The Polish State Sanitary Inspectorate plans to penalise parents who refuse to vaccinate their children, however, even financial penalties might not be enough to convince them.

Parents scared more than children

Parents scared more than children

The number of anti-vaccination parents is increasing. They are afraid of complications and side effects associated with vaccinations. Doctors assure that vaccinations are safe and it is the parents’ refusal which can cause serious consequences such as epidemics of measles and other long forgotten diseases.

I want to have freedom to make a decision. I want this decision to be made after many discussions and reliable research – says Emilia Karasiewicz, mother of Kuba and Gabrysia, who is one of several thousand parents in Poland who refused to vaccinate their children.

Mrs Karasiewicz has read dozens of articles and commentaries and eventually chose the anti-vaccination side. The number of anti-vaccination parents has been increasing by 40% per year.

These statistics are alarming. It can lead to epidemics in our whole society. For example, of pneumococcus, which is not only a childhood disease, but it also concerns older people – explains health minister, Jarosław Pinkas.

Parents who read and hear about tragedies related to vaccinations are difficult to convince about their safety.

The child started talking and walking normally, but at the age of two it was vaccinated. Right now it is eight years old and in a coma – says the mother who refused to vaccinate her son after discovering the story of her friend’s child.

Asked by a journalist, she confirms that vaccination was admitted as a probable cause of the child’s coma, but she added that it was not certain.

Doctors try to convince parents

Doctors have a very hard time convincing parents that vaccinating their children is safe. They quote reliable sources. A good example might be a fast elimination of polio due to compulsory vaccinations. The last case of this disease was recorded almost fifty years ago.

If we stopped vaccinating children, we probably would have to double the number of hospitals – points out paediatric anaesthesiologist Marcin Rawicz.

The State Sanitary Inspectorate warns that parents who will refuse to vaccinate their children, will face charges. Usually up to 2,500zł per parent.

A mother who didn’t have her child vaccinated might have reasons to cry in the future. And she will blame everyone except herself – thinks dr Rawicz.


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