- Massimiliano Fedriga is the president of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in Italy
- Argued against decree which made vaccination mandatory for schoolchildren
- Twitter users mocked Mr Fedriga for catching infection after vaccine comments
- But he claimed he was not an anti-vaxxer, and had his own children vaccinated
A leading anti-vax figure and Italian politician was hospitalised with chickenpox earlier this week.
Massimiliano Fedriga, who is the president of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region and member of the right-wing Northern League party, revealed he was ill on Twitter.
He previously argued against the Lorenzin decree, which made vaccination compulsory for children before they could attend school, back in 2017.
At the time, he said that he had his own children vaccinated but believed it should not be forced on to people, reports La Vanguardia.
He also claimed that making the 12 vaccinations, which include chickenpox and measles, mandatory was not the best method to convince anti-vaxxers.
He spent four days in the hospital being treated for chickenpox this week.
After being discharged, he wrote on social media: ‘I’m fine, I’m at home in convalescence and I thank everyone.’
Prominent microbiologist Roberto Burioni shared the news about Mr Fedriga’s chickenpox on Twitter, saying it helpfully brought up the topic of vaccinations in adults.
Writing on his website MedicalFacts, he added: ‘[Mr Fedriga], like many adults, did not get vaccinated… if he had been vaccinated as an adult he would be in perfect health.
‘If he had infected a pregnant woman we would be facing a malformed child or an abortion.
‘The only way we have to avoid such tragedies is to vaccinate us all to prevent the circulation of this dangerous virus, which could have hit a much more vulnerable person.’
Many social media users then mocked Mr Fedriga for catching the highly-contagious infection, which can be deadly in adults, after arguing against vaccines.
He hit back at the claims, saying: ‘I have always said that I am in favour of vaccines and to achieve the result is necessary to form an alliance with families, not impose [it on them].
‘[The critics] even said I would get chicken pox from my children, not realising that my children are vaccinated (as I have stated in many interviews).’
The Lorenzin decree was introduced by the Italian government after an outbreak of measles in 2017.
It meant that the parents of non-vaccinated schoolchildren would be fined between £85 (100 euros) and £428 (500 euros).
The law, named after the former health minister Beatrice Lorenzin who introduced it, also meant children under six can be sent home from nursery if they are not vaccinated.
Data from the World Health Organisation revealed that the country had not met its 95 per cent recommended vaccination rate, with 165 cases of the measles cases being reported in January.
The case for mandatory vaccinations was propelled last month when an eight-year-old cancer survivor was put at risk due to unvaccinated children in his school in Rome.
Reproduced By: Mail Online
Date: 19 March 2019