Wednesday, June 13, 2012

More on the Disaster in the Making (vaccination refusals)

From Bob Park:
Vaccination programs prevent more human suffering than any other branch of medicine. Their success depends on public confidence in their safety. But according to a report released last Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Health, spot checks by the Office of the Inspector General finds that free vaccines, provided under the nationwide Vaccines for Children program, are often stored at the wrong temperature, which can render them ineffective.

The first generation to receive MMR vaccinations are now parents. They have been spared not only the direct misery of the illness, but also serious side effects that can show up many years later. They should be the first to demand strict standards of safety and effectiveness in administering vaccines. Someday perhaps, eradication of pathogenic diseases will be routine, but were not there yet. What prevents it?

In 1977, smallpox, the most deadly and persistent human pathogenic disease, was eradicated from Earth by the World Health Organization following an unprecedented agreement allowing quick-response teams to freely cross every a border to administer vaccine in case of an outbreak. It was a moving demonstration of what can be achieved by world cooperation, and was quickly followed by calls to eradicate poliomyelitis. Polio eradication was undertaken by WHO in 1988 with help from private organizations, but although the number of polio cases diagnosed each year has plummeted, final eradication remains elusive. Opposition by Muslim fundamentalists is said to be the major factor in the failure of polio immunization programs. In Pakistan and Afghanistan the Taliban issued fatwa opposing vaccination as an attempt to avert Allah's will, while others saw it as an American plot to sterilize Muslims. Some conservative Christian groups oppose vaccination for diseases that are transmitted spread by sexual contact, arguing that the possibility of disease deters risky sexual contact. It doesn’t.
Bob should have mentioned the damage done by bogus vaccination programs, such as the US used to get intel on Bin-Ladin in his hideout. Like planting CIA agents among journalists and Peace Corps volunteers, getting intel from agents disguised as vaccination program staff does serious long-term damage to the program being used as cover. Every journalist, medical aid worker, and vaccination program is endangered by such efforts.