Maybe instead of throwing insults and shutting ourselves off to any discussion of the downsides of vaccines, we should all be fighting to make vaccines as safe as humanly possible.
By ensuring better testing, more transparent and easier complaints lodging, regularly reviewing for improvements, having whole of life schedules, and using the least invasive juvenile schedule possible.
A page I follow shared an article that caused a lot of people to unfollow them today.
That article was about Vaccines and politics in Sweden.
It’s a badly written, click-baity article from a dodgy source, but the crux of it was this: Sweden has always had a non-mandatory vaccine schedule, a politician submitted a bill to make vaccines mandatory. The bill didn’t pass.
The Swedes decided to keep their rights to informed consent AND refusal, and nothing has changed.
The page shared it with the question “What are your thoughts on Government Mandated Vaccines”
It shouldn’t have caused an uproar.
People should have been able to answer the question.
Instead everyone either said “stop sharing fake science” or “unfollowing because you shared fake science.”
My question is why?
Why can’t we have a grown up conversation about this topic?
The page, for the record has the same stance as this one: Informed consent is key.
Again, that shouldn’t be controversial.
If we are talking about any other medical procedure that’s not controversial. I mean there are certainly doctors out there who completely ignore patients rights, and hospitals who will fight to minimise them, but if you flat out asked the public if someone with Cancer should be forced to undergo Chemo, or someone with Anxiety should be forced to take medication or certain subsets of the population should be forced to be temporarily or permanently sterilized, people would be up in arms.
It’s not controversial to say that any individual should have the right to make an informed decision about any medical procedure or medication. That they can refuse.
It’s only controversial when it involves kids - pregnancy, circumcision, religious refusal, allowing a terminally ill child to make their own call on continuing treatment, and vaccines.
But the argument flip-flops depending on which issue we are dealing with.
When it’s religious refusal, no adult has the right to impose their religious views on a child’s health…...except if that religious (or cultural) view is that the boy child should be circumcised.
When it’s A child wanting to stop Chemo that’s making them more sick, and just accept death on their own terms, they surely can’t understand the choice they are making because they are only a child……...except when pregnant woman refusing to agree to a non-medically indicated intervention she the adult isn’t capable of making a wise choice either, so the powers that be have to impose VBAC bans and out of hospital birth bans and Abortion restrictions and so on.
And then there’s vaccines.
All logic, reasoning and ability to weigh up evidence, to weigh up pros and cons get thrown out the door.
The argument becomes one of false dichotomies.
Either vaccines are amazing and always safe. Or Vaccines are evil and always unsafe.
Most people would probably assume that it’s the Anti-Vax crowd who really push this.
But they aren't.
I’m pro vax. But I spend a lot of time in circles that are highly “anti-vax”. And I see the same thing play out time and time again.
The “pro-vax” crowd refuse to even consider that the “anti” crowd might have valid points.
They shut the conversation down.
Vaccines are always amazing and always safe.
There’s no room in their worldview for reality, which is that
Vaccines are usually amazing and usually safe, but they are sometimes unsafe too, and that forced medical procedures are a violation of human rights.
Why can’t we manage to have that conversation?
Government's are all privy to the same information on vaccine effectiveness, safety and developer recommendations.
They all have immunology specialists that they can call on to advise them on policy.
And they all come to different conclusions.
Why can’t we take that and say, “maybe it isn’t so black and white?”
Maybe babies don’t actually need to be vaccinated for tetanus. Maybe we should be using separate Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccines instead of a combined one. Maybe the HPV vaccine isn’t as great as we hoped it would be, and needs some serious revision to make it safer. Maybe the Whooping Cough vaccine doesn’t need to be given in third trimester pregnancy, which is Off-Label use anyway. Maybe since the Disneyland measles outbreak was all amongst vaccinated people we need to look at the effectiveness of that vaccine. Maybe no-jab no play is useless when teachers and support staff, grandparents and parents might not have been vaccinated. Maybe this argument that unvaccinated children put immunocompromised children at risk, is a moot point when we have millions of under-vaccinated adults in the community.
Maybe we should all be fighting to make vaccines as safe as humanly possible. By ensuring better testing, more transparent and easier complaints lodging, regularly reviewing for improvements, having whole of life schedules, and using the least invasive juvenile schedule possible.
If we did that, the vaccine uptake rates would rise.
If we did that, the fear mongering and pseudo-science (from both sides) would be unnecessary and ineffective.
If we did that, we could successfully negotiate keeping everyone healthy without sacrificing our rights.
By the way, Here are the Vaccine schedules for the EU, and for the indivdual Provinces of Canada.
There’s free movement of people across the EU and within Canada There’s also free movement of healthcare. So arguments about protecting herd immunity seem questionable at best when there is such variation between location’s schedules.
And here are the schedules for, Australia, New Zealand, The USA and Japan.
Hi I'm Nicole