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The Forum > Article Comments > Immunisation and the anti-immunisation movement > Comments

Immunisation and the anti-immunisation movement : Comments

By Andrew Gunn, published 24/7/2009

Immunisation: beliefs do not change facts but facts should change beliefs.

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A forthright, honest, balanced article from the good Doctor!
As a former health care worker I can state from personal experience, anecdotal evidence and research that my observations match his closely.

There are some claims by the anti-immunisation camp though that I believe could have merit. One is the suspected link with autism and another the increasing incidence of severe allergy problems. Once again of course it is the balance of positive vs negative outcomes that swings strongly in favour of immunisation. However without serious research into the phenomena seemingly occuring in some sensitive individuals we don't know what may be happening. Maybe we never will ...

Fact is despite incredible advances in science the gaps in knowledge are immense. Also while Pharmaceautical companies call the shots on much of the research we'll see more and more push towards chemical remedies for all maladies. Whatever, one day, whether old, young or in between we're all going to die of something ......
Posted by divine_msn, Friday, 24 July 2009 10:32:31 AM
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On a current topic, should you allow yourself to be vaccinated against swine flu when a vaccine becomes available? Tom Jefferson, an epidemiologist, has his doubts.

See: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,637119,00.html

Will I personally get vaccinated?

Make that a definite maybe!
Posted by stevenlmeyer, Friday, 24 July 2009 1:01:15 PM
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A doctor collegue of mine once said it was in some ways choosing to play russian roulette when the choice was a revolver with one bullet or one with three bullets.

With regards the swine flu vaccination, it depends when it comes. If the disease has burnt itself out, then vaccinations are pointless, but if offerred one now I would definitely take it.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Friday, 24 July 2009 1:44:08 PM
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Although a matter for a full risk analysis by someone with all the stats, imunisation against swine flu may not be worth it, particularly now. The death toll has basically been trivial when compared with those who die every day from all causes, with the vast bulk of the deaths resulting when there has been some other factor (another disease or the patient is very old). Has it caused more deaths or fewer deaths than seasonal flu? Would it have been worth the trouble to get a shot to avoid taking a few days off work? What about immunising those in the big risk category - that is, already sick with something else - and would that cause more deaths or fewer the the disease? All that said immunisation against serious diseases - rubella, polio ect - is a must, and those who advocate otherwise have to make their case. So far, as the author notes, they haven't. Immunisation remains.
Posted by Curmudgeon, Friday, 24 July 2009 5:04:11 PM
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I used to feel apprehensive about some immunisations, until I commenced working as a nurse on paediatric wards.

I have held very sick, tiny babies coughing their life away after contracting whooping cough,while their terrified parents looked on. These parents were either racked with guilt because they didn't immunise their baby, or livid with anger because their baby contracted the disease from some other non-immunised child before their baby was old enough to have the immunisation.

I have cared for children with severe brain damage following a bout of encephalitis after suffering from measles. German measles affected several babies severely after their mothers had it during their pregnancies- leaving the baby blind, deaf and brain damaged.

All these patients had one thing in commen- none had been given their immunisations. Many children can't have immunisations because of life-threatening illnesses like cancer. These kids are then seriously at risk while on treatment for their condition of contracting other diseases from the community from people who have not had immunisations out of ignorance or choice.

What right do these anti-immunisationists have to condemn other children to disease, misery or death because they chose not to immunise their children?

Yes, I have also looked after autistic children, but there were several of these I cared for that had never been immunised anyway!
There were far more problems out there caused by those who did not give their children immunisations than those that did, I can assure you.
Immunise your children for goodness sake!
Posted by suzeonline, Saturday, 25 July 2009 5:37:46 PM
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Shadow Minster

I LOVE that analogy. Mind if I use it with attribution of course?

suzeonline,

Of course you are right when it comes to most vaccinations. We had no hesitation vaccinating our children against mumps, measles, rubella, whooping cough, polio etc. By the time they were born there was no more need for a smallpox vaccination.

But in the case of swine flu I am not so sure. Read the linked article and tell me what you think.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,637119,00.html
Posted by stevenlmeyer, Saturday, 25 July 2009 5:56:41 PM
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