Prominent Italian anti-vaccine politician mocked, ridiculed after contracting chickenpox
Massimiliano Fedriga, the president of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in Italy, was mocked online for catching a chickenpox infection after making several anti-vaccine comments
An Italian politician and leading anti-vaccination figure was hospitalized with a case of chickenpox earlier this week.
Massimiliano Fedriga, 38, a member of the right-wing Northern League party who is also the president of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, revealed on Twitter that he was unwell, Daily Mail reports.
Fedriga made headlines in 2017 after arguing against the Lorenzin decree which mandates that children must be vaccinated before they can attend school. According to La Vanguardia, he said at the time that, while his own children were vaccinated, he believed it should not be forced on the populace.
The Italian leader also argued that forcefully imposing the 10 vaccinations listed in the decree, including those for polio and measles, was not the best method to convince those against mandatory vaccinations.
Nonetheless, renowned microbiologist Roberto Burioni used the opportunity to uphold the importance of vaccinations in adults. "Once again, we are reminded that the issue of vaccinations in adulthood is of utmost importance in order to avoid unpleasant complications," he said, sharing the news about Fedriga's chickenpox infection. "And at times, it is nearly indispensable for women who want to conceive a child."
Fedriga was then mocked and ridiculed by several social media users for catching the highly-contagious infection after his argument against vaccines. He fervently hit back at the claims, saying: "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]. [The critics] even said I would get chickenpox from my children, not realizing that my children are vaccinated (as I have stated in many interviews)."
“I’ve always had a conception of the liberal State in which we are not imposed with coercion to the citizens but we must share with them a path that is crucial," Fedriga argued last summer, according to Medkit. "This is explained by the fact that the Lorenzin decree did not allow children of up to six years to access [preventive] training. They could do so only after turning six, thereby creating a distance without sense, and at the same time not solving the problem of children are immunosuppressed and were protected up to six years and then no more."
"I believe you must create an alliance with the family and let them make a choice together, otherwise the problem cannot be taken seriously and is simply considered propaganda," he added.