No Jab, No Pay. Oh yeah, this is going to be one of THOSE articles. Vaccination is a hot topic right around the world at the moment and hey, thatís cool with me. What is emphatically uncool is the removal of parental rights and freedom of choice. Before we begin, I must inform you, I vaccinate. I believe in the efficacy of vaccinations and my children and I are all vaccinated. I am pro-educated choice, not pro-vaccination. I have no problem if you choose not to vaccinate, provided you have researched the matter and you are not just being a lazy twat who canít be bothered going to get your child immunised. So letís begin with a word.
Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1990-048-29A / CC-BY-SA [CC BY-SA 3.0 de (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en), via Wikimedia Commons
Yes, I dare to compare the horrendous Abbott Government with the man behind the Naziís and World War II. Hitler once said ďThe best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way, the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed.Ē Hmmm, thought-provoking is it not.
Iím going to say this, oh probably 1,000 times at least over the next little while, so here goes. This. Is. Not. About. Vaccinations. Let that sink in a minute. Got it? Iíll repeat it just to be sure. This is not about vaccinations. It is not about increasing the vaccination rate (of which Australia has one of the highest), it is not about budget cuts (except perhaps on the surface), itís not even about opening up childcare spots by making childcare completely unaffordable for non-vaxxers. This is about control. This is about taking away a parents right to choose what they feel is best for their child and their family. This is about taking away freedom of choice. And for some reason, the masses are wholeheartedly supporting this violation.
Here are the facts: In the 2012-2013 period, 91.2% of 12 months olds, 92.5% of 2 year olds and 91.5% of 5 year olds were fully immunised. We even have the exact figures of children not fully immunised (that doesnít mean not immunised at all, just that they were not immunised according to the government schedule.) See page 6 of this report: HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: IMMUNISATION RATES FOR CHILDREN IN 2012-13 So we have a total of 75,002 children who were not fully immunised and of that figure 14,869 have a conscientious objection recorded (see page 9 of the above report.)
By United States Department of Health and Human Services (Public domain), via Wikimedia Commons
14,869 children whose parents conscientiously objected to vaccinations. Hmmm ok, I donít know about you, but that doesnít seem like a great deal to me. Now if the whole aim of this policy is to reduce the amount of conscientious objectors (which the media and Mr Abbott keep telling us) then perhaps we should take a closer look at the socio-economic status of these objectors. Per the report presented at the 14th Public Health Association of Australia National Immunisation Conference, co-authored by B. Hull, A Dey, R Menzies and P McIntyre ďParents of children living in the top 10% of high socioeconomic status postcodes object at higher levels than parents in low socioeconomic postcodes.Ē (see page 4 here TRENDS IN THE PERCENTAGE OF VACCINATION OBJECTORS ON THE ACIR, 2002-2013) So the greater percentage of objectors are families who are, comparatively speaking, wealthy and logic would dictate that the policy mentioned above, is not likely to affect them financially so in turn isnít likely to make them more likely to vaccinate is it? Interesting.
So Iím confused, if this policy is intended to decrease the number of conscientious objectors in the country (thereby increasing the vaccination rates) then where is the consequence for these wealthier objectors? Whatís that you say? There is none? Well then, the policy canít possibly actually be about increasing vaccination rates can it?
Another popular opinion, seems to be that this is going to save the government money by cutting payments to those who donít have a valid medical or religious exemption. By payments I donít mean the fortnightly benefits, Iím talking about the rebates for childcare and the end of year supplement. Just so weíre clear, the Child Care Benefit, the Child Care Rebate and the Family Tax Benefit Part A supplement are the ONLY payments that will be affected by this policy. Now, the supplement is $728 per year per child. So for the reported 14,869 conscientious objectors (should none of them change their mind given this policy) weíre looking at a governmental saving of $10,824,632. Thatís a nice tidy sum of money I guess. Plenty of other cuts are being made I suppose, so yeah this is a plausible argument not even taking into account the CCB and CCR amounts saved. Except hang on a second, weíre getting back to that whole socioeconomic thing. Wealthier people arenít going to be eligible for the bulk of these benefits so therefore they arenít being paid out anyway. Ok so scrap that one, all weíre doing there is making it impossible for the less wealthy to actually work OR study until their child is at school and then theyíll be limited to school hours until because they wonít be able to afford Outside School Hours Care without the rebate. Which in turn will cost the government more by forcing previously working and studying parents to stay at home and probably claim government benefits.
