By Kim Stagliano
I don't mean to sound like a reverse Marcie Syms (of the discount clothing chain here in the Northeast called "Syms" where the tagline is "An educated consumer is our best customer." But it appears that an educated consumer may be a vaccine company's worst customer.
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — A widespread scare about vaccine side effects in Ukraine has led to a sharp drop in immunizations that could result in disease outbreaks spreading beyond the former Soviet republic, international and local health officials say.
Hundreds of thousands of fearful Ukrainians have refused vaccines for diseases such as diphtheria, mumps, polio, hepatitis B, tuberculosis, whooping cough and others this year, according to official estimates.
Authorities have canceled a U.N.-backed measles and rubella vaccination campaign funded by U.S. philanthropist Ted Turner, and will have to collect and incinerate nearly 9 million unused doses in coming months.
"I never thought I'd see the day where perfectly good vaccines are being destroyed," said Michael Bociurkiw, a spokesman for UNICEF.
Around the world, health officials say they are struggling with the repercussions of vaccine fears they call unwarranted and dangerous. Read more (HERE).
JAKARTA, Indonesia —
Indonesia's controversial health minister says she wants to end vaccinating children against meningitis, mumps and some other diseases because she fears foreign drug companies are using the country as a testing ground.
Health Minister Siti Fadillah Supari — who first drew widespread attention by boycotting the World Health Organization's 50-year-old virus sharing system in 2007 — said Tuesday she wanted "scientific proof" that shots for illnesses like pneumonia, chicken pox, the flu, rubella and typhoid were "beneficial".
"If not, they have to be stopped," she said, declining to say exactly what that would mean. "We don't want our country to be a testing place for drugs, as has been the case in Africa." Read more (HERE).
Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism.