Pressure To Vaccinate

Today parents are under increasing pressure to take their children for a growing number of government recommended vaccinations under the premise of the reduction and eradication of once common childhood diseases. Parents are left in no doubt by the vaccine policy-makers that diseases such as whooping cough and measles could have serious consequences or even cause the death of their children. 

In the UK the Government's childhood vaccination programme is based on a voluntary scheme, however parents are actively encouraged/pressured to comply with the busy schedule of baby vaccines. The UK Department of Health (DH) and the majority of medical practitioners emphasise the seriousness of childhood diseases and promote the benefits of vaccination for the individual child and to the wider community through herd immunity. 

They continue to mandate ever-increasing numbers of vaccines, some without proper pre-licence trials; they rely on wholly inadequate passive surveillance systems and sidestep their responsibility and accountability when children are damaged by vaccines that are supposed to protect. The potential for side effects and serious adverse reactions, including death, is played down and parents' concerns are dismissed. 

Through multi-layered health organisations the DH forcefully encourages vaccination policy by applying direct and indirect pressure on parents using emotive arguments. The government ensures doctors fall into line by providing financial incentives for GP practices who manage to achieve high vaccine uptake. If parents are undecided or choose not to vaccinate they are made to feel guilty and uncaring and will be held responsible for causing possible injury to their child and others in potential future epidemics. Many parents have been threatened by an implied report to Social Services of child abuse for not vaccinating.

In 2007 the Nuffield Council on Bioethics referred to such families as "free-riders who take more than their fair share of the benefits". Such statements are now common place and made against parents who may have made an informed decision in the best interests of their child's health. Medical authorities are now well practiced in ensuring compliance, playing on the sentiment of the parent who usually wants to do what is right for the community but not at any cost to their own child. It is particularly objectionable when children damaged by vaccines are publicly denied by the very same critics who are in the business of promoting vaccines. Every parent who has a vaccine damaged child will be aware that no one in any government department or medical agency is accountable or takes responsibility for the harm caused.

When a child suffers a severe vaccine adverse reaction the parents are faced with a nightmare situation. There is the inevitable culture shock for the parents who find they are confronted by a medical system geared to denying that any child's health has suffered serious damage directly related to vaccines. The system acts as an emotional sponge, soaking up and dismissing all association with vaccines without proffering any other explanation. There seems to be a standard approach that the cause does not matter - let's just treat the symptoms.

For the parents of a vaccine damaged child the cause does matter - it matters immensely; the parents have consented to the vaccine in good faith usually after being advised that the worst that might happen is a sore arm for a short period or a slight temperature. Also the cause of the problem is important as it may well affect the treatment and determine if further vaccines are suitable. There could be implications for siblings and future babies which may have a major impact on the benefit/risk on all or some of the standard childhood vaccines being offered.

Determining that the child has been damaged by a vaccine is not an easy option for any parent because with it comes guilt and an uphill struggle with the medical authorities. Parents will often look for answers outside the immediate medical system; vaccine damage support groups, alternative therapies, legal, medical and political support, some or all will be approached for help with their children's situation. 

Parents can expect little help or support from the medical profession as the denial mantra is repeated time and again at each consultation. "It's a coincidence."; "I don't know what caused the condition but it wasn't the vaccine."; "The vaccine triggered/revealed the condition but didn't cause it." are phrases often used.

The irony is that most of the serious vaccine adverse reactions that parents report are usually the same as those noted and accepted by the vaccine manufacturer. However, it is down to the parent to 'prove' on the balance of probabilities that the vaccine actually caused the child's problems. 

If an infant dies from a vaccine reaction in the UK the parent cannot pursue a legal case to hold either the Government or vaccine manufacturer to account because legal aid is usually awarded to the child and if the infant has died then the cost/benefit clause applies; the 'cost' of taking a case to court versus the financial 'benefit' that might result from winning the case. The dead infant doesn't have any dependants and does not need a long-term care package so legal aid will not be granted as it would cost more to finance a legal case and take it to court than could be expected in the way of  a 'damage award' if the case was successful. 

Likewise, the parent cannot apply to the UK's Department of Works and Pensions Vaccine Damage Payment Unit for investigation of the child's death as there is a clause which states that an award can only be applied for following the infant's second birthday. Currently in the UK thirty one vaccine components are given to infants under the age of two years. (August 2018) © John Fletcher 2012