So now Iím really confused. If the policy isnít going to increase the immunisation percentage, and itís not going to save the government a whole lot of money, then why on earth waste time and money on it? I have 2 theories. Both are pretty cynical to be honest so if you donít go for that and you havenít left already then Iíd probably go now.
The first theory is that this is being pushed through in order to hide something else. Everyone knows how vehement the general public is about vaccination whether they are for or against. Announcing a policy like this was guaranteed to cause an absolute firestorm in the media and on social media, so it is the perfect way to distract from something that the government would like to do that is potentially going to be unpopular. Since nothing of the sort has come to light in my research, I am in favour of the second theory.
This is an excellent foot in the door. Go back to the top of the article and read that quote from Hitler. Oh I know, I know, this isnít making vaccinations mandatory, parents still have a choice, blah blah blah. Donít be so effing naÔve. This is financially blackmailing the families who are already at a massive financial disadvantage to do as they are told. Even better, the Abbott government has discovered a way to take that freedom of choice away from people and the majority are agreeing with him and happily congratulate him on ďthe first good policy to come out of this term.Ē Oh. My. God. People!!! How to play right into the governments hands. Well done, a round of applause Mr Abbott because here is something youíve done extremely well. Played the general public for fools.
So, if you, like me, like being able to make informed decisions about you and your family. And if you donít want to end up in a place where at some point you are going to be legally penalised for raising your kids in a way the government doesnít approve (because letís face it, this is just the first choice that will be taken away), then fight this. Be a voice of reason, and fight this. Because if you donít, eventually you too will end up with no choices.
Absolutely truthful and powerful article! Have shared it many times and cancelled my Greens' membership because I will not support a party who is selective about the human rights abuse it opposes and the ones it supports...Thank you!
Thank you for the article. I went away to Europe for a decade, and came back to, only what I can describe, with much horror, a tyrannical country. Australian government has silently crept in for the kill. Europe, even with all it's fair share of issues, do still understand their basic human rights, and will fight for them wherever they may be. The Americans are even better at doing this. What I observe in Australia, is that the freedoms of people were so eroded that they had no idea it was even happening! I feel like I invaded a blanket of silence, people half awake, half asleep, listening to the tune of Murdoch media in every corner. It is almost like an immediate censorship of the other side of the vaccine debate takes place on every major newspaper and news channel. There is no open, honest debate, and rather than direct debate to where it is needed, onto the onus of pharmaceutical companies, about the safety concerns and lack of real studies, especially on long term effects of vaccines, they concentrate on smearing anybody who opposes or speaks up about it! I bet the average Australian has not even looked into the ingredients of vaccines, because if they did, that alone, might shock them. instead the Australian government has swallowed the bait, hook, line and sinker, that vaccines are "unquestionably" safe, when that is so far removed from the truth. More and more adverse events, vaccine side effects, deaths and spreading of disease happens through vaccinations that go unquestioned, smear over, covered up, or written off as "coincidence". The tyrannical approach that the Australian government is taking towards vaccination is one of the hugest breach of human rights of the 21st century.
a) If we should be so concerned about the unvaccinated for supposedly spreading disease, why not get into a mad panic about other groups of people whose behaviour allegedly does the same thing Ė homosexuals, the promiscuous, IV drug users, sick people who visit the doctor or who show up at work, etc.? Indeed, those groups of people are far more morally culpable than the unvaccinated because they have all engaged in *positive* actions whereas the unvaccinated simply maintained the status quo.
