Monday, February 13, 2006

Deny

Yesterday's Observer reports on British doctors being 'angry at vaccine backlash'. Basically a bunch of what can only be described as morons are insisting that 'too many jabs can overload a child's immune system and lead to illness.' I was totally amazed to read about this. It's not that long since it was finally proved, once and for all, that the MMR vaccine was not responsible for Autism in children, which should have allayed fears but there you go.

As the article puts it quite simply: 'Even if the concept of immune overload was true, campaigners would still not have a leg to stand on,' said Dr David Elliman, of Great Ormond Street. 'Far from increasing numbers of antigens to stimulate immune defences, we have reduced them a hundredfold.' Until a few years ago the whooping cough vaccine given as part of the 5-in-1 jab (see box) used whole bacteria. These contained about 3,000 antigens, each raising an immune response. Today the vaccine uses a fragment of the bacterium containing only five antigens and triggering five immune responses. 'The idea we are overloading the system is therefore utterly ridiculous,' said Elliman.'

And the conclusion drawn that: ''Twenty years ago, news of a new vaccine that could save children from dying from meningitis would have been hailed as a medical breakthrough,' said paediatrician Adam Finn, of Bristol Children's Hospital. 'Now it is howled down as a threat to their well-being. It is very depressing.'' is, indeed, very depressing.
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