Monday, April 04, 2005

Yo. Do I get to slap the sucka?

Posted by Craig Westover | 4:06 PM |  

Got to admit it’s a provocative headline -- Westover makes an epidemiologist his bitch -- that heralds Vox Day’s usual keen commentary.
Westover is apparently on the verge of becoming an anti-vaccine convert, as I have been for years. The fact that the pro-vaccine lobby absolutely refuses to look at the facts but instead waves its hands and shouts louder makes anyone with half a brain extremely suspicious as to what they are trying to hide.

But that's not why I am absolutely radical on this subject. To discern the truth, you need only follow the money. Have a look at how difficult it is to prove that a vaccine damaged a child, then look at how much money the organization set up by the US Congress to compensate the parents of vaccine-damaged children has paid out. Furthermore, if these little polls of scientists assuring all and sundry that vaccines are actually healthier than spinach actually meant anything, then there would be no reason at all for Congress to protect vaccine manufacturers and those administering the shots from being liable for their products and actions. The money trail never lies.

And let's face it. Since the government insists they're good for you, what are the odds that they're actually right for once?
Vox is right that despite my skepticism, or the naïve desire to believe the best of people, I am coming to the conclusion that along with many well-intentioned but misguided people foot-dragging on this issue, there are some out-and-out bad guys. But I am far from becoming an anti-vaccine convert.

For the record -- vaccinations are a legitimate public health issue and have eliminated untold suffering and economic costs from childhood diseases. What has happened -- to Vox’s point and with which I can’t and won’t argue -- is that a little government success always leads to a lot of government excess. That is exactly what has happened to the national vaccine program.

The Vaccine Compensation Court that Vox refers to is another example of a good government program gone bad through government arrogance (something that might not have happened if the same program has been put in private hands). The program is set up as a no-fault system for compensating people (not using direct tax dollars) for unpredictable (tragic, but rare) adverse reaction to vaccines themselves. Its purpose is providing fair and quick compensation to victims and protecting the national vaccination program from lawsuits for issues beyond its reasonable control. S*#& Happens.

The thimerosal issue is not what the Vaccine Compensation Court was set up to handle. If indeed there is a connection between thimerosal (a vaccine additive) and autism as the evidence is indicating, the damage to thousands of children was certainly avoidable had the government agencies set up to oversee the program acted as they should.

Dr. Hull’s attitude, his reluctance to act given the amount of evidence available today of a possible connection is inexcusable in a public health official. Unfortunately, that attitude is widespread among public health officials. I won’t question that much of it has to do with Vox’s money trail.

I simply want to make it clear that neither I nor most of the people calling for the government to take a serious look at the mercury/autism connection are demanding an end to the vaccination of children. That is not the solution; the solution is for public health officials to step and do their primary jobs, which is ensuring the safety of the vaccine program. It is in this, whether out of arrogance, greed or righteous denial, they have failed.