Sunday, 1 November 2009

The anti-vaccination militia

The vaccine against swine flu has always had its opponents but since it's not compulsory it's never really had any raison d'etre. However, a group calling itself The People's United Community have gone into Birmingham hospitals putting up posters and handing out leaflets attacking the vaccine. "Swine flu is not the biggest danger. It’s the vaccine.” say the posters. Not surprisingly their campaign has incurred the wrath of health officials who point out that a) They're wrong and b) 89 of the 137 deaths from swine flu so far might have been avoided if the vaccine had been available earlier in the UK. How many more deaths might therefore be caused by inaccurate information persuading people not to take the vaccine? Healthy debate is one thing. Irresponsible scare-mongering is another.

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