Although refusing compulsory vaccination in Croatia is punishable by fines of up to 2,000 kuna (260 EUR), because of the possible risks of negative side effects parents in 2012 refused to vaccinate 28 children. That number, in just the first nine months of 2013, rose to 143, with a lot more cases expected this year.
Jutarnji list reports that some parents fear that their child will suffer from autism or multiple sclerosis as a result of being vaccinated, saying that they want to be in control of their children’s health, and not leave it in the hands of the state.
“We want vaccination in Croatia to not be compulsory, as is the case in most developed European countries. We want to be equal like other EU citizens, and for our human rights to be respected and give us the free choice to decide such important decisions for our children,” one parent was quoted in the daily.
More than 10,000 people have shown their support to a civil initiative to get the law changed in Croatia, with many believing that vaccination is only being pushed by the pharmaceutical companies and is not necessary in today’s world as many of the diseases vaccination was introduced for no longer exist in Croatia.