I am not pro- or anti-vaccination. But I am decidedly pro-transparency, -autonomy, and -critical-thinking. I think we should all have the right to as much information as we want about what we consume – be it consumer products, food, water, herbs, vaccines, whatever – so that we can be empowered to autonomously exercise our critical thinking skills and to make informed decisions. Personally, I want to receive certain vaccines if I am satisfied with their efficacy and their safety profile, and I am statistically at risk for a serious disease that they would protect me from; I.e., a disease with either significant morbidity and mortality rates or serious sequelae in the absence of treatment that would require the consumption of pharmaceuticals, or a disease that would weaken our collective “herd immunity,” and with the resurgence of which I’d rather not be complicit. The “ounce of prevention…” adage resonates in these cases. But in order to make those decisions, we need access to all the information, whether we choose to make use of it or not, and we need to be not only allowed but empowered to make those decisions for ourselves, and of course to be encouraged to consider the potential implications of our decisions for our fellow humans. There are no quick and easy answers about the vaccination question, and I would not trust anyone on either side who tried to offer me such answers, but the last thing we need is to divert more Healthcare dollars to the kinds of overhead expenses (e.g., oppressive regulations, and 7-figure salaries for those who create and enforce them) that complicate these decisions even further.
By Alan Phillips, J.D.
This past fall, I worked with about 150 healthcare workers in 26 states who were required to get a flu shot to keep their job. I’m happy to report that the vast majority were successful. But I gained some disturbing insights from this national perspective regarding flu shots that have implications for all adults in the U.S.:
1. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources’ Healthy People 2020 initiative has aggressive vaccine goals that include not only vaccinating 90% of healthcare workers, but also vaccinating all U.S. employees with the flu vaccine. Wake up, folks! Healthcare workers are just the front lines–we’re all in big pharma’s sites, and there’s no light at the end of this tunnel. In 2010, there were over 330 vaccines already on the market or in development. There will always be another vaccine to give a person, and always another person…
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