Q Skeptics Meeting with Prof Suhrbier

I had the pleasure of seeing Prof Suhrbier at the Woodford Folk Festival along with anti vax nutter Meryl Dorey.
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 Chrys Stephenson posted this to facebook:
Professor Andreas Suhrbier
Group Leader – Immunovirology QIMR will speak for QSkeptics at
The Redbrick Hotel, Cnr Annerley and Stephens Rd Sth Brisbane –
Monday June 25 2012

From QSkeptics, Bob Bruce:

We must ultimately confront [anti-vaccine] lobbyists not because they are credible but because they deceive the naïve public. They may even hold their beliefs conscientiously but they are still lethal to some bare footed seekers after truth.

While freedom of speech is not quite as free as we like to think we must be prepared to suffer the consequences of our outspokenness. If someone’s child dies because the parents held to the conspiracy theories of an anti-vax lobbyist who is to blame?

Government regulation might be draconian?

Money spent developing vaccines benefits maybe only 2/3rds of the population; how much do they spend countering the anti-vaccination lobby? Not a lot, they just leave it to people like us.

The polio vaccination was a marvel that saved countless people from a life of misery. The public were so supportive that they volunteered their children for experiments! The Salk and the Sabin vaccines (I had both!) changed the world and heralded a new age in preventive medicine.
Contrast today an insidious mistrust of vaccines and a belief that Big Pharma and ‘the government’ are colluding in some sort of hideous medical experiment on the public.

There is always a small risk of an adverse reaction to a vaccination. This can vary from cold like symptoms to death or debilitation. The alternative is to risk getting the disease and although the consequences may not be worse (than death!) they are more likely. There is a naïve belief that this is somehow one defined risk that we can opt out of. Well we can’t. We are all statistics. We need 95% coverage for herd immunity and that must be found in local communities not just nationally. Non immunised populations can have a 20-30% death rate from measles.