A different approach this week! Rather than musing on what we do and what has happened recently my words today are a request to consider the choices we make. I understand that the topic of vaccination and the decision to vaccinate or not is a personal one but this week we have received a request from the Ministry of Education and the Chief Health Inspector. They have asked that we write to parents urging you to ensure your child’s participation in vaccination programmes.
In Warsaw we are currently seeing a measles epidemic which they attribute to falling vaccination levels. This is a pattern played out across the developed world where vaccination levels have fallen often due to misreporting in the media about potential dangers to vaccination. In 1998 a UK researcher and doctor Dr Andrew Wakefield published a now discredited research paper proposing a link between Autism and the MMR vaccine. In 2010 the paper was formally retracted by the Lancet Medical Journal, Dr Wakefield had his medical licence revoked for manipulating data and the whole episode was described as “the most damaging medical hoax of the past 100 years in the UK”.
I understand that this is a hotly debated topic and that every parent has a right to make their own decisions concerning their family, I pass this request on to you in good faith and hope that you understand that I am not expressing my own personal opinion on vaccination programmes. That being said, with a degree in Pharmacology I would be delighted to sit with any parents and discuss vaccination programmes over a coffee 🙂.
Wishing everyone a wonderful long weekend. My deepest respect to those who have served their country and paid the ultimate sacrifice and my hearty congratulations to Poland and its People as they celebrate 100 years of independence.