One recent story that doesn’t seem to have generated much interest is the recent recommendation by the Joint Committee on Vaccination & Immunisation that all children should be regularly vaccinated against flu. The rationale is that this would help prevent flu moving through the population as a whole.
Unsurprisingly this has caused a lot of the anti vaccine campaigners a fit of apoplexy. If you look up their various blogs & websites, which I’m not going to link to, you can find a level of rabid irrationality which is quite entertaining. I’m not going to spend time here dissembling their incoherent and ill informed rantings. Other bloggers out there do this far better than I could.
What is worrying is that, if you read the comments to the article, it is apparent that there are more than just a few people out there who have very odd and ignorant ideas about vaccination. As just one example one commenter seems to believe that tuberculosis is a disease of the past. If you want to spend a little time having your faith in human intelligence steadily eroded just have a good read of the comments.
But I do have one tiny reservation about these recommendations. Vaccinations against diseases other than flu are primarily promoted as being beneficial to the individual patient vaccinated. There is obviously a public health benefit too, but this is secondary. This is the very first time that I have heard of, of a vaccination programme being recommended primarily as a public health measure. Which means that the benefit to the individual patient has been placed as a secondary consideration. And that’s what bothers me just a little bit.