Right-wing politician who condemned mandatory vaccination hospitalized for chickenpox

Right-wing politician who condemned mandatory vaccination hospitalized for chickenpox

On Tuesday, it was reported that Massimiliano Fedriga, a right-wing Italian politician who governs the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, was hospitalized for chickenpox.

Fedriga, who announced his stay on social media and is now recuperating at home, is a prominent opponent of Italy's 2017 health ministry policy decreeing mandatory vaccination for 10 childhood diseases before admitting children to school. He has claimed that he personally immunized his children and supports vaccines, but it "is necessary to form an alliance with families, not impose [it on them]."

Chickenpox is extremely contagious and while usually not that serious, it is much more dangerous in adults than children — sufferers are at risk for pneumonia, encephalitis, bleeding, sepsis, and even death.

Fedriga is a member of the Northern League, a far-right populist party led by Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini and part of the governing coalition of Italy. Originally formed in 1991 to advocate converting Italy into a federated state and strengthening regional autonomy, it has more recently adopted an extreme anti-immigrant agenda.

Nor is Fedriga alone in his anti-vaccine stance — Salvini has called vaccines "useless and in many cases dangerous," and and the Northern League, as well as the allied Five Star Movement Party, has pandered to vaccine conspiracy theory groups. The government recently fired every member of a major health advisory board, and the World Health Organization is worried that vaccination rates in Italy are too low to prevent dangerous disease outbreaks.

Vaccines are one of the most important inventions in medical history. They have wiped out several life-threatening illnesses and drastically lowered infant and child mortality. But rates of vaccination are faltering in many parts of the developed world, as conspiracy theories about their purpose, efficacy, and side effects have made some families confused and afraid. In the United States, anti-vaccine agitating has led to the resurgence of measles, which was once virtually eradicated in the country.


Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.