Parents fined for refusing polio vaccine

4th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

4 April 2006, BRUSSELS — A married couple in Hasselt was fined on Monday EUR 130 for refusing to allow their daughters (now aged five and three and a half) be vaccinated against polio. In handing down the ruling, the court judge defended the polio vaccination, which has been compulsory since 1967: "Polio has been eradicated due precisely to compulsory vaccinations".

4 April 2006

BRUSSELS — A married couple in Hasselt was fined on Monday EUR 130 for refusing to allow their daughters (now aged five and three and a half) be vaccinated against polio.
 
In handing down the ruling, the court judge defended the polio vaccination, which has been compulsory since 1967: "Polio has been eradicated due precisely to compulsory vaccinations".

The judge said in a world in which people frequently travel from one continent to another, vaccinations remain necessary.

The head doctor at Flemish family services unit Kind&Gezin, Erwin Van Kerschaver, also stressed the importance of vaccinations.

He said polio vaccinations performed on babies between their second and 18th month saves lives and that polio would flare up again if compulsory vaccinations are abolished.
 
Though polio has been eliminated in Europe, Van Kerschaver said it is still prevalent elsewhere such as India and Africa and several polio-infected sufferers enter Belgium every year.

Vaccinations, however, restrict Belgium's polio cases to the few 'imported' infections.

The 29-year-old Hasselt parents did not reject the vaccination based on principle. They took the decision after their eldest daughter reacted extremely emotional to the first injection of child vaccinations.

During the court hearing, the father, Ruben C., said he knew he was ignoring the law. But he stressed that the pros could not outweigh the cons of vaccinations. The parents feared a vaccination could in fact lead a polio infection.

However, Van Kerschaver said that was a misunderstanding. Prior to 2001, the vaccination was administered orally and carried a one in a million chance of a mild form of polio.

But since 2001, the polio vaccination has been in the form of an injection that carries no side effects, he said.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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