A senior member of the far-right, Northern League, Fedriga has opposed Italy’s efforts to introduce childhood vaccinations for 12 diseases.
One of Italy’s largest vaccine critic, Friuli Venezia Giulia Governor Massimiliano Fedriga, is recovering from a bout of chickenpox after receiving treatment at a local hostpital.
I'm fine, I'm at home in convalescence and I thank everyone,” the politician wrote on social media.
A senior member of the far-right, Northern League, Fedriga has opposed Italy’s efforts to introduce childhood vaccinations for 12 diseases, including the measles and chickenpox. On numerous occasions, he has denounced any regulated, mandatory vaccinations a form of “dictatorship” which “anti-vaxxers” never accept, although his own children are vaccinated.
In a Facebook post, Italian immunologist, Dr. Roberto Burioni wished the politician a speedy recovery, writing, “Dear President, first of all let me wish you a speedy recovery,” he wrote on Facebook. “I’m glad you vaccinated your children.
“[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.”
Italian doctors warn that the growing anti-vaccine or anti-vaxxer movement is requiring emergency measures, like the compulsory vaccine legislation- the Lorenzi law, introduced during the last administration- to be implemented.
Since being hospitalized for the chickenpox, Fedriga has changed his tune, insisting that he has never supported the anti-vaccination movement, but rather, legislation like the Lorenzi law.
“I'm reading a series of celebratory comments on Twitter because I’ve been hospitalised,” he said.
“I have always said that I am in favour of vaccines, but to achieve the result it is necessary to have an alliance with families not an imposition.
“They even said I would get chicken pox from my children, not knowing that my children are vaccinated, as I have stated in interviews,” the politician said.