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Stockholm clinic to be investigated over vaccine advice to parents

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Stockholm clinic to be investigated over vaccine advice to parents
File photo of a child being vaccinated not related to this story. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT
08:48 CEST+02:00
A children's clinic in Stockholm is to be investigated after it gave new parents inaccurate advice about vaccines, claiming that delaying vaccinations against certain diseases would help a child's development.

At information meetings for new parents, the Allvis anthroposophic clinic in Södermalm is alleged to have told them it was a good idea to wait before vaccinating their children against measles, mumps and rubella as the illnesses "have a positive impact on personal development".

"It's completely unacceptable to have children's clinics that don’t live up to our standards. We have some clinics that don't achieve high enough vaccination rates, but none stand out as much as that one in Södermalm," Stockholm healthcare and hospitals councillor Anna Starbrink told news agency TT.

Children are vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella from the age of 18 months in Sweden. Across Stockholm, the vaccination rate of kids born in 2014 is around 95.6 percent, but at the Allvis clinic the rate was only 44.2 percent for two year olds.

Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter (DN) reports that the clinic also recommended new parents should avoid vaccines and instead give their children homoeopathic remedies. When a father asked at a meeting if it could be positive for a child to get measles, he was told that "in the Western world you don't die from childhood diseases".

That's completely inaccurate, Starbrink noted, as in recent years a number of children have been seriously ill with measles and pertussis in Sweden, with the latter leading to several deaths. The children's clinic now risks having its permit revoked:

"I've taken the initiative to start an investigation. If you're going to run a children's clinic for Stockholm County Council you have to follow our guidelines. If you don’t do that, it’s possible to end the agreement," the councillor explained.

After speaking with the person who led the meetings, the head of the Allvis clinic denied that they provided inaccurate information.

In Sweden parents have the right to refuse vaccinations or wait for their children to have them. Measles is one of the leading causes of infant death in the world.

READ ALSO: Why most Swedes have their children vaccinated

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