Thursday, 20 December 2012
Who ever said that vaccinating was not dangerous?
No, this is not about the allegations of dangers of vaccines. This is about the dangers of being the vaccinator.
Most public health professionals have been subjected to harassment as fervent supporters of protecting children and others from preventable communicable diseases. It is inherent to the job and employers would move to defend staff abused for supporting immunization.
The disconcerting development is the targeted murder of eight Pakistani community vaccinators employed in the final push for global polio eradication. National Post article. Potential retaliation by radicals who believe that a false vaccinator was used to collect information vital to the raid on Bin-Laden.
Ongoing discourse continues to be directed that other vaccinators are acting as spies. Misinformation in vaccine resistant areas has included accusations that vaccines are a ploy to make children sterile. Heavy religious overtones are inserted into the discourse by some community leaders. Opponents in the terrorist war in Pakistan have used the polio eradication efforts as a negotiating ploy to stop drone flights and attacks.
Both parties in this debate should carry the guilt of death and disability from any future polio cases. That a ruse of providing health care was used to collect military information speaks to the inability of our systems to keep public good separate from political (and religious) debate. That innocent women, providing an invaluable global public health service, have been murdered in a coordinated, directed attack for being public health workers is beyond deplorable.
It should make the irrelevant musings of North American anti-immunization groups merely an annoyance.