I will get my H1N1 vaccine

I was appalled that the QTC published the letter from Diane Cunliffe ("Poison" Vaccine Madness, in which she expresses the belief that vaccines are dangerous and should not be taken) without some sort of statement from an appropriate medical authority concerning its veracity (or lack of same). It is one thing to publish a letter expressing someone's point of view when the result will only incite fairly innocuous discussion, such as political or social issues; quite another when an individual is actively promoting an idea that, if followed, could result in serious illness or death. How can a newspaper be so irresponsible?

I read Ms. Cunliffe's letter several times and nowhere did I see any mention of her background in medicine or biology. That being the case, on what knowledge does she base her claims? The beliefs of someone equally ill informed? I'm not going to try refuting her claims, although that would be easy, as I have no more of a medical background than she seems to have: I'll leave that to authorities who have studied the question. A letter this blatantly erroneous is bound to stimulate reactions from more knowledgeable QCT readers.

Ms. Cunliffe herself claims to have never seen proof that vaccines actually prevent illness. Yet polio and smallpox, once major killers and maimers of human beings, have virtually disappeared from our planet following decades years of intense and far-reaching vaccination programmes. If this did not come about through vaccination, I'd like to know how they disappeared. Perhaps aliens zapped them out of existence?
From what I have been told by my own doctor, as a person in good health belonging to an age group which has likely been exposed to some form of the influenza A H1N1 virus in the past, I am not personally at risk of the most serious side effects of the virus. However, when my turn comes for vaccination, I'll line up and get the injection. I think it is my duty as a citizen to protect those around me, since each person vaccinated means one less person likely to spread the disease. I certainly hope most people agree.

Once again, shame on QCT for needlessly scaring its readers just to, I assume, drum up public reaction. If you continue publishing alarming and false information, you may instead find your readership abandoning you.
Larry Hodgson

Publishers Note: Everyone has an opportunity to state their views. The QCT takes no position on letters it publishes within its commentary sections and Letter to the Editor sections. We believe in giving all voices a chance to be heard. If we have room and they are in the Quebec area they are published.

On vaccines it must also be noted that the Pharmaceutical industry in the world is one of the richest industries which derive a fast amount of their revenues from the already loaded vaccine regime in place for children prior to entry into the school system. In some cases, as much as 37 different vaccines over a period of 4 years. In 1989 it was only 10 to 13. Seems strange as we have not had a serious childhood disease increase to that degree. Vaccines in the end are a business and each of us need to take our own decisions with the help of our doctors. Therefore, both sides of this topic are acceptable to be published.


 Related Article "Poison" vaccine madness

Comment bellow was received from Larry Hodgson by our Contact Us form.

I was again surprised by the attitude of the direction of this newspaper towards vaccines (see your response to my letter, "I will get my H1N1 vaccine", published November 25, 2009). You seem to suggest, in your comments following my letter, that the main purpose of vaccinations is to make the pharmaceutical industry richer, rather than to improve human health. While I don't deny pharmaceutical companies hope to make a profit (what industry doesn't?), they also invest millions of dollars annually in research which often leads absolutely nowher and risk prosecution when their products aren't up to snuff.  Furthermore, they have competitors, so are obliged to keep their prices low.

I'm not saying that the motives of an industry should never be questioned, but I think the pharmaceutical industry has a wide range of critics that, for the most part, keeps it in check. After all, one has to trust someone! I try to trust the food industry, for example, as I am unable to grow all my own food: I count on them to provide safe nourishment for my family. Sure, the occasional outbreak of salmonella, E. coli or listeriosis does occur, but for the most part, they've done a remarkable job. I put the pharmaceutical industry in the same category: yes, it should be watched and criticized for any excesses, but it has been far more helpful than harmful.

I find your remarks doubly upsetting in that my baby sister died of polio and my first cousin still lives, at age 57, with mental retardation following a bout with measles-caused meningitis when he was a baby. Vaccines for both were introduced only a few years later. My aunt and uncle, both well into their 80s, still take care of my cousin at an age when they should be able to relax and enjoy what's left of their life. Ask them what they think of vaccination!  Polio, measles and many other infectious diseases are so thoroughly controlled by vaccination that one rarely hears of them these days. Perhaps the generations younger than my own (I'm 55) has forgotten that "childhood diseases" were not always innocuous, but killed and maimed millions and that those annoying multiple vaccinations you criticize in your comments continue to save lives. I haven't forgotten.

Finally, one of the points you tried to make really made no sense, i.e. that since there seems to be an increasing number of vaccinations for childhood diseases, why have we not seen a corresponding "serious childhood disease increase"? Think it over: as newer vaccinations slowly wipe out even the less common childhood diseases, obviously they're going to be less prevalent. Here's a better equation: more vaccines = better health.

Here's hoping that malaria will be the next childhood disease wiped out by the "avaricious" pharmaceutical industry: millions of lives will be saved!


Larry Hodgson 

I do not want to diminish any progress in the area of Public Health in this country by criticizing vaccines or your position. I was pointing out that the total number seems to be market creep motivated by profit incentives.

As a newspaper we look critically at every issue. That is our role.

Again, we do not have any position pro or con only we are stating what is common out there.

I do sympathize with your personal family situation as I too have a similar one. My 15 year old son Luke has Autism. The high regiment of childhood vaccines are a possible source of their brain dysfunction. I am not against vaccines. I just want there to be balance. Too much of a good thing is not always the way..balance and moderation seem more sensible, particularly with childhood vaccinations at infant to toddler developmentally sensitive ages.