b) If babies and the immunocompromised - who are supposedly the main beneficiaries of so-called herd immunity - can spend so much time in hospitals and doctors' waiting rooms surrounded by *actual* sick people then why on earth would they be in danger being surrounded by *potentially* sick unvaccinated kids?
c) The pertussis vaccine (DTaP) is a toxoid vaccine and it therefore cannot prevent transmission because it is not designed to prevent the bacteria itself. Even if you accept that the vaccine works as intended those who are vaccinated are exactly as likely to spread pertussis than those who are not;
d) The MMR and varicella vaccines are live virus vaccines and can therefore potentially shed (according to mainstream medicine) so just like with pertussis, the vaccinated can present just as big a risk as the unvaccinated (albeit for different reasons);
e) It makes no sense to be concerned by people who have not vaccinated for Hep B given that it is unlawful to discriminate against kids who actually *have* Hep B (as it should be). If you are going to worry about someone with a, say, 5 per cent chance of having Hep B then why on earth would you not be concerned with someone with a 100 per cent chance of having it?
In short, compulsory vaccination has *nothing* to do with notions of herd immunity. That is a complete, hypocritical lie. It is because: a) non-vaxers question what is an astonishingly pretty lie; and b) we threaten the most powerful industry on the planet - the health industry,
There is a civil war brewing compliments of mainstream media and lawmakers. It is brewing in the U.S. and in Australia....clearly by the comments read on this blog site. All civil wars are born out of ignorance of some while others have a deeper-wisdom that they are being guided by that the general mainstream has not yet 'groked' NO ONE and I MEAN NO ONE should have the authority to put something into another person's body against their will. This is POWER OVER and is rooted in war-consciousness and lies at the heart of colonization. Our bodies have the intrinsic capacity to heal. I have witnessed it a thousand times over when I worked in the NICU. Wee babies have been exposed to countless synthetic chemicals and the life force that animates them and the LOVING CARE of the people who cared for the wee one is what caused them to live. IT was not the synthetic chemicals and all the poking and prodding that kept them alive. It was PURE LOVE and the life force within those individuals caring for them as well as the life force within the wee one. We need to tap into this innate and intrinsic wisdom this force that increases our vitality and allows LOVE to flow through us and between us. The 'warring consciousness' that is woven into the rebuts of the comments reveal ignorance of a deeper intrinsic wisdom--even though there is a 'stating of facts' those facts are out of defensiveness. Love ---pure unconditional ---LOVE is the only healing force. My prayer is that we find a way to live in harmony and release the consciousness of fear and hatred that is always rooted in ignorance. War is a very bad habit and engaging in it reveals a lack of humor and joyful imagination!
~Vibration is a real force~
"no problem if you choose not to vaccinate, provided you have researched the matter" makes absolutely no sense at all. You obviously have zero understanding of the fundamental mechanism. There is no freedom of choice to murder people; that does not make us like nazis.
This is precisely the attitude that fuels the torrents of hatred and vitriol surrounding the vaccination debate. I can assure you that none of the families that I personally know who have chosen not to vaccinate see it as putting their children's lives at risk, or anyone else's children's lives at risk. Not vaccinating, does not equal murder and I am sorry that you have such little respect for your fellow humans.
