Vaccination Sacrifices – Part 1

Last night, I was reading a research article (Looker & Kelly, 2011) concerning the compensation programs various countries have in place, for people who have been injured by vaccines. New Zealand is of course one of these countries. It got me thinking about a couple of things that I would like to share with you.

syringe

In the first and second paragraphs, the authors state that “…vaccines are not without risks and it is commonly accepted that, regardless of proper design, manufacture and delivery, adverse events occur following vaccination although serious adverse events are rare. At a population level, it is considered that these small risks are balanced by the benefits of widespread population immunization. However this means that an individual occasionally bears a significant burden for the benefit provided to the rest of the population…several countries have implemented vaccine-injury compensation programmes. These programmes reflect a belief that it is fair and reasonable that a community that is protected by a vaccination programme accepts responsibility for and provides compensation to those who are injured by it” (Looker & Kelly, 2011, p. 371).

The thing that always strikes me about these pro-vaccination articles, is their argument that it is acceptable to sacrifice the health of a few (which is a gross understatement of course), for the “good” of society as a whole. Firstly when they make this gross understatement, there is never a figure attached to this, as those living in blissful ignorance are not truly interested in knowing the reality of how many people are living with, or have died, because of adverse vaccine reactions. If it were really true that only a “few” were affected, then surely there would not be a need to implement compensation programs for vaccine victims in the first place, as vaccine injury is supposedly such a “rare” occurrence.

In addition, imagine you were holding your tiny little baby in your arms and you were asked to sacrifice his/her health, for the good of society. Would you willingly agree to this? Sure, it is fine to sacrifice the health of “others,” but when you are the one whose 6-week old baby is convulsing after having received a vaccine, while you helplessly look on, is the risk still one you are willing to take? Do you accept that your child could be that “individual” who “occasionally bears a significant burden for the benefit provided to the rest of the population?”

This is something every parent should ask themselves before deciding to vaccinate their child(ren). You are fooling yourself by thinking it is better to vaccinate your child than “risk” them getting a natural childhood illness (eg. measles or chickenpox). By choosing to stick that needle in your child’s arm, you are exposing them to a very real risk of serious harm.

[Part 2 coming soon]

References:
Looker, C., & Kelly, H. (2011). No-fault compensation following adverse events attributed to vaccination: a review of international programmes. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3089384/pdf/BLT.10.081901.pdf