New Zealand’s education minister said parents who chose to not vaccinate their children are “pro-plague,” amid his frustration over refusals to immunize kids.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins made the comments while criticizing one New Zealand health board’s suggestion that unvaccinated children stay home from school for two weeks over confirmed local measles cases. Hipkins said children of anti-vaxxers should not be denied their right to education, as they are the ones most deserving to “learn about science.”
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“Those people who are anti-vaccination are pro-plague. It is a ridiculous position, it is not based on science,” said Hipkins. “Kids should not be excluded from their education because their parents are pro-plague.”
Hipkins went on to criticise “ridiculous” parents being “irresponsible” over their children’s immunization, and pleaded with anti-vaxxers to change their stance before the country faces a measles outbreak like that seen in the US.
Questioned on the issue, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stood by Hipkins’ comments and added that people should avail of “modern medicine to try and protect kids from illnesses that can cause grave damage, even death.”
The current measles outbreak in the US is on course to become the biggest since the highly infectious disease was declared eliminated in the country in 2000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The recent outbreak has been blamed on the wider ongoing anti-vaccinations movement.
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