I'm sure no one here thinks freedom of choice is an absolute right as a parent or citizen. For example, abuse cannot be excused in the name of freedom of choice. So we need a way of distinguishing the values that trump freedom of choice. I would argue that threat of significant harm to children under your care or in the community trumps freedom of choice. If you understand why vaccinations are important and understand how herd immunity works, then you know that there is threat of significant harm to your child and community of you don't vaccinate them. So even if there is some potential violation of freedom of choice in this decision, that is not an argument in itself. The real issue is whether you trust medical consensus about the threat, or you choose to trust anti-vaccination sources and arguments instead. The author clearly doesn't believe in this threat of significant harm, because she isn't aware of and/or doesn't trust the data and medical consensus supporting it. Her response to the thousands of unvaccinated children is "Hmm, I don't know about you, but that doesn't seem like a great deal to me". Luckily we don't have to rely on what intuitively seems to be a great deal or not, because decades of medical science tells us that it IS a great deal because of herd immunity. Besides, that figure is out of date. 2014 figures show 39,000 conscientious objections recorded plus 166,000 that were more than 2 months overdue (and timing is very important). So it is not only the accelerating rate of conscientious objections that the government is trying to target with their range of strategies, but an extra reminder and incentive for busy parents that receive welfare, in the form of "no jab, no pay". I suspect I dislike this government as much as any of you, but regardless of any hidden motivations, we need to judge this policy on its own merits and what is most important - preventing children from suffering and dying.
Firstly, I'd like to say thank you. Your comment made me re-read the article and really think about my opinion on this. It is the first to have done so!
To address some of your points, please correct me if I'm wrong, but your premise appears to be that the policy is in fact solely about increasing the vaccination rate/decreasing the amount of conscientious objectors in this country. I disagree with this, mostly because from the research I have done and the personal experiences I have with families who don't vaccinate, cutting child care benefits and the end of year supplement either a) won't affect them financially as they are secure enough to not have to worry about it or b) won't sway them to change their mind about vaccinating, they will simply change their lifestyle to accommodate their inability to afford childcare without the benefits. Bearing that in mind, the policy then becomes completely ineffective for it's intended purpose. As someone who will freely admit to not being an economic expert (in fact, I'm probably an economic dunce), I am fairly certain that if I can see this, then surely the expert advisers to the government were also able to foresee this outcome.
I can certainly see how it may provide a sort of reverse incentive for busy parents who have simply allowed their child to fall behind in the recommended schedule but that seems to be an after-thought as opposed to the primary goal of the policy.
Secondly, you mention herd immunity and the threat of significant harm to a child or children under your care. While I personally believe in the efficacy of vaccinations, I am genuinely sitting on the fence about herd immunity. I have previously not questioned it but have also head enough lately to make me want to do further research before blindly jumping on the bandwagon. I am not 100% convinced that the concept of herd immunity being compromised DOES in fact pose a significant threat of harm but I am more than willing to research that further.
Finally, whilst I can appreciate your point about taking each policy on its own merits, I wholeheartedly disagree with your disregard of hidden motivations. Preventing children from suffering and dying is absolutely first and foremost (particularly as a mother) in my mind, but I certainly don't believe that this policy will aid in that endeavour in any way, shape or form. From my point of view, this policy has far too many potentially far-reaching consequences that have nothing at all to do with the health and wellbeing of our country and everything to do with becoming a nation of uniformity, where freedom of choice becomes a luxury only afforded to those who have the financial means to pay for it. For me, that is the crux of the matter and an unacceptable future.
Thank you again for your comment, I thoroughly enjoyed thinking about it!
