I am of two minds when it comes to vaccines. On the plus side of things, in my own youthful days, I was the recipient of individual smallpox and yellow fever inoculations. I had to have these, because it was a requirement of British Merchant Navy service. I had been infected through either school or family, by measles, mumps and whooping cough, so was immune to any repeats. I was also vaccinated against polio, the one disease, the effects of which I had personal knowledge, as a good mate of mine was stricken, and was forced to exist by virtue of an iron lung. As soon as Dr. Salk’s magical miracle became available, all my mates queued to sign up.
As to the negative side of things, I do believe that, whilst the vaccine manufacturers have, in general, followed the diktats of Hippocrates; they have been led down sidetracks because of the need to generate ever more profit by bowing to the marketplace. When a vaccine for, say, measles was released after extensive testing, all responsible families began arranging G.P. appointments, because measles, especially in later life, can have devastating consequences. A new vaccine for mumps appeared, and, again families commenced signing up, fearful of complications which hit hearing especially hard. A similar vaccine for rubella (a.k.a. German measles) came to market, and possibly because of fears regarding pregnant women who might be infected, was another marketing winner.
A certain section of the public did not avail themselves of the definite protection given by these various vaccines; possibly because they were ill-educated and even more likely, because they were just plain ignorant and lazy, they failed to set the different appointments for the various vaccinations, and thus their children were not protected. The Marketing divisions of the pharmaceutical companies got to thinking, and decided to decrease the need for the constant appointments at clinics, and persuaded the Pharma bunch to meld the three main vaccines together, and: hey presto; the MMR vaccine was born. Born very conveniently without the publicity of the MMR overcoming sloth, ignorance and plain laziness by stating ‘no longer three visits, just once and you are done!’.
But, along comes Dr. Andrew Wakefield, with his theories about how a large viral overload, in certain situations, could be the forerunner of autism, where no autistic symptoms were known previously. His stance, publications and theories were debunked by a heavy onslaught from the medical establishment. Dr. Wakefield was stripped of his licence, and left for America.Was he treated unfairly? Not being of a medical background, I feel unable to comment, but that does not answer the anguished parents who send their seemingly healthy kids for MMR vaccination, and watch them reappear with strong autistic symptoms just a short time later.
Myself? I seem to recall the post I wrote upon vaccinations, along with mention of the good Dr. Wakefield. I also recall the last time that the term ‘Pandemic was used, which was when the Swine Flu scare was around. ” I wrote about that as well.
But, it seems that, after over 52,000 deaths in the UK alone; the Chinese virus is not only extremely nasty to both elderly and vulnerable people, it ain’t no laughing matter. We here in GB&NI have access now to two vaccines, and, as I have a duty to protect myself, my truly vulnerable wife, and because I ache for closer contact with the three small tornadoes masquerading as three of my four grandsons who live fairly close to me, I have signed up for vaccination through my G.P., qualifying because of my eight decades; and when it arrives, I’ll be there.