By John Stone
"Jonathan Ashworth in his one specific example of social media misinformation has almost certainly misunderstood what he is reading. The cases he was reading about were almost certainly in the US where the Hep B vaccine is administered on the day of birth. Given that he himself seems horrified by the idea should not people be allowed to talk about it?"
(My comment in The Times, London)
Jonathan Ashworth, British Labour Party Spokesman on Health and Social Care, finds the idea of vaccinating an infant on the day of birth repugnant. He wrote in a Times of London editorial yesterday:
"The anti-vaccination content I’ve been able to find on Facebook in just a matter of minutes has been eye-opening. There appears to be a deep distrust in these closed groups of both the medical community and governments.
"I’ve found posts from terrified parents asking for advice on how to make sure their newborn babies aren’t taken away from them shortly after birth to be vaccinated.
"Other posts completely misinform the public about the science behind vaccinations. It’s why Tom Watson has called for a legally enforceable duty of care to be placed on these firms backed by hefty fines."
It is of course impossible know whether the other posts he read and felt challenged by were genuinely misinforming or whether he was just briefed to find them so, but in this instance what is almost certainly being referred to is the US practice of administering the Hepatis B vaccine to infants at birth, and it is quite interesting that he finds the idea - this does not happen in British hospitals - repugnant.
On a similar note I wrote to André Spicer, professor of organisational behaviour, Cass Business School (University of London)
about his article last Friday in the Guardian(so far no reply):