of course this is the slippery slope to greater government controls of what were our basic rights. Perhaps what needs to happen is a discussion about what constitutes "basic rights" and how they could be enshrined in the constitution. BTW...I do advocate vaccination so this isn't about that...this is solely about government extending its authority over the general community
partly agree with this article but attacking people with terms like 'Hitler' and 'Nazi' is very low indeed. You should be able to put your point across without labelling the other party as being in line with the most hated and ostracised groups in history. A lot of people are pro vaccinations for the very reason that they protects society as a whole, especially those who are unable to protect themselves- which would be the opposite of Hitler's ideology which would have said to only vaccinate one type of person. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law BTW here is a statistic which may bear thinking about- 25,844 children DIED in the US alone in from what are now preventable dieseases in 1920-22. And another: 'Some parents worry that the measles mumps rubella (MMR) vaccine can cause brain inflammation (encephalitis), but this risk for the vaccine is around one in one million. On the other hand, one in every 2,000 children who catch measles will experience encephalitis. Of these, one in 10 will die and four in 10 will have permanent brain damage.' It is not only about protecting your own child but the rest of the community also. (I acknowledge that I did not get my son vaccinated with the birth hepatitis one as I thought it was too much too young, I then spread the others out over a few years and he did not get the chicken pox vaccine as I felt that the negatives outweighted the positives in relation to risk and effect.) I am all for having a discussion but use facts and leave fearmongering out of it.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts! While I vaccinate and completely agree that vaccination is important, I don't believe this policy is appropriate and I DO believe that the comparison to Hitler is warranted. My reasoning is that I don't believe this is about increasing vaccination rates at all, I believe that is a good excuse for the policy. The comparison to Hitler was made not in relation to vaccinations but in relation to stripping people of their basic human right of freedom of choice. And in that circumstance, I feel the comparison is 100% warranted and I feel that if people don't stand up to it now, in the beginning, we don't have the slightest hope in fighting it. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts :)
hmm....never thought about it like that. I don't see how its going to work anyway, if people have already made that decision then what makes Abbott think they will listen to him? Most of them probably didn't vote for him. He underestimates the poor in other ways, so maybe this is him at it again. I see he caters to the rich in this as well. I support vaccination, my children are fully vaccinated. I don't think I support this. Its slightly creepy.
I completely agree with you about it being creepy. I also support vaccinating however I am most emphatically pro-educated choice as opposed to pro-vaccination. But this policy screams out control and dictation as opposed to encouragement and education. Thanks for your thoughts!
all I can say is thank you thank you thank you, well written. I think it's incredibly scary the government thinks this is an appropriate course of action. Also the government creating an incentive of now paying doctors and extra $6 to do catch up immunizations. I cannot believe if the people who studied to take up the occupation of looking after people and who are pro vaccination need to get paid for this?... certainly makes me wonder what's really going on here, something is very 'off' here.
I don't quite get your premise about how this is taking away choice.
If the "poor" are already substantially vaccinating, then making vaccination a prerequisite to accessing payments has no effect.
Conversely, if the "rich" are the majority of the conscientious objectors, who don't get access to the affected payments in the first place, how does making these jabs compulsory restrict their choice?
My money is on your first theory- after ANZAC there's going to be a hidden bad news story, which will be obscured by this flury of hand wringing.
My point is that this is the first step in allowing a government to dictate how we parent our children (among other things.) We are all aware of just how high childcare costs are WITH the rebate and childcare benefit. Regardless of how wealthy you are, taking those benefits away is going to hurt the hip pocket. And there will be a number of people who will be forced to make the choice between vaccinating against their better judgement or having to give up work because they can no longer afford childcare. A choice like that, is no freedom of choice at all. And at the end of the day this is only the first policy in this vein. If this passes through parliament (it may already have done so, I'm not sure) then what's to stop them from amending it next year to "Vaccinate or you will be fined" and then "You must attend annual medical check-ups or you will be fined" and then "If your child does not attend x school you will be fined" and so on and so forth until parents have all their decisions made for them or risk some form of punishment. Thanks for reading!
The government didn't make it illegal not to vaccinate your child or force vaccination on all children without parental consent. They have withdrawn some monetary support. I think it's bit of an overreaction to say that they are taking away parental rights and freedom of choice.
You are absolutely 100% correct. They haven't made it compulsory to vaccinate or illegal not to vaccinate. Yet. Which is precisely my point. This is a very clever way to start down the slippery slope of dictating parental choices whether by blackmail or force. Thanks for reading!
Hi there. I agree with you in principle but I think your numbers are off? In Dec 2014 there were more than 39000 registered COs- http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/acir-cons-object-hist.htm