Much as I appreciate Wally Richards’ expertise with regards to plants and the garden, I take issue with the letter on vaccinations in September 16 Tribune.
Wally is raising the issue of the profit motive behind pharmaceutical firms ‘push’ to get people vaccinated. This issue is quite different from the risk factors of vaccinations which is the issue also covered in the latter parts of Wally’s letter. The argument that vaccinations are to be avoided because of these risk factors is irresponsible. Actually getting the diseases vaccinated against is far more risky as anyone who has lived through times of the polio epidemic, seen babies choking in the fits of whooping cough, or observed damaged children born after maternal Rubella contracted during their gestation, can testify.
That we do not often experience these diseases nowadays means people have forgotten their horrors and some make the decision to not vaccinate with the excuse that they do so to ‘avoid the risk’ associated with the vaccination. That they can make that decision is based on the fact that enough people DO vaccinate and thus keep the ‘Herd Immunity’ high enough that the non-vaccinators do not have to face the risk of their child catching the actual disease.
When this form of twisted logic is encouraged by people who should know better, others join the avoidance brigade and the Herd Immunity drops. That not only puts people who cannot be vaccinated (the very young, the albumen allergic and the immune weakened) at risk, but ironically also increases the risk to the children of parents who want to avoid the small risk associated with vaccinations.