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20 Mar, 2019 04:19

Italian politician who opposed mandatory chickenpox vaccine gets chickenpox

Italian politician who opposed mandatory chickenpox vaccine gets chickenpox

An Italian politician who has spoken out against legally mandating vaccination has been hospitalized with chickenpox, leading to an outpouring of ‘I told you so’s on social media – no matter how much he protests he’s pro-vaccine.

Massimiliano Fedriga, governor of Italy’s Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, met with a torrent of ridicule when he revealed that he’d been hospitalized with chickenpox last week. The right-wing La Liga politician had denounced the Lorenzin decree, which made vaccination mandatory in 2017, as ‘Stalinist,’ arguing authorities should instead “form an alliance” with families to convince them to vaccinate their children against the 12 diseases, including chickenpox, mandated by the new law.

Despite his support for voluntary vaccination, Fedriga has nonetheless been denounced as an “anti-vaxxer” and told he’s gotten what he deserves for spitting in the face of scientific progress. Even though his kids are vaccinated, and the chickenpox vaccine didn’t exist when he was a child, the temptation to use his (admittedly ironic) illness as a punchline was too great.

Fedriga was released from the hospital on Monday and thanked his well-wishers, including (especially?) the ironic ones, including prominent vaccine advocate Roberto Burioni, who had used him as a teachable moment, warning that he could have infected a pregnant woman, possibly causing birth defects.

Also on rt.com ‘No vaccine, no school’: Italy starts punishing parents who refuse to immunize their kids

The mandatory-vaccination policy, which bars unvaccinated children from preschool and daycare and slaps non-compliant parents of school-aged kids with fines up to $560, was adopted in Italy after a measles outbreak. Both parties in the ruling coalition – La Liga and Five Star – initially opposed the implementation of the law before forming the new government last year but have since backtracked, allowing it to take effect earlier this month.

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