Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 06:46:04 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

The vaccine debate

photo by

By
23rd-Oct-2016       Readers ( 262 )   0 Comments
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all (0) »

Rose Garrett :
(From previous issue)
Safety
Fear among the general public over the safety of immunization has formed the backbone of the anti-vaccine movement, which offers some anecdotal evidence to support claims of damage due to vaccination. In the 1970's and 80's, several cases of brain injury and seizures were linked to the pertussis (whooping cough) portion of the DPT vaccine, prompting a legal backlash that threatened to put vaccine manufacturers out of business.
As a result, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) was passed in 1986, establishing a federal "no-fault" system to compensate victims of injury caused by vaccines, which include allergic reactions (anaphylaxis and anaphylactic shock), brain injury (encephalopathy), and seizures and convulsions. The pertussis vaccine has since been modified to make it safer, but the older strain is still administered in developing countries, as it is cheaper to produce.
In 1998, a study suggesting a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism was published in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet, launching a frenzy of media attention and public uproar. Many parents, both in Europe and the United States, began to refuse the vaccine for fear of an autism link, and many still believe that the MMR vaccine bears some of the blame for their child's autism. These parents say that they have observed the same pattern: their child was a normally developing one-year-old, but after the shot, symptoms of autism, such as disinterest in social interaction, began to manifest.
However, it has not been determined that the onset of autism at around the same time as the administration of the MMR vaccine is a causal relationship. The Lancet has since retracted the 1998 study after an investigation by the British General Medical Council established the results of the study as deliberately falsified. As a result of the same investigation, the study's lead author, Andrew Wakefield, was found guilty of three dozen charges, including four counts of dishonesty and twelve counts of abusing the developmentally disabled children used in his research. Since 2010, he has been barred from practicing medicine in the UK.
A host of valid studies have been released to debunk the connection between autism and vaccines, but anti-vaccination organizations have continued to ask for further government testing of vaccines and the possible dangers they pose.
Effectiveness
Some anti-vaccination activists object to the unnatural quality of the vaccination practice, preferring, instead, the more traditional process of contracting a disease naturally, such as measles and chickenpox, which, after recovery, gives the person life-long immunity. "Once you get measles and recover, you're immune for life," claims Neil Miller, a medical research journalist and author of Vaccines: Are They Really Safe and Effective?. "The vaccine itself does not confer permanent immunity. This is why they've developed this idea of booster shots. What is the medical industry's answer to an ineffective vaccine? It's to give more of it."
But Wayne Yankus, MD, a community pediatrician in New Jersey, suggests that the notion of lifelong immunity for those naturally exposed to a disease in childhood may be unraveling. He points out that adults are living longer than ever before, and that waning immunity may be possible in old age even when someone had, say, chickenpox as a child. However, Yankus acknowledges that there is a small percentage for whom immunization just doesn't work (in the case of measles, around 2-5% of people are still vulnerable to the disease after their first dose of the vaccine, and 1% are vulnerable after receiving one booster shot). The fix? These individuals are protected by the vast majority of people for whom vaccination does work. "We count on herd immunity, which is why we require immunizations for school."
A Parent's Rights
The vaccine debate has also lead to a controversy over the role of government versus the right of a parent to make choices regarding their child's health. At present, choosing to refuse vaccination for your child is not illegal, but it is mandated as a requirement for your child to attend public school (exemptions for religious or medical reasons, and sometimes for philosophical ones as well, are available but sometimes difficult to obtain).
Public health authorities view large-scale vaccination as an essential key to preventing epidemic diseases. Individuals, however, often weigh the "big picture" of public health against perceived dangers to one's individual child. Because of the "herd immunity" of the general population, the decision not to vaccinate a single child might seem safe on an individual basis. But, says Yankus, parents today lack perspective on the dangers posed to others by refusing immunization. "The issue with immunizations in general is that because so many parents today have never seen these diseases or known what they can do, many parents choose not to immunize, which is a huge mistake," he says. "I grew up with many of these diseases. I had a college roommate who died of measles encephalitis. I had a neighbor who contracted polio."
Now, says Yankus, people have the luxury to worry because they have not been exposed to the risks. "Now there is a strong, forceful, poorly informed, non-scientific community of people who feel that they don't have to immunize. As a consequence, their behavior puts everyone at risk."
Does that mean that a parent doesn't have a right to choose? Legally, they do. But that doesn't mean the government hasn't instituted hoops that parents need to jump through. Sending your child to private school is one option. Another is to apply for a religious, medical, or philosophical exemption to the rules governing public school enrollment. But, says Miller, that doesn't stop doctors from trying to vaccinate at all costs. "Kids are not legally required to get vaccinated. But doctors may try to intimidate them and frighten them with scare tactics," he says. Yankus says that his pediatric practice does not take patients who refuse vaccination. "I do not have any reason in this day and age to take care of diseases that are preventable," he says, but notes that parents are welcome to make their own choice in the matter.
The consensus of the medical community is that vaccines are a safe and integral part of public and individual health. But for parents who still find themselves undecided on the issue, here are some steps to take before making your final decision:
Talk to your pediatrician about your concerns. Bring specific examples of why you are worried about the vaccine, and listen to what he or she has to say.
 Know your rights. It is not illegal to refuse vaccination. However, public schools require that children be vaccinated as a prerequisite for enrollment. Exemptions for medical and religious reasons are usually available, and exemptions for philosophical ones less so.
Be informed, and know the research. Anecdotal evidence and stories from other parents can be persuasive, but pay attention to scientific studies that show reproducible results.

