Photo credit: Pro-choice advocates, California: Los Angeles Times, "California Legislature passes mandatory vaccination bill" (29 June 2015)
To those who demonize citizens with vaccinations concerns, and linking also to reports about disruptive behaviour at a recent Vaxxed movie showing, it pays to remember our rights to freedom of speech, and to control what’s injected into our bodies. Children’s right to health is also paramount: however, the question becomes should the State have a stronger right to decide than that of a responsible parent? These rights are especially relevant where citizens have legitimate cause for concern (Governments seen as untrustworthy only makes matters worse). To advocate that some people should be prohibited from expressing their opinion just because it’s different from mainstream, or that we should always agree on what’s an acceptable level of risk when it comes to our bodies (despite our differences), is a very slippery slope.
People concerned about vaccinations aren’t necessarily “anti” the idea of vaccinations as such, or “anti” all vaccinations either. Actually, many recognize that some vaccinations are more effective or pose less risk than others; and some people would really like to trust vaccinations, except that there are various well-founded reasons not to. For example, a 2017 published study confirms a “significant” association between vaccinations and neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD) such as learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder. The upshot was to call into question the “safety of current vaccination programs for preterm infants”. This seems consistent with 2004 research showing the leading cause of death in the US as illness due to medical treatment (outstripping even cancer and cardiovascular disease), and with skyrocketing incidences of NDD generally around the world.
In NZ, many see our health professionals as echo-chambers of US health ‘authorities’. But demonstrably untrustworthy pharmaceutical corporations’ monetisation of medicines, combined with a high mistrust in US health authorities (for example, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s unscrupulous suppression of data that didn’t fit their agenda), is a major turn-off. I mean, how do you reconcile (1) US pharmaceutical companies having legal immunity from being sued for vaccine injuries and deaths, while simultaneously (2) a US Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has awarded over $3.6b in substantiated claims?
While one individual in the Vaxxed movie has taken hits regarding his data, certain science advocating vaccines has also been discovered to be corrupt and/or biased: like the alarming trend of money in politics, money also is increasingly debasing the integrity of science (in other words, it pays to be circumspect these days). Moreover, the film raises serious non-scientific issues, like (1) the CDC issue (above), and (2) there’s still no compelling explanation offered for the tragic post-vaccination experiences of children documented in the movie or the dozens of vaccine “injuries” that occur daily in the US.
Instead of attacking each other (and similar to other controversial matters, like geoengineering), maybe we could all better understand the politics of vaccination issues, because by dismissing peoples’ concerns decision-makers could be missing the bigger picture: i.e. the need to restore public trust in those who make and regulate vaccines, and that there is more than just the medical industrial complex's way of achieving public health.
(post script: copy below, published in our local newspaper 1 June 2017):
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