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ADNKRONOS (ITALY): “The controversy on vaccines breaks out”

Matteo Salvini, AFP

Translated from Italian

The controversy about the vaccines explodes after the declarations of the Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini. “I believe that 10 mandatory vaccines are useless and in many cases harmful and dangerous”, said the Viminale owner in his telephone speech this morning at Radio Studio 54, triggering a series of reactions. “On vaccines” – he added – “I guarantee the commitment already made in the electoral campaign to allow all children to enter the classroom. But we are two in the government, there is an alliance with the M5S and I’m reasoning with the Minister of Health Grillo.”

DI MAIO FRENA – Commenting on the statements of Salvini, the Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio explained: “The contract speaks very clearly : we want to review the Lorenzin decree but in the sense of simply being able to ensure a vaccination protection to people and especially children.” Then – he added – “everyone has their opinion on vaccines, you know ours.”

THE POLITICS WITH BURIONI – Among those who commented on the words of Salvini is the doctor and scientific writer Roberto Burioni. “No, Minister Salvini, ten vaccines” – he wrote in a tweet then retweeted by former Prime Minister Renzi – “are not useless and even less harmful, in fact they protect you, your children and your voters, this is a very dangerous lie from someone who is responsible for the security of my country. It is very troubling. The ones I report” – they have underlined – “are supported by very solid scientific data.”

Salvini’s car arrived just around the corner. “I vaccinated my children” – he said – “Some vaccines save lives, ten vaccines for some children are useless and some dangerous, so I am not a ‘No Vax’ and there are many documented adverse reactions.” Burioni compared that to other fellow doctors who think the exact opposite of Salvini. “I believe that the health of the children is up to the mother and father” – added Salvini – “and then some vaccines are essential, too many vaccines are likely to hurt. No child can be excluded from school and from kindergarten. This is a program in the League, this is in the government contract. Then professors confront each other over God’s charity. I have had my children vaccinated” – Salvini concluded  – “thank God they’re all right. From measles we must save ourselves, other vaccines seem absolutely superfluous.”

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH COMES – Health Minister Giulia Grillo clarified: “We will take the appropriate decisions in accordance with the government allies, but clearly this is an issue that must first be discussed by the Ministry of Health.” And she stressed: “All the controversy is only instrumental and aimed at creating a media circus that I do not care about.” “I want to reiterate once again” – the minister continued – “and I will never tire of repeating it, that vaccines are a fundamental tool for primary health prevention, and that political discussions are only the best ways to offer them to the population. ”

“We are working” – she explained – “to find the best solution on the one hand to guarantee the attendance of children in kindergartens and on the other side place the revision of the Lorenzin law decree at the center of the parliamentary debate”. “We are pleased” – she added – “that the Minister of the Interior is interested in such an important issue, as well as the Minister of Education. I just want to clarify that the obligation is a political argument, which has to do with a strategy of political type, but scientific evaluations” – she concluded – “do not compete with politics “.

Salvini responded to Minister Grillo: “Hers is the competence on vaccines, I share her thoughts, we will stick to that and the government contract”. “To me too, as a father and a minister” – he added – “the health of children is at heart and that everyone is guaranteed access to the nursery, the kindergarten and the following classes. The idea is that it is better to educate  than to oblige. We are working on it. The important thing” – he concluded – “is that in September all children can enter the classroom.”

THE POSITION OF THE ISS – The Higher Institute of Health also intervenes. “In the event that the vaccination programs stop, the vaccine- preventable diseases would come back,” they underline, taking up in a footnote the statements of the World Health Organization. “Even if better hygiene, hand-washing and clean water help protect against infectious diseases, these diseases” – the Institute president Walter Ricciardi said – “can be spread regardless of the level of hygiene.” “Don’t vaccinate, and in a short time” – he warned – “diseases that were infrequent would appear again, such as diphtheria, pertussis, measles, mumps.”

Originally published on Adnkronos