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15/07/2011 / Pedanto

Shock Horror! I Agree With MSF

This week, amidst all the other depressing crap, the Guardian reported on the revelation that a fake hepatitis B vaccination programme was staged in Abbottabad, Pakistan to collect DNA from Osama Bin Laden’s family.  Unsurprisingly this has been greeted with a fair bit of controversy – although obviously with the amount of time given over Rupert Murdoch’s little oopsey  a lot of people might not have heard about it.

As a follow-up the response from Medicines Sans Frontier to this fake vaccination drive was reported today. The main drive of the article can be illustrated with the quote: “It is challenging enough for health agencies and humanitarian aid workers to gain access to, and the trust of, communities, especially populations already sceptical of the motives of any outside assistance,” said MSF. “Deceptive use of medical care also endangers those who provide legitimate and essential health services.”

Whilst I whole heartedly agree with this statement, the potential fallout of this whole debacle will be much more wide-ranging than just the health of Pakistan. The fact that the patients who were caught up in this conspiracy (and I don’t like using that word – it makes my tinfoil hat crinkle)  haven’t received an appropriate course of vaccination is of course tragic, but perhaps even worse is how the health of the wider world could be affected.

Some background on me

Just to make my alliances clear from the outset I fucking love vaccines. It makes me a little excited every time I remember that children don’t die every day from a plethora of preventable infectious disease – or at least don’t die quite as much. A thrill runs through my perineum whenever it occurs to me that smallpox isn’t endemic anywhere in the world anymore thanks to the advent of vaccination. Bile rises to the back of my mouth and a red mist descends every time I hear or read something by an anti-vaxxer (who has no understanding of either the scientific method or the demonstrable scientific theory behind vaccinations) who is given the airtime to promote infanticide. I know that often people have very emotive reasons for taking an anti-vaccination stance, and I can only imagine the guilt many parents might feel when they think that they might have caused their child’s autism by giving them an inoculation. Sadly an emotive reason for taking a certain view is rarely a logical or informed one.

In summary I am a mother-flipping vaccine zombie!

My pre-emptive strike

I’m genuinely surprised when I look on that there hasn’t already been a huge backlash from the anti-vaccination community at large. My psychic prediction is that this will change in the following days.

Although to the observer with critical faculties there isn’t a connection between vaccinations and clandestine operations (apart from their use as a tool) many people are unlikely to see it that way.

Soon enough a new line in the anti-vaxxer handbook will read something like this : “Always point out the CIA use vaccinations to collect DNA from people, thereby allowing the government to keep a closer eye on us“. The fact that a vaccination program was used as a cover by the CIA will mean that all vaccination programs are CIA initiatives and it shows how secret police are in league with big Pharma. This is akin to saying “Princess Diana was died whilst in a car, therefore the conspirators who killed her were working with Mercedes“.

Just as a side note I’m not a Diana conspiracy believer, but I have been accused of working for Big Pharma (if only – I could really do with the money) and being a quack.

Giving fuel to the cause of anti-vaxxers and their allies in the naturopathic, homeopathic and general-bullshittery industries could well result in bad healthcare spreading across the areas of the world most at need. Healthcare workers in the third world are often ready to embrace untested, unsafe and ineffective treatments out of desperation. Jim Humble’s Miracle Mineral Supplement is pretty much the archetypal example of what a snake oil salesman can take to the third world and peddle to desperate people who will drink bleach to cure their HIV.

In a country where many of the residents mistrust the western doctors as they are seen as part of the invading horde, what hope is left that their efforts will not now be refused? The repercussions onto the Polio Eradication Initiative and many other WHO schemes could be miserable.

I don’t want to go into whether this whole operation had to happen or not. The whole story of Bin Laden’s death has made me really quite sad about how much some people enjoyed his death. Don’t get me wrong me and Ossy didn’t see eye to eye, but to see some of my nearest and dearest celebrating another human being’s death was rather depressing. Hopefully this is the last bad thing to come out of this sad chapter in our history – but I won’t be holding my breath.

Sorry for the fairly morose ending there!

Here’s Tim Minchin to help cheer us all up

1. If there isn’t a article about the subject of this post in the next 7 days I will shave my head – and I have a really freaky lump on my head so I’m pretty confident

2. Why not try sponsoring me at for Great North Run – as you can see Mike Adams has!

3. Why not check out some of the podcasts on the blogroll at the side there?

4. Don’t be a twat


One Comment

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  1. laurajaynewatson / Jul 15 2011 06:37

    I really really hope there is a naturalnews article soon, I refuse to be seen with you if you shave your head!

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