Editorial Note: Its an Irish custom to offer one for the road. Having finished the trilogy on Outsourcing Fascism, here’s one for the road.
A little over two years ago I wrote two posts – Little Red Riding Hood and Little Red Stethoscope that give me pleasure today – but also make me worry about Alzheimer’s figuring that I’ve rarely hit those heights since.
My warm contented glow changed somewhat two weeks ago when a colleague sent me a link to a video Whooping Cough Vaccine can spread disease.
This is stunningly good. It takes the Red Riding Hood Story and makes the grandmother into the wolf who might kill the child with the red hat because of — Oh Grandma, what a hairy germ you have! There is so much to like about it. The team commissioned by GSK to make it must have had so much fun.
The only snag is just as some of the Nazi propaganda was breathtakingly good this also seems to be creative talent being put to a scary use. My colleague sent it with a note saying because of this her sister was unwilling to let her anywhere near her new niece until she got an update on her pertussis vaccine.
Taking this to its logical conclusion no one should be let near any infant without flu shots, and shingle shots along with pertussis, and without being on antidepressants and antivirals and stuffed full of several antibiotics etc.
Amusing though the video is, and beautifully produced, it has a nasty undertone. Up to the 1930s, Germany had been the European country most hospitable to Jews. Certainly much more hospitable than Poland which has lately drafted a law to make it illegal to say that Poland was complicit with the Nazi holocaust. Besides being the country where minorities were most integrated, Germany was the most cultured country in Europe. But it didn’t take much to wipe away the veneer of civility and civilisation and produce a world where everyone was scared of everyone else. It just took a little bit of propaganda.
GSK’s Red Riding Hood looks like it appeared in 2015 before my posts which were designed for the end of year slots. But who knows, maybe I can take the credit in that my Red Riding Hood was first published in 1993. GSK track everything I do closely so perhaps they found this nestled away gathering dust and rubbed the lamp.
I believe in vaccines. I’ve had most of the ones I should have had, as have my children. But I would be slow to take a shingles vaccine, or dengue vaccine, didn’t take Pandemrix – luckily – and would likely object to a daughter of mine being given the HPV vaccine.
Why? Because of lack of access to the trial data and lack of decent investigations of the effects of vaccines. Given the current state of company clinical trial operations, while only a few companies have been charged with fraud in respect of some trials, there are grounds to think studies like Study 329 represent standard company MO.
When vaccines advocates claim vaccines can’t harm, this is baloney. If they are so confident of this, they should make the data available and commission proper studies. Vaccines just like drugs almost by definition cannot work without some risk of doing harm. The Pertussis vaccine is a wonderful example of this. In a desperate effort to reduce non-existent risks, companies produced acellular vaccines, which do seem to cause less problems but also don’t seem to work so that there is a big increase in the frequency of whooping cough.
When it comes to vaccines its a case of manning up. Communities need to recognise protection is not a free lunch. There will be harms and we need to put arrangements in place to compensate those harmed. There is a real risk of a broad swathe of the population losing trust in vaccines – or rather in the companies and vaccine advocates who claim there are no harms.