Are children’s vaccinations harmful?


Parents of Severodonetsk schoolchildren have received the following letter:

“Dear Parents,

Your child needs a prophylactic vaccination and test for tuberculosis. In extremely rare cases there is an individual reaction from the organism over the following 24 hours in the form of a higher temperature, localized hyperemia (flushing) which are not dangerous for your child. There is at present no other defence in world medicine from serious infectious diseases, Should you refuse permission, in accordance with Article 15 of the Law “On the protection of the population from infectious diseases”, your child will not be able to remain with the other children.”

Oleksiy Svyetikov

The letter is indeed interesting, sounding more or less like: Dear Parents, we have informed you that we’re going to administer vaccinations. If there are complications from the vaccinations, don’t say we didn’t warn you. If you refuse, we won’t let your child come to school. Information about the fact that there are situations when the calendar for vaccinations can be disrupted, and this is also in accordance with Article 15 of the Law “On the protection of the population from infectious diseases”, we are not going to give you. Why give ourselves extra bother?  After all the checking bodies will complain if there are disruptions to this calendar. Therefore we will inform you, scaring you a little. It works.


This is indeed a very serious problem. I am ready to take direct part in resolving it, but here for the moment is my commentary simply as a first reaction.

1.  In “world practice” which the authors of the letter refer to, as far as I’m aware, any vaccination is regarding by definition as a threat to health. Therefore the system of protection from infectious diseases in “world practice” is based on another principle.

I know of a family in my city where the parents, who work in medicine, have refused to give their children vaccinations until they finish school. That means, as so often happens in our country, the law can fail to be observed in particular cases.

2.  I would call the practice in Ukraine in this area “conveyor-belt”. Until recently parents, as a rule, were not even informed that a prophylactic vaccination would be administered. Medical workers in the school had to fulfil their “vaccination calendar”, that was most important. The principle “Don’t do harm” took second place. Nowadays, most often parents are informed that prophylactic vaccinations will be administered via the children who can simply forget to tell their parents. In that case the child has the vaccination and the parents find out only when it’s an accomplished fact. If the parents have actually found out that the school is giving vaccinations, they don’t always act correctly since they’re not competent in this field. I mean here that there are many grounds for vaccinations posing a threat to heath (many chronic illnesses, and even a recent cold). Incidentally the situation is now such that around 90% of children (I don’t have the official statistics) have chronic illnesses. As a rule, parents who know that their child should not have a vaccination warn the school nurse. Yet the issue should not depend only on the competence and responsibility of the parents. In my view the medical staff of the school should not be able to give vaccinations without receiving information about the child’s state of health, and written permission from the paediatrician treating the child, with the latter being liable for such a decision.
I think that in the context of this issue several norms of legislation can quite realistically be appealed against, and must. This needs to be prepared well. The situation is made more complex by the fact that there is a huge industry for gaining profit, with the “raw material” being people and their health.

Serhiy Burov, M’ART

“Prava ludyny” commentary: One would think there was no need to argue and invent something new, when Ukrainian legislation has already said its word. Unfortunately, there are many gaps in our laws, but the questions concerning vaccination of children are set down in the laws and corroborated by decisions of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. Article 39 of “On the Fundamentals of health care legislation in Ukraine” No. 2801-ХІІ of 19 November 1992 distinctly stipulates that, in carrying out any medical procedure a doctor is obliged to inform the patient, in accessible form, about the purpose of the proposed examinations and medical procedure. In the case of cminors such information must be given to their parents or guardians. This legislative norm was confirmed by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.

According to Constitutional Court Resolution No. 5-зп of 30 October 1997 (case of K. Ustimenko), a doctor must, at the request of a patient, members of his or her family or legal representatives provide information about the purpose of the proposed examinations and medical procedures, including any threat to life or health. One should also bear in mind that Article 38 of the On the Fundamentals of health care legislation in Ukraine” envisages the right of every patient to freely choose a doctor and state medical-prophylactic establishment, if this establishment can provide the corresponding medical treatment.

So parents who do not agree with the illegal actions of medical staff or theadministration of educational establishments, have the legal grounds to turn to court in order to protect the rights and health of their children.

Inna Sukhorukova


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