Monday, 10 September 2012

How Can You Tell It’s ‘Back To School’ Season?

No, not the increase in school-run road traffic and the sudden uniformed little darlings’ appearance to wreck your quiet train journey.

It’s the age-old ‘should I vaccinate?’ question rearing its head again. So much anguished hand-wringing!

Never mind – the state will happily step forward and take the decision away from you, given half a chance:
A recent article published in the British Medical Journal debated the point of whether childhood immunisations should be made compulsory by law.
Are parents who decide not to vaccinate also making the choice for the children they come into contact with?
Dr Paul A Offit, chief of infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, put forward a case for childhood vaccinations to be made mandatory.
He said: “In our world, science-based information is often obscured by false and misleading claims readily available in newspapers and magazines. Parents hear that the MMR vaccine causes autisum; that pertussis vaccine causes brain damage; and that the HPV vaccine causes blood clots, strokes, heart attacks. As a consequence some parents make bad decisions based on bad information.”
Dr Offitt concludes his article by saying: “Someday we may live in a world where we don’t scare parents into making bad health decisions. Until then, vaccine mandates are the best way to ensure protection from illnesses that have caused so much needless suffering and death.”
Ahhh, the BMJ. That organ of the medical profession that is keen to peddle dodgy data, support doctors as they scaremonger about tobacco and alcohol and obesity and yearn for the days when capitalism is brought to heel. And no, I'm not joking about that last one!

Why doesn’t anyone trust it? It’s a mystery…

18 comments:

Dick Puddlecote said...

I cannae work it out! ;)

Tatty said...

To be honest I didn't give the baby vaccines much thought beyond "balance of probabilites", had them done and there are/were no problems to report.

The HPV vaccine is one I rejected outright though and primarily for the fact that it is targeted at twelve year old girls.

I find it utterly offensive that someone somewhere decided that ALL 12 year old girls have suddenly become incapable of keeping their legs shut.

Yet despite the best efforts of just about everyone around them to sexualise them way too early in life some twelve year olds aren't actually shagging everything in sight.

For me it's just one of the ways in which a sick government happily views...and tries to treat...children as sex objects.

Tatty said...

Oh and I can tell it's Back To School Season since I haven't heard a police siren for a few days now ;)

Noggin the Nog said...

The first person who tries to inject me against my wishes is going to,get a shock.

Anonymous said...

The day a Prime Minister decides to tell the world whether or not his children have had a vaccination he tried to make compulsory for everyone else is when my children will decide whether their children (my grandchildren) should be vaccinated. My wife and I decided that our children would not receive the MMR jab and we were made to feel like pariahs. We queried whether his insistence on our children receiving the jab had any connection with the bonuses paid to GPs whose patients received the vaccination, which he refused to reply to. Since then, several of our friends' children, who were given the MMR jab, suffer various ailments which the medical profession claim has nothing to do with the MMR jab. The GP who threatened to remove us from his patients list becuase of our refusal, recently confirmed that his daughters did not receive the MMR jab because of 'a complicated family medical history'. If you are not certain, do some research and ask the right questions.
Penseivat

David Gillies said...

For God's sake, Tatty: the reason you vaccinate against HPV at 12 is precisely because it's assumed most 12 year olds are not sexually active. If you wait until they are THEN IT'S TOO LATE. It's not a license for kids to go out and have sex, it's an attempt to minimise the risk that they will later die miserably of a horrible disease.

As for infant vaccination, herd immunity is real. This isn't a strict libertarian question. Freedom of movement is pretty sacrosanct in most societies, but if someone is carrying a dangerous communicable disease then we quarantine them, even against their wishes. Why should my child die for some putative (and probably non-existent) risk to yours? Andrew Wakefield should have been hanged. He's killed people's children. If it were only the non-vaccinated kids that suffered then the calculus would be a little more clear-cut (although denying medical treatment to children is arguably child abuse, e.g. religious freaks refusing blood transfusions.) But it's not. The actions of the anti-vaccine hysterics have put others at risk, and there is a demonstrable death toll.

JuliaM said...

"I find it utterly offensive that someone somewhere decided that ALL 12 year old girls have suddenly become incapable of keeping their legs shut. "

And that we don't care if boys do it, even though they can carry it.

That's NOT policy based on a sensible decision, is it?

"The day a Prime Minister decides to tell the world whether or not his children have had a vaccination he tried to make compulsory for everyone else is when my children will decide whether their children (my grandchildren) should be vaccinated."

Spot on!

" It's not a license for kids to go out and have sex, it's an attempt to minimise the risk that they will later die miserably of a horrible disease."

Then they should be pushing for the boys to get it too. They aren't.

That makes no sense!

" Andrew Wakefield should have been hanged. He's killed people's children."

If so, then sharing the gibbet with him should be the NHS officials who declared 'MMR or nothin'!' and refused single vaccines, which would have broken the deadlock.

Noggin the Nog said...

People do realise that Blair and his mate profited directly from these vaccinations, just the same as they did with the annual flu and bird flu vaccinations?

David Duff said...

The only reply to Dr. Offit is - fuck offit!

Woman on a Raft said...

Unlike Tatty, I've got no problem with this one. From September this year the vaccine has been switched to the broader-spectrum Guardasil which, in the private sector, is worth as much as £400 a course. It makes sense to protect girls first as they are the ones who die of the sometimes-resultant cancer.

