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Sean Prentice - 05 Jun 2020


I find it disturbing that the debate is being skewed, sullied and closed down in this manner.

Throughout 2019 I was paying close attention to the activities of a friend in the liberal US state of Oregon who, with her official midwife hat on (a rare occupation in the US) was part of a campaign to preserve the right to refuse vaccinations in that state on religious or ethical grounds. The pharmaceutical industry had been lobbying the state legislator off and on for years for reasons which should be obvious. If this get out clauses had been rescinded, it wasn't in this instance, it would've meant that non-vaccinated children could not legally have been allowed to attend kindergarten or school, or even play in public parks. I looked on. As a father of a non-vaccinated child it was sobering. That was months before the first news came out of Wuhan. Since then I've become increasingly concerned about the manner in which dissent and critique around the subject of vaccinations has been quashed and erased within the media narrative, both within the mainstream print media and BBC, and on social media platforms, notably Facebook. Where all dissenters - no matter how balanced and informed their dissent - are slurred as 'anti-vaxxers' a misleading catch all term which has been repeatedly conflated with the equally misleading corollary 'conspiracy theorists' indeed I was shocked (but only a little) to hear the phase "anti-vaxxers and other conspiracy theorists" used by the BBC yesterday morning. As somebody who is not, as far as I'm aware, a conspiracy theorist (I believe that nobody is driving the bus) but who nevertheless has genuine concerns and considered counter beliefs about about the use, safety, and effectiveness of vaccinations (for instance how a healthy immune system might be compromised by micro doses of aluminum and mercury as well material derived from animal DNA) I find it disturbing that the debate is being skewed, sullied and closed down in this manner. I fear that this narrative pathing the way for mandatory vaccinations for Covid-19 and its future mutations. This of course touches on many issues of personal freedom and self determination as the notion of a mandatory vaccination (I can think of many ways in which abstainer might be shamed, penalized and coherence) works on the same principle of non-consequential sex. Whatever your personal beliefs about vaccinations - whether you are pro, undecided, skeptical or utterly against - I feel it is important to watch the rhetoric and which way the wind is blowing.



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