MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Vaccination and the Herd – Doctors for Disaster Preparedness

Posted by M. C. Fox on September 7, 2018

The governments of these countries signed a contract protecting Glaxo Smith Kline from any financial claims if the vaccine had side effects.

Are you rushing to join the herd? Or are you already there?

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https://www.ddponline.org/2012/03/01/vaccination-and-the-herd/

Like clean water and clean air, a low incidence of infectious disease is a very good thing. But removing smaller and smaller traces of pollution, or the last cases of measles, becomes increasingly difficult and costly. Zealotry is a problem in and of itself. And at some point, efforts become counterproductive. “Clean” technology such as wind turbines may lead to more net pollution. What if more vaccines produce more net sickness?…

The leading edge of compulsion is for annual influenza vaccination of health care workers (see November 2011 issue), even those who do not participate in patient care. The rhetorical temperature is rising; refusal is being portrayed as antisocial behavior.

“Newborn babies, the elderly, and the immunocompromised have a powerful interest in not being killed by those caring for them and in having a healthy workforce available to treat them,” writes bioethicist Arthur Caplan (Lancet 7/23/11, http://tinyurl.com/88jzze5). Moreover, he writes, “by not vaccinating themselves, health-care workers feed vaccine fears, reinforce anti-vaccine sentiment, and set a dismally poor example for the public.”

“Vaccination is a duty that one assumes in becoming a healthcare provider,” he concludes, “despite the loss of personal freedom entailed.” His assumptions are: that workers are “a powerful disease vector in a hospital” and that the efficacy of vaccination is a “proven fact,” as is “overwhelming safety.” Those who disagree are “delusional.”

“Herd immunity” is critical to protect those who cannot be adequately immunized” (Diekema DS, NEJM 2/2/12)…

Actual evidence for significant patient protection by immunizing medical personnel is scant. SHEA (Society for Healthcare Epidemiology in America) bases its 2010 recommendation for mandatory immunizations (http://tinyurl.com/6npvhwk) on four studies in long-term care facilities. A Cochrane review (http://tinyurl.com/cbsztrt) of “influenza immunization for heatthcare workers who work with the elderly” concluded that “there are no accurate data on rates of laboratory-proven influenza in healthcare workers” and that the studies they identified “are all at high risk of bias.” The effects they showed were for “outcomes with a non-specific relationship to influenza, namely influenza-like illness (which includes many other viruses and bacteria…)” and the overall mortality of the elderly. Winter influenza is responsible for less than 10% of the deaths of individuals over the age of 60, and overall mortality thus reflects many other causes…

A review of nearly 6,000 studies of the efficacy of influenza vaccine found only 31 that met its eligibility criteria. It showed that influenza vaccines could provide moderate protection against serologically confirmed influenza, but this protection is greatly reduced or absent in some seasons, and that evidence for protection in adults over the age of 65 was lacking. The pooled effect in adults age 18 to 65 was reportedly 57% effectiveness (Lancet Infect Dis, January 2012, http://tinyurl.com/78mvlan).

While most adverse reactions to influenza vaccine are mild, severe effects can occur. “The worst nightmare for both the pharmaceutical industry and the health authorities,” stated Richard Bergström, Director-General of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, EFPIA, “is an illness that turns out to be mild, while the vaccine that was supposed to prevent a severe epidemic causes a severe side effect that was previously unknown.” The 2009 novel H1N1 “swine flu” vaccine Pandemrix was used in mass vaccination programs in Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Iceland, with heavy social pressure: “Be vaccinated to protect your fellow citizens.” The governments of these countries signed a contract protecting Glaxo Smith Kline from any financial claims if the vaccine had side effects.

In September 2010, Finland stopped all vaccinations with Pandemrix when cases of narcolepsy in children began to be reported. In Finland about 100 children were affected, and in Sweden at least 150. The incidence was about 6 per 100,000 persons between the ages of 4 and 19 who were vaccinated, a 12.7-fold increase over background.

The death rate from swine flu was 0.31 per 100,000 in both Germany, with a vaccination rate of 8%, and Sweden, with 60% vaccinated (Orthomolecular Medicine News Service 3/20/12, http://tinyurl.com/7ca62qb).

Although annual influenza vaccine is recommended for children, the inactivated vaccine does not appear to be effective for reducing influenza-related hospitalizations in children. In a cohort study performed at the Mayo Clinic, children who had received the flu vaccine had three times as many hospitalizations as those who did not, although the vaccine itself was not implicated as the cause of hospitalization (Science Daily 5/20/09)…

Immunization policy apparently is largely based on authoritative opinion, not evidence. On Apr 7, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the CDC seeking documentation pertaining to vaccine safety and efficacy on which its policy recommendations are based. Transparency is needed to dispel growing public distrust.

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