Sunday, 25 April 2010

Flu vaccination ban goes national after fever, convulsions in children

More than 60 children around WA have had adverse reactions to the flu vaccine, Fluvax. This vaccine contains three different flu components, including swine flu. If a child has already been exposed to swine flu, experts suggest that some children may be reacting badly to receiving a second exposure. Reactions have included febrile convulsions leaving one child in a critical condition. Doctors have been advised by the department of health to stop giving the vaccine to children under five years of age.

Photo from WA News 23rd April 2010

The official response to the adverse reactions has been remarkably slow.

Chris Thompson reported in WA News that
"WA's chief public health officer Tarun Weeramanthri has defended the response time in closing down the state's juvenile flu vaccine program amid revelations that children were presenting with convulsions more than two weeks ago".

The ABC said on Friday, 23rd April, 2010, that authorities in SA and Queensland have also acknowledged a number of adverse reactions to the vaccine in young children. The AMA have agreed with the ban on Fluvax to young children, however they caution parents not to lose confidence in immunisation.

In the ABC news story on Friday, Professor Peter Collignon, from the Australian National University, whose expertise is in infectious diseases, voiced concern about wide scale vaccination with Fluvax. Professory Collignon doesn't think that we have enough data to roll out a population wide vaccination program because it might cause more harm that good.

I'm wondering if the delayed reaction to the widespread reaction to the Fluvax is the result of an inability to truly perceive what was happening because the phenomenon is so outside the belief system that has been created about vaccination.

While the authorities claim they were monitoring the situation, the reality appears otherwise. They appear to have been rationalising.

The pro- vaccination lobby has been virulent in the way that open debate and discussion about the value of vaccination has been squashed until now. Dissent has been forbidden, thought patterns about vaccination have been dictated. I was told at an immunisation nurses' update session to leave the room if I didn't agree with newborn babies being given Hep B immunisation. I was seeking honest, open discussion and information. I was told "you have to believe!!" in very strong tones. Well, I don't agree to 'just believe' I want to keep my thinking open, curious and able to critique events if and when they occur.

The cult like behaviour that accompanies the pro-vaccination stance reminds me of

Fundamentalism in any context is dangerous. Slavish following of 'science' is no different to slavish following of 'religion'. Slavishness removes the ability to discern, debate and think clearly.

The delayed response to the childrens' vaccine reactions can be seen as a symptom of a fundamentalist, non thinking bio-behavioural state.

The Term Breech Trial and Catholic Priests paedophilia are both examples of slavishness; also recognised as cult like behaviour - (no independent thinking encouraged or allowed) with dreadful sequelae that continues to reverberate.

1 comment:

Amber said...

Thanks for this post! I too, agree, that people's faith in vaccination is much like fundamentalist religion. I often feel looked down upon by my colleagues when I question vaccinations (I'm a registered nurse). Having a child with autism though, I cannot be too careful.