Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


MEPs devise strategy to tackle vaccine hesitancy among public

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 23 March 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k1378

Rapid Response:

Re: MEPs devise strategy to tackle vaccine hesitancy among public

I am not sure why MEPs are devising strategies to tackle vaccine hesitancy? It is apparent from the recent emails I, and others have received from a variety of MEPs on this subject, that their knowledge on vaccination is totally inadequate! They simply turn to the 'truth' of authority instead of the authority of truth. The first thing MEPs should do is research the subject thoroughly and from a neutral position.... then it should become clear to them why there is this 'vaccine hesitancy'!
This arrogant labelling and attempted coercion of parents who are using their intelligence, common sense and investigative skills and coming to the conclusion that vaccines are neither safe or effective must stop - it is an absolute disgrace. It seems history is repeating itself except now we have a huge number of vaccines rather than just the smallpox vaccine introduced at the turn of the 19th century. When all the failures, injuries and deaths started to be reported back in the 1800s and parents were refusing the vaccine for their families - the Epidemiological Society and public vaccinators etc, instead of investigating the issue, started to put pressure on parents and then rallied Parliament to introduce the Compulsory Vaccination Act 1853 with further penalties added in 1868. Fines or prison sentences for those parents who refused...when parent’s only crime was trying to protect their infants from the vaccine injury or death. There is a WEALTH of essays, data and reports written by highly respected doctors and scientists during those times, who became outspoken critics of vaccination once they embarked on proper independent study - even when they started from a pro-vaccine position. They had nothing to gain by taking that stance - why would they risk their careers and positions? Dr Creighton, Prof Crookshank, Alfred name a few. I would encourage all MEPs and all doctors to read these should be compulsory reading before they talk about vaccine hesitancy. Even in the mid 1900s doctors working in public health have published very interesting texts critical of vaccination. Sir Graham Wilson and Prof Gordon Stewart - two fine examples. In Wallace's summary and conclusion (1898) he states: “And all these horrors on account of what Dr. Creighton has well termed a “grotesque superstition,” which has never had a rational foundation either of physiological doctrine or carefully tested observations, and is now found to be disproved by a century’s dearly bought experience. This disgrace of our much–vaunted scientific age has been throughout supported by concealment of facts telling against it, by misrepresentation, and by untruths.” Sadly this statement is still true today - 120 years later!
The public, including many well-meaning health professionals have been misled for too long - it is time for a truly independent investigation of this procedure - NOT a time to bring in mandatory laws and take away parents rights. It is apparent that parents and the informed public will have to unite and devise a strategy to tackle 'Vaccine Study Reluctance', 'Vaccine Ineffectiveness Denial', 'Vaccine Injuries & Deaths Disassociation Complex' and 'Obsessive Coincidence Disorder' that are now rife within the medical and science profession!

Competing interests: No competing interests

29 March 2018
Magda Taylor
The Informed Parent
Worthing, BN11 2DX