Vaccination appeal to Gloriavale

By Laura Mills

The Ministry of Health’s chief adviser of child and youth health has personally visited the Gloriavale Christian Community at Lake Haupiri to try to boost West Coast immunisation rates.
However, Gloriavale denies reports at the West Coast District Health Board that it has a problem with vaccinations via needle.
Gloriavale does not immunise its children, which makes it hard for the DHB to meet immunisation targets set by the Government.
Acting planning and funding manager Greg Hamilton told the board meeting on Friday that Dr Pat Tuohy visited the Christian community two or three weeks ago.
The meeting was “very amicable” and Dr Tuohy was impressed with the extent of services Gloriavale provided.
He also discussed a new vaccination that would be available orally, in pill form.
Mr Hamilton said a pill may be more acceptable with the community.
“The leadership said it’s more about injecting that they have problems with. (Dr Tuoy) reports he went away quite happy,” Mr Hamilton said.
In a statement today, Gloriavale leader Fervent Stedfast said the meeting was amicable.
However, what the board heard was not true.
“We have nothing more to say about that.”
What the community discussed with Dr Tuohy in its private home was its own business, and there was no need for it be printed, Mr Stedfast said.
“We love our children dearly and they are a blessing from God. We give ourselves with our whole heart to provide them with what we believe is a very healthy life, which is our democratic right.”