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The vaccinations question is vexing

28 March, 2019

• I DO not have strong opinions on vaccinations, and believed that, on balance, they may be beneficial under most circumstances.

But now I am not so sure. I heard on Radio 4 that the health minister, Matt Hancock is planning on forcing social media companies to remove any content that suggests that vaccinations may be a bad thing.

I recall the piece mentioned that he sees such content as being as serious a threat to our society as child abuse or terrorism, which seems a bit OTT to me.

Apparently there has been a marked decline in vaccinations over the last few years with, for example, the MMR vaccine uptake having fallen for the fourth year in a row.

I later found a quote from Mr Hancock online stating “We have to make sure communications around vaccinations are always positive and about the positive value of vaccines, rather than engage in debate”.

I have been selective in reproducing his quote. But it did get me thinking – if vaccinations are such a low-risk panacea to combating childhood diseases, then why is the government so concerned about having such a debate?

And then I started to think about to the huge sums of money invested in the pharmacology industry, its shareholders and the decline in sales… and the penny started to drop.

So now I do not know what to think. On the one hand, my colleagues, family and friends are astounded that I can even question the benefit of vaccinations.

But on the other hand, the desire of Mr Hancock to silence anyone who may have doubts about the efficacy of vaccinations, makes me ask the question “what are they trying to hide?” Am I right to be concerned?



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