Confessions of a Quackbuster

This blog deals with healthcare consumer protection, and is therefore about quackery, healthfraud, chiropractic, and other forms of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM).

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Kerre Woodham: Hostility to jab hard to fathom


This paper's interview with Tariana Turia, in which she revealed she wasn't inoculating her grandchildren against meningococcal B, has sparked a storm of controversy.

The Maori Party co-leader has been accused of all sorts of hypocrisy, given that she was an associate Minister of Health when the vaccination programme was rolling out, failure of leadership and being a victim of faulty science. Which is a bit harsh.

But it's staggering that people won't protect their children against this killer disease. We know the vaccinations aren't 100 per cent certain. We have heard of children who have reacted badly to other vaccinations, although I've never actually met any.

The anti-vaccination advocates accuse the Ministry of Health of scaremongering, but they certainly give as good as they get with all their spooky stories.

You'll notice the antis, for the most part, are under the age of 40. Anyone who grew up with the horrors of whooping cough, scarlet fever, polio and the other nasties is incredulous that modern parents wouldn't take advantage of the science available.

Uni students in England and Wales have been told to get inoculated before they show up for class as health authorities try to stem a mumps epidemic. One third of them are believed to have missed their MMR vaccinations because their parents chose not to protect them, and mumps cases have risen from 5800 in 2003-4 to just over 55,000 during the past year. Most students will suffer only pain and discomfort but others will be left deaf or infertile.

Some antis believe these diseases are good for humankind, that exposing people to epidemics toughens them up and ensures only the strong survive. I wonder if they'd still feel that way if God's little pruning fork took their child.