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Leading Anti-Vax Figure In Italy Hospitalized With Chickenpox

Emily Reily 19 Mar 2019

A politician in Italy who's a proponent of anti-vaccination legislation is recovering in the hospital after contracting chicken pox.

Anti-Vaccination Legislator Announced He Has Chicken Pox

Massimiliano Fedriga, president of Italy's Friuli Venezia Giulia region and member of the Northern League, a far-right party, took to social media to announce he was in the hospital with the infection.

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Politician Says Parents Shouldn't Be Forced To Vaccinate

Newsweek adds that Fedriga is not strictly against vaccinations, instead saying that parents shouldn't be forced to inoculate their children.

“I have always said that I am in favor of vaccines and to achieve the result is necessary to form an alliance with families, not impose [it on them],” he told the Daily Mail.

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Fedriga Spoke Against Vaccine Legislation

Though Fedriga has said he's had his own kids immunized, he's argued against 2017 legislation that made certain vaccinations compulsory for kids before they can attend school.

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He Vaccinated His Own Kids

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In an ironic twist, Fedriga has defended his actions to have his children vaccinated, saying, "[The critics] even said I would get chicken pox from my children, not realizing that my children are vaccinated, as I have stated in many interviews.”

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Fedriga Working With Other Anti-Vaxxers

Newsweek writes that in Italy, the Northern League party is ruling with Movimento 5 Stelle, also known as Five Star Movement. Both groups are doubtful that immunizations are necessary to keep people safe.

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Microbiologist Says Everyone Should Be Protected From 'Dangerous Virus'

After the news Fedriga had contracted chicken pox, Roberto Burioni, a microbiologist, spoke out on social media:

“The only way we have to avoid these tragedies (because they are tragedies) is to vaccinate us all to prevent the circulation of this dangerous virus, which…could have hit a much more vulnerable person."

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Burioni: Anti-Vaxxers 'Endanger Without Reason'

Burioni also said that those who don't respect the power of inoculation “endanger without reason and in the name of ignorance and selfishness…the lives of others.”

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