0 Comments. Share your thoughts also.
Write a comment
Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Big steps needed to end city water logging


AFTER torrential rain, most parts of metropolis Dhaka, Chittagong and other major cities are suffering from knee-deep water from early this week. Accompanied by story wind and smog city life has become unbearable at places in muddy streets along the dirty footpaths. Under-construction flyovers are blocking movement of traffic in ...

Cricket »

Kohli pain after Bangalore set new low in IPL


AFP, New Delhi :Skipper Virat Kohli said "it really hurts" after Royal Challengers Bangalore slumped to a record low score of 49 against Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League.Chasing a modest 132, the Bangalore batsmen -- including Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers -- crashed in just ...

City »

Member of the Executive Council of Dhaka Club Limited Abdus Selim handing over a cheque of Tk 24 lakh to BGMEA President Siddiqur Rahman for the assistance of Rana Plaza victims at a ceremony held in the city on Sunday.


.

Entertainment »

Purnima in three new plays


Entertainment Report :It is little bit late to come Eid but the directors have already started to make Eid telefilms and plays. Three directors are going to make three plays to cast National Film Award winner actress Purnima. These three directors are: Chayanika Chowdhury, Sraboni Ferdous and Rajibul Islam Rajib. ...

International »

Trump`s approval rating hits record low


AP, Washington Post :Six days before marking his first 100 days in office, President Trump has the lowest approval rating of any president in more than 70 years, a pair of polls published Sunday found.According to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, just 42 percent of Americans approve of Trump's ...

Cricket »

Mustafizur returns home tomorrow


Sports Reporter :'Wonder Boy' Mustafizur Rahman will return home tomorrow from tomorrow. Mustafizur Rahman had a sorrow start in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. The 'Cutter Master' played for Sunrisers Hyderabad against Mumbai Indians in Mumbai in his first match on April 13. Mustafiz bowled 2.4 overs conceding 34 runs ...

Football »

Neymar ban dispute rages ahead of Clasico


Neymar looks set to travel with the Barcelona squad for Sunday's El Clasico against Real Madrid as the Catalans continue to fight his suspension for the potentially title-deciding clash.The Brazilian is in the midst of a three-game suspension for his red card and subsequent sarcastic applause of the officials in ...

Editorial »

Specter of war threatening world peace


North Korea has warned of preemptive strike against the South as the specter of war threatens the Korea peninsula.. Meanwhile, Talibans killed at least 140 Afghan soldiers on Friday in an ambush on the regime's forces in northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. It is so far the deadliest attack on Afghan ...

Entertainment »

Will never do erotic genre like Hate Story 3 again: Daisy Shah


Actress Daisy Shah played a bold role in the 2015 erotic thriller "Hate Story 3". But she will never get into that genre again as she finds kissing a stranger very awkward.Asked what kind of characters she will never play on screen, she told IANS in an email interaction: "I ...

Entertainment »

I'm still an outsider in Hollywood: Chris Pratt


Chris Pratt is the main lead in two of the biggest Hollywood franchises - Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy - and is one of its highest-earning stars, but the American actor still considers himself an outsider in Hollywood. The actor believes "Hollywood has a tendency to homogenise its ...

City »

BNP Standing Committee Member Nazrul Islam Khan, among others, at a rally organised by former students` leaders of Sirajganj district at DRU auditorium demanding release of BNP Vice-Chairman Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku.


International »

Russia tried to use Trump advisers to influence election: Report


AFP, Washington :Rus­sian operatives tried to infiltrate Donald Trump's presidential campaign through his advisers, including foreign policy aide Carter Page, CNN reported on Saturday.CNN said this emerged through FBI intelligence gathering, which triggered an investigation into any possible coordination between Trump campaign operatives and Russian officials.US officials told the news ...

Cricket »

Pacer Taskin becomes Atom Gum brand ambassador


Bangladesh pacer Taskin Ahmed has been appointed as the brand ambassador of Atom Gum, a product of PRAN Confectionery Limited, said a press release.It was announced by Shakhawat Ahamed, head of marketing of PRAN Confectionery Limited at a program held in the city's hotel on Saturday. The Tiger pacer will ...

Cricket »

Shakib new T20 I Captain of Bangladesh Cricket team


Sports Reporter :Shakib Al Hasan has been appointed Captain of Bangladesh National Cricket (T20 I) team.Earlier, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, the Captain of Bangladesh National Cricket (ODI & T20 I) team declared his retirement from T20 I format. Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced on Saturday that best all-rounder of world cricket ...

Editorial »

Dengue : Now an annual visitor


THE capital is yet again experiencing an early outbreak of dengue and untimely rains may be to blame. Like last year, Aedes mosquitoes, transmitter of the dengue virus, have bred early this year alarming authorities and city dwellers and health officials say there are chances their number would be larger, ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news