Friday, October 15, 2010

Vaccine War

I'm reading an article, on the ABC website, about the Australia Vaccination Network.  They've lost their right to solicit money from the public. I think this is a bit disturbing.  Is it up to the government to decide what charities are acceptable or not?  Have they done this before? Have they stopped any other organizations from soliciting money?  

Someone named Meryl Dorey from the AVN group says, This is the way that they handle dissent: by shutting organisations down that don't agree with their policies, and it's not the sort of move that you would expect in a democratic nation.

I think she has a good point.

On the other hand.....

WHY do they need the fundraising?  Why do you need money to get the message across?  I'm writing this post right here. I'm getting a message across. All I needed was an Internet connection and my free Blogger account.  It's pretty cheap and easy to spread messages these days.

It's not like the government has forbidden the anti-vaccination group from least from what I know. Their website is still up.  

One of the problems the government had with the group is they refused to explicitly mention that they were anti-vaccine.  And the name IS a bit misleading. Australia Vaccination Network doesn't sound like a group that questions vaccines. It sounds like an organization that would have either a balanced viewpoint, OR be pro-vaccine. 

The AVN has a whole page about the controversy.  I'm going to try to read it, but it may go over my head.  

This is what the government wanted the AVN to put on their site:

1. The Australian Vaccination Network's purpose is to provide information against vaccination in order to balance what it believes is the substantial amount of pro-vaccination information available elsewhere.
2. The information provided should not be read as medical advice; and
3. The decision about whether or not to vaccinate should be made in consultation with a health care provider."

I think that sounds very fair. And it sounds like the same stuff that's said on most health-oriented sites. Why would the AVN refuse to say it?

Well, they give their reasons.  For the most part, I think it's crap. They're pretty much against the government body (Health Care Complaints Commission) because the government body has taken the pro-vaccine side.   Well....duh.   What do they expect?  In most cases, the government IS going to take the side of the mainstream viewpoint.  Everyone takes a side.  Despite the HCCC having an opinion, I think they were fair about it. It's not like they wanted the disclaimer to say. This website is completely wrong and provides dangerous information.  Read it at your own risk!

Goodness. Usually, it's the pro-vaccine people who annoy the hell out of me, but today it's the anti-vaccine folks.  Both sides are annoying though.    

Speaking of vaccines....Jack and I got ours today.  I got the Tetanus/Whooping cough one, and the flu. Jack got the flu.  Honestly, it's a pain in the butt.  We get them at our local grocery store.  They make it sound like it's going to be this easy drop in thing, but it's not.  You have to fill out forms....not a big deal.  But then they say they need to type up the information, and that takes about 20-30 minutes. We have to sit around waiting. It's crazy because there's really no line.  Maybe it's just this particular grocery store?   Maybe at other places, it's easier to get the vaccine.

I really think it would be better if the pro-vaccine people would stop battling the anti-vaccine people, and instead work to make vaccines more convenient.  When there is worry about an illness outbreak, just have shot people out everywhere. Have tables at the library, parking lots, grocery stores, coffee shops, etc.  Don't make it a hassle. Have people sign a simple waiver, and stick them quickly with the needle.

I had a friend tell me that she was pro-vaccine, was annoyed by anti-vaccination people, but she hadn't actually gone out to get the shots yet.  People are busy. People are lazy. I gotta admit it. I'm one of them.  I've been meaning to get that Tetanus/Whooping shot for about two years.   

There's a lot of people NOT getting their vaccines.  But I'm not sure it's all due to being anti-vaccination. I really think that sometimes it's just laziness or....Well, sometimes we know what we SHOULD do, and we don't do it.  Like last night, I knew I should have one of my healthy soups for dinner.  Instead I had nachos. I knew I shouldn't have a second helping of nachos. But I did it anyway.   

Anyway, I'm looking more at the AVN website. They're still soliciting money there.   Did they not shut it down yet, or is the government forbidding some other type of fundraising?  I'm confused.    They say the money doesn't go to just spreading their gospel.  They use the money to support lobbying the government?   Is doing that expensive?   Couldn't you just email government people?   They also use the money for a hotline in which parents can report vaccine reactions; and they use the money to test vaccine for heavy metals.   I can understand why you might need money for that.

This article here says the AVN can still solicit money from AVN members. But they can't solicit from people outside of that.   I think I might understand.   So, if you're a member of AVN, you might get solicitations; and if you go to their website, you can donate. But they can't send random solicitations out to people.  I think that's totally fair. conclusion.   This is my feeling about the whole vaccination thing.

1. The AVN should stop whining.  Nothing bad or unfair is happening to them (from what I can see).

2. The pro-vaccination people should work on making vaccinations more convenient and accessible.  And maybe in Australia, it's different. Maybe it's easier to get your shots there?

How many of you out there believe in vaccinations, but have not gotten your shots yet?