to their recent increase in measles outbreaks, as reported cases of measles rose fivefold across the country in April compared to the same month last year, according to the National Health Institute.
Well, we’re now experiencing a similar situation with Italy’s neighbour, France.
Starting in 2018, parents in France will be legally obligated to vaccinate their children against 11 diseases. Compared to France’s current mandatory vaccinations, of which there are only three (diphtheria, tetanus, and polio), the difference is dramatic.
This begs the questions: What risks will these new vaccines pose, and how can French parents actually protect their children?
France Is Making These Vaccines Mandatory
Starting in 2018, France will be making eight more vaccines compulsory: measles, hepatitis B, influenza, whooping cough, mumps, rubella, pneumonia, and meningitis C. That’s right, France plans to make an influenza vaccine, otherwise known as a flu shot, mandatory for all children.
The government attributes this sudden regulation of such a strict regiment of vaccines to an “epidemic of measles in France.” There have been more than 24,000 cases of measles in France between 2008 and 2016 (though only 10 of these cases resulted in death).
This change likely won’t be pushed through without a fight from the public. Last year, a survey sent to 65,819 individuals found that France was the most skeptical country in the world about vaccines. An astonishing 41% of the participants in France disagreed with the statement “vaccines are safe,” in comparison to only 13% on average throughout the rest of the world (source).
Their concerns don’t come without good reason, as tons of studies have found correlations between specific vaccines and the ingredients within them to different illnesses, negative reactions, and in many cases, death.
Around 75% of the population already gets the MMR vaccine, and because vaccinations do not ensure full immunization, there’s no telling if increasing that percentage will actually help this. Plus, herd immunity doesn’t necessarily work that way. For example, according to the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, as low as 40% of the population would need to be vaccinated in order for herd immunity to be achieved. Nevertheless, France is still using this argument to support their upcoming policy change.
”Today, in France, measles reappears. It is not tolerable that children die from it: 10 have died since 2008. Since this vaccine is only recommended and not mandatory, the coverage rate is 75 percent, whereas it should be 95 percent to prevent this epidemic. We have the same problem with meningitis,” France’s Minister of Health, Agnès Buzyn, said.