Boy refused heart surgery due to unvaxxed parents
A three-year-old boy from Cyprus has been flown to Greece for emergency surgery after doctors in Germany refused to treat the child because his parents were not vaccinated against Covid-19.
On Monday it was reported that the boy was awaiting emergency surgery after being flown by air ambulance to Greece over the weekend. The boy, who has not been named, had been hospitalized with a serious heart condition.
However, it later emerged that there had been another complication and that the child had been diagnosed with viral pneumonia on arrival in Athens. The Cypriot health ministry’s permanent secretary Christina Yiannaki said the boy had been admitted to intensive care.
The child, who is from a Russian family, had his flight to Frankfurt canceled last week after it emerged that his parents were not vaccinated. He had been treated in the same hospital there last year.
It was also reported that he was turned away by authorities in the UK and Israel; the Cypriot health authorities often outsource such operations to specialized health centers in the two nations.
His parents were vaccinated on Thursday, but will have to wait six weeks before their inoculation records are recognized abroad.
Speaking to the press, the boy's father, Alexey Matveev, a Russian national living in Cyprus, highlighted his opposition to being vaccinated, noting that unvaccinated people are admitted to hospital in Germany.
“I didn't know that I had to be vaccinated for my child to be operated on in that hospital. If I knew it of course I would have done it ... I am healthy and did not want to be vaccinated. I find it inappropriate for someone who is healthy to be vaccinated,” he said.
“This is blackmail and war on people. No, it’s not parental negligence, it’s just killing my son,” he wrote in a Facebook tirade.
Permanent Secretary Yiannaki disputed Matveev’s comments, insisting the parents had been informed about the need to be vaccinated.
German embassy officials in Nicosia noted that hospitals and nursing homes have the right to restrict access for visitors and family members, adding that "each case has to be considered on its own merits.”