American doctors, public health and government officials are quick to tell the public that immunization against "vaccine preventable disease" (which is merely a phrase for any vaccine that has been developed, without regard to the severity or danger of the disease it was designed to prevent) is an imperative cornerstone of healthcare. To refuse a vaccine is to rend the American social contract in two. To question vaccine safety is to join the ranks of the "anti-vaccine" (we meet the third Tuesday of every month at the Grange Hall, donuts and coffee provided.) During the Swine Flu outbreak in 2010, Health and Human Services Director Kathleen Sebelius said in an interview with Reader's Digest:
RD:What can be done about public mistrust of vaccines?
KS:There are groups out there that insist that vaccines are responsible for a variety of problems despite all scientific evidence to the contrary. We have reached out to media outlets to try to get them to not give the views of these people equal weight in their reporting to what science has shown and continues to show about the safety of vaccines.
"...not to give them equal weight..." However, when a vaccine issue becomes patently obvious, reports occasionally appear, like this report on European children suffering from narcolepsy.
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Emelie is plagued by hallucinations and nightmares. When she wakes up, she's often paralyzed, unable to breathe properly or call for help. During the day she can barely stay awake, and often misses school or having fun with friends. She is only 14, but at times she has wondered if her life is worth living.
Emelie is one of around 800 children in Sweden and elsewhere in Europe who developed narcolepsy, an incurable sleep disorder, after being immunized with the Pandemrix H1N1 swine flu vaccine made by British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline in 2009.
Finland, Norway, Ireland and France have seen spikes in narcolepsy cases, too, and people familiar with the results of a soon-to-be-published study in Britain have told Reuters it will show a similar pattern in children there. Read more.