The vaccine has to be given in three reasonably closely-spaced doses (a few weeks apart) and one of the contra-indications is if the girl is already ill, which is quite common among 12 year olds who are all busy passing billions of bacteria between each other. If you miss them on the first round, you can offer the vaccine again later, perhaps next year when they are better.

So there is an administrative problem in delivering the doses, without which the protection is incomplete. It's best to start the administrative programme so that nearly everybody who wants it is done by age 14. Then anyone who does have sex is at least running a slightly lower risk than before.

I think Tatty has just discounted the logistical problem of getting hundreds of thousands of three-dose courses manufactured and delivered in a timely fashion.

No doubt the vaccine manufacturers would be very happy to offer courses to all citizens and probably will in time; it's a question of public priority who gets it first.

Tatty said...

David Gillies - "it's an attempt to minimise the risk that they will later die miserably of a horrible disease."

"For God's sake, David" you say that as if the recently developed HPV vaccinesuccessfully acting on a limited number of the variations of the virus that may be contracted and may lead to cervical cancer...which may then be diagnosed too late...is the ONLY way to prevent deaths from this particular disease.

Which...of course...it isn't.

WOAR may disagree with my stance but at least acknowledges it is (for now) an optional treatment and a matter of personal choice.

There are other reasons for my rejection of this vaccine....not least that the vaccine carries it's own not inconsiderable health risks, including death,....but the bottom line here is: MY child MY choice.

Not the government's and certainly not yours, David.

Feel to experiment with your own though.

Noggin the Nog said...

Woar,

You are getting cost and value mixed up.

HPV is in the vast majority of cases completely harmless. In the cases where it is not, it takes between 10-15 years too develop pre-cancerous cells, more than enough time for problems to be addressed by a smear test or for men with concerns a visit to the GP.

Also, HPV vaccine is dangerous. 103 fatalities at last count, thousands injured.

Just boil it down to the bare facts: you are wiling to let a total stranger inject your child with an unknown substance that has killed over a hundred people to prevent a disease that will disappear of its own accord in 90% of cases, most of the rest cause no ill effect and the remainder take at least 10 years to cause problems that should be detected long beforehand.


truthaboutgardisil.org

Woman on a Raft said...

WOAR may disagree with my stance.

Each parent has to call it as they think best. Noggin has persuasive arguments against it as the benefits are over-stated and the risk are under-stated.

My point was only that I believe the programme is more about administrative convenience than any sinister motive.

This, however, is different from the infant immunization programme which has distinct elements of compelling most children to run a risk in order to protect a few who either can't, or like Leo Blair, will not be permitted to run the risk of vaccination.

Cherie Blair did not want Leo vaccinated but she simultaneously wanted him to free-ride on herd immunity which comes from everybody else running the risk.

JuliaM said...

"...but the bottom line here is: MY child MY choice.

Not the government's and certainly not yours, David."


That does seem to be the crux of the matter.

"...or like Leo Blair, will not be permitted to run the risk of vaccination. "

Or who get a different vaccination!

bnzss said...

Firstly, no, these things oughtn't be compulsory. Secondly, there is no compelling evidence to say MMR is harmful. None. Zilch. Refusing to get your child vaccinations is probably bordering on the criminally negligent, but I suppose that just makes a bad parent rather than a criminal.

Dan said...

What vaccines do is twofold: firstly they stop the individual vaccinated from getting a disease, and secondly as long as over about 95% of the population are vaccinated, they prevent an epidemic from getting going. A small percentage of children either cannot be vaccinated (organ recipients, for example) or simply don't respond to vaccination.

If you choose not to have your child vaccinated, then you impose several costs on society. Firstly, you impose a risk of disease and death/lifetime disability on your child through your stupidity (polio is one good example here; it cripples some of those it doesn't kill). Secondly, you reduce the herd immunity, increase the risk of epidemics and impose a risk of death and disease on other children. Thirdly, you impose a cost on the NHS for the treatment of a preventable illness, both in your child and in other children (rubella is a good example here; it is teratogenic and hideously deforms foetuses if the mother catches it during pregnancy).

Do try to think ahead here where vaccinations are concerned; vaccine refuseniks tend to come across as gormless, irresponsible fuckwits, and really ought to have the costs of their stupidity recovered from their bank accounts.

Tatty said...

Dan - "firstly they stop the individual vaccinated from getting a disease.

"Firstly"...the simplistic answer to your simplistic and overly generalised statement is No, they don't.

The simple truth and indisputable fact...capitalised to aid your comprehension... is that IN CERTAIN CASES vaccinations are NOT the ONLY way to stop ANY individual from getting the disease they are alleged to prevent. Therefore, NOT ALL vaccinations are ENTIRELY neccessary.

Which blows your hysterical claims right out of the water.

If you had paid any real attention to the complexity of this discussion you would already know that. You also might have understood that you have NO influence whatsoever on the decisions of others regarding this particular matter.

Nor are you entitled to demand it.

I'll grant that you are entitled to your opinion but childish insults don't work either...no matter how much you stamp your little foot and blurt out nasty things...boo hoo poor you :(

As above...feel free to allow other people to experiment with your own children.



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