Proposes Banning Unvaccinated Children from Preschool

preschool kindergarten kids children child

Reykjavík City Councillor Hildur Björnsdóttir wants vaccinations to be a prerequisite for preschool admission, RÚV reports. Hildur says parents who choose to not vaccinate their kids compromise their health and safety. She intends to submit a proposal to the city council on the issue.

The Independence Party representative says the city needs to combat the reduction in the number of vaccinated children, and believes it is only a matter of time before measles epidemics in other European countries spread to Iceland. “There are exceptions like children who cannot be vaccinated for health reasons based on medical advice and of course the proposal would not apply to them,” she stated. “But the proposal would also most of all protect these children, who may not be vaccinated and are therefore at high risk of contracting many contagious diseases.”

Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason has criticised Hildur’s proposal, calling it unnecessary. A recent report from the Directorate of Health indicates 91% participation in last year’s measles, mumps, and rubella vaccinations, which are administered at 18 months of age. The desired rate is 95%. “In many areas, we certainly want better participation rates in vaccinations. The reason why participation is not high enough is however in our opinion not that many parents are opposed to vaccinations,” Þórólfur stated. “There are certain systemic problems related to registeration and recall systems for certain age groups.”

Halldór Auðar Svansson, former city councillor for the Pirate Party is opposed to the proposal, saying it places the welfare of some children above that of others. “Using admission to preschool for this purpose is outrageous, at best a band-aid that does not address the root of the problem. It is completely inconsistent with child welfare methodologies, which places repressive measures last on the list of priorities.”

Experiment With Fishing Krill

Eco Marine Iceland is experimenting with krill fishing in Ísafjarðardjúp in the Westfjords, RÚV reports. Project Manager Daníel Guðbjartsson says no decision has been made on how the krill would be used if the fishing proves commercially viable.

Krill are small crustaceans found in all oceans and are an important food source for marine life such as whales, seals, cod, and capelin. Krill are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, and have been previously used in oil, animal feed, and pharmaceuticals.

The research project is a cooperation between Eco Marine Iceland and Norwegian Innovation Technology Group. The latter owns the patent for the equipment, which uses light to attract the krill and then pumps them on board.

The Marine and Freshwater Research Institute is supervising the project, including monitoring the catch which so far has been quite small, well under 1% of stock in the fjord.

Companies Put Off Proving Equal Pay

Around 120 companies could face daily fines in January if they do not obtain equal pay certification. The certification, meant to combat the gender wage gap, requires businesses to prove they are paying men and women equally for comparable work. RÚV reports that out of 142 companies with 250 employees or more, only 16, or 11%, have received equal pay certification.

While smaller businesses have up to four years to become certified, companies of 250 employees were given one year to complete the process. Those who do not obtain the certification by the January deadline could face daily fines of up to ISK 50,000 ($470/€400).

“We have of course emphasised trying to encourage most companies to finish this before the end of the year,” says Ásmundur Einar Daðason, Minister of Social Affairs and Equality. He adds that the government has increased funding to the project in order to encourage companies to complete the process.

Only three companies in Iceland currently issue the certification, raising concerns that it will be impossible to complete it by the end of the year.

In Focus: The Alleged Death of Haukur Hilmarsson

Since the news of his death broke, two videos have been posted of Haukur. In the videos, he states his intent to fight fascism, admonishing the West for its lack of reaction to the problems in the Middle East, and describes himself as an anarchist at heart. When news broke out that Haukur Hilmarsson had been killed […]

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