Tuesday, July 13, 2010

OK, this is the last time, I promise.

Melba wonders why I keep banging on about the dangers of “alternative medicine” and this is why.

The ABC report notes

The New South Wales Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) has compiled a damning report into Australia's most prominent anti-vaccination group, the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN).

The HCCC accuses the AVN of providing inaccurate and misleading information and selectively quoting research out of context to argue against vaccination.

The report has also noted accusations that the AVN harassed the parents of a child who died of whooping cough last year, after the parents advocated the importance of childhood vaccination.

The baby, Dana McCaffery, died at 32 days, too young to be vaccinated against whooping cough.

I’ve been following the whole vaccination debate pretty closely and I think there are a couple of pretty clear points that arise.

First. Whooping cough or pertussis is a bacterial infection that can kill very young children in a very horrible way.

Second. It can be prevented by a vaccine, freely available across Australia.

Third. Although children can be vaccinated at two months, the vaccine is not fully effective until the final round of vaccinations at four years old. For babies younger than six months, the danger is particularly acute.

Fourth. New parents can protect their child by receiving a pertussis booster, which will reduce the chance of passing the bacteria onto their child.

For parents to refuse to have their child vaccinated, as the AVN advocates, is the height of madness.


Cath said...

I get annoyed when organisations come out against vaccination and do it by using faux science to make a point. It is like using science to give an argument FOR creationism. Fucktards.

Puss In Boots said...

You might like this link, Pers, and this one.

Anonymous said...

OK, this is the last time, I promise.

Why do I find this hard to believe?

Anyway, for those who didn't see it, the video from last night's Lateline is just to the right of the text on the page that Ramon linked to. What gets me about this stuff, isn't even the exaggeration of the risks of vaccination. It's the queer notion that the diseases themselves aren't any sort of a big deal. It's like the past never happened or something and history is one big fabrication. I suppose AIDS is a government conspiracy, too.

WitchOne said...

Anyone with grandparents understands that polio was a devesatating disease. Anyone with parents understands that German measles was a killer.

The standard chicken pox vaccine became freely available not long ago, it was only free once your child turned 8 months and wasn't a "required" vaccination to have. I was lazy so my son got chicken pox at 1 year old, he contracted cellulitus in the throat as a result and ended up in hospital for 3 days on an IV and looking miserable.

Anyone with brains understands that prevention is better than a cure and enough prevention could potentially wipe these diseases out. Ergo vaccination should no longer be required at that point.

A thinking person could come to these conclusions, it's the maniacs out there who refuse to accept modern medicine is about prevention first.

squib said...

Very sad. So was this

WitchOne said...

I can't imagine.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Squib, I've heard of this case.

What a terrible, terrible tragedy.

Alex, one of the problems is that diseases like pertussis, polio and the like have been almost (almost) elimated from the western world - because of safe, effective vaccines.

This means who loons like the AVN come along saying "whooping cough isn't such a big deal", parents don't have a comtemporary case to refer back to.

RandomGit said...

Please don't stop posting these.

I know a lot of alternative medicine types. The more ammo the better.

I'd equate these AVN moonbats with Fred Phelps.

Puss In Boots said...

It seems I'm up to my old tricks, confusing people's names. I of course meant "Ramon" before. I blame the mind-numbing work I'm doing at the moment. It has turned my brain to mush.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

That's OK, Puss, Pers and I are often confused for each other.

Not in real life, though.


Melba said...

Okay if you're SURE this is the last time. Only because it's boring and surely there are other topics? We've done this to death, aren't we all in agreement about this one?

But one question. And just before I ask, I am not anti-vaccination, oh no no no. I think those people are tools.

BUT is it really the same thing? Is being anti-vaccination is the same thing as pro-something else (ie in your argument alternative medicine.)

Is it really or is it really just a rather large assumption of yours Ramon.

To be anti-vaccination is clearly irresponsible and dangerous. To be for [some] alternative medicines [can] be harmless. I like to think of them as complementary medicines or whatever. It depends on whether while you are pro natural stuff you are ALSO anti traditional stuff. I'll say it again (yawn): plenty of people use both, and they're neither tools nor dead.

PS Lemons!

PPS Sorry about the Dons.

PPPS The Boy is adorable and you are a fabulous father.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

In the case of the AVN, they are clearly believe vaccines are dangerous and "natural" methods (such as homeopathy) are better.

Re the Dons, The Boy started to tear up a bit towards the end, so I bought him an Essendon flag to cheer him up.

The Boy is adorable and you are a fabulous father.

Very kind of you to say so.

Anonymous said...

For the record, I'm not in favour of a blanket ban on having these kinds of posts, and I think this one was noteworthy due to the allegations of harassment - something that, assuming they're true, I find particularly low. I'd also like to thank Puss for the links. Unlike most grown-up persons, I still have a deep appreciation for comics as a medium.

Dr. Golf said...

Yeah, but who are you going to trust?

a) Comedic actor Jim Carrey and former playboy playmate Jenny McCarthey, or.

b) Some doctors no one's ever heard of let alone whacked off to.

Melba said...

Alex I don't think I have any say about any of the posts on here. I just like to poke a bit, and Ramon can take my scorn. We are besties!

Anonymous said...

Melba, I thought Ramon might be weighing up opinions on whether or not he should retire the topic.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Melbs, I notice Princess was nodding agreement when I said your novel should have more vampires.

Alex, I suppose I wrote this in response to an issue that was breaking in the media but I realise I can sound a little like a broken record on this.

Melba said...

Thanks for putting that out there Ramon. At least everyone knows now I DON'T write about vampires.

Clowns on the other hand...

And did you also notice she knew more than me about the appointment of chief justii? That wasn't embarrassing at all.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

She's a smart cookie, alright.

catlick said...

xkcd goodness and find the hover box too.