Originally Posted by erigeron
There is doubt in using any medication. It has risks. Risks of a side effect, either an established one or one that hasn't been detected yet, risks that you'll have an allergic reaction (even if you've taken the same medication before), risks that it won't have the desired effect on you and you'll still be subject to the risks from whatever it is you're trying to treat. To a certain extent we are all guinea pigs. No matter how long a medication has been around and how many people have taken it, it's not a sure thing. But there are risks to not using the treatment too, which obviously vary based on what said treatment is, and there are risks to using alternative medical therapies. (Please don't argue with me about whether vaccines are or aren't a treatment. Vaccines are like birth control pills--they're preventative.) Everything has risks and benefits, pros and cons.
As a pharmacist and all, I too am chagrined by the attempts of drug companies to cover up safety data. There are definitely aspects of this system that I'd change if I could. Patients deserve accurate information about what they are putting in their bodies.
I also think part of the problem is overprescribing. Drug companies encourage this because they want to get their investment back, but not everything should be a blockbuster drug. When it comes to something like Vioxx, it should never have been prescribed as much as it was given its cardiovascular side effects. But there might have been a population of people--probably those with low cardiovascular risk and terrible arthritis for which nothing but Vioxx worked--for whom the risk-benefit ratio could have been worth it.
But birth control pills aren't mandated. Neither was Vioxx. Health care workers aren't being fired for refusing to take birth control pills or Vioxx. They're not being injected into 4-hour-old infants and pregnant women. Parnets aren't being threatened with their child being banned from school, or CPS removing their children from their home if they don't give them birth control pills or Vioxx, but they ARE threatened with that if they don't vaccinate.
So it's obviously not a valid comparison.
We're being told that "the risks of not vaccinating are worse than than the risks of the diseases," but the only "evidence" of that comes from the manufacturer of the product! Independent analysis of the industry's own studies confirm that, for the flu shot, there IS no discernable benefit!
So what do you think is a reasonable amount of risk to take for an invasive preventative treatment that has no discernable benefit? You want the entire population to play Russian Roulette with possible Guillaine-Barre syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, seizure disorders, thyroid disorders, other autoimmune disorders, paralysis, or even for NO DISCERNABLE BENEFIT? You want 100 people to receive a flu vaccine, just to prevent one case of flu? Not even one death, just one CASE? And we don't even know how many of the other 99 might experience chronic problems as a result of that shot?