VACCINATE YOUR CHILDREN NOW
WE accept the reality that the government can tell us who is eligible to drive an automobile. The government does not hesitate to tightly regulate the sale, possession and use of tobacco, let alone other “medicinal herbs.” We consider it important that the government not only examine but also make sure that we are informed about the ingredients and nutritional quality of the food we eat. Yet, when it comes to vaccinating our children against dreaded diseases, there is hesitation.
The United Kingdom-based Meningitis Research Foundation is “a leading international charity that brings together people and expertise to defeat meningitis.” Meningitis is not a particularly widespread disease anymore. Each year, about 400,000 people die from meningitis globally. But there have been many localized epidemics, particularly in Africa.
In 2016, nearly 500 died in Nigeria, and that shows a high number of infected considering that mortality rate is less than 15 percent of those treated. But here is the point: The success rate of vaccines to prevent illness averages from 90 to 95 percent. The vaccines for MMR—measles, mumps and rubella—provide 99- percent protection (two doses) against measles. Polio and smallpox vaccines are also virtually 100-percent effective.
In fact, the World Health Organization certified the global eradication of the smallpox in 1980. This was only because of a worldwide vaccination campaign.
The Meningitis Research Foundation says: “Vaccination is one of the most effective public health interventions in the world for saving lives and promoting good health. Only clean water, which is considered to be a basic human right, performs better.” The controversy over the government program of mandatory vaccination of the Dengvaxia antidengue vaccine is both justified and a tragedy.
It is justified because grave errors were committed in the program. It is a tragedy because the public’s faith in vaccination has been shattered. The issue is not whether vaccination is critical to public health but whether it should be mandated by law. All 50 US States require proof of certain vaccinations before children can attend school.
Eighty-five percent of Canadian children are vaccinated, without a mandatory vaccination policy. Australia has a mandatory vaccination policy with only medical and religious exemptions as in the US.
After a measles outbreak took 32 lives in Romania—the most in Europe—the government announced it would be introducing a mandatory vaccination policy. In the Philippines, the Department of Health is pushing for mandatory immunization of children in the wake of a measles outbreak that saw 60 deaths at San Lazaro Hospital in Manila.
A senior Malacañang official said this was not necessary, and the proposal could face legal challenge. Either way—mandatory or voluntary—this is a serious problem that cannot be ignored. The fearmongering claims against basic vaccines must not be allowed to prosper.
All medical treatments— preventative or curative—carry some risk for some people. But the parents of the 60 children—all under 4 years old—who died at San Lazaro would probably think now that vaccination was worth the risk. Vaccinate your children now.