Mumps Vaccine: Supply and Demand

In repsonse to an article in the Des Moines Register, May 4, 2006
Vaccine stockpile mostly unused in mumps drive.

Health officials aren't sure why so few college-age Iowans took advantage of
clinics.

Vaccines, like any other product sold in a free enterprise system, should be subject to the law of supply and demand. If Iowans choose to roll up their sleeves and get another dose of mumps vaccine, that is their right. If Iowans say "no thankyou" to mumps vaccine - for whatever reason - that is their right.
No citizen of any state should be expected to get vaccinated in order to financially underwrite product sales for a drug company marketing vaccines. Increasingly public health officials appear to be more concerned about ensuring a healthy profit margin for vaccine manufacturers than giving health care consumers complete and accurate information about the benefits and risks of vaccines so consumers can engage in informed decision making.

1 comment:

Jodi D said...

I would like to take the opposing view. I am a public health practitioner - and a mother. It is all too easy for the public to coast on the herd immunity my family (and people like us provide). It is my right as a parent to know with some sense of certainty that my child will not be exposed to an infectious disease. There are many laws that have set the precedent - unfortunately sometimes we have to consider the health of the public over the rights of an individual. that does not mean parents shouldn't be informed - but research and information around immunizations is widely available. The internet muddies the boundaries between good information and crap, which is why one must be diligent in find the best information available. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the World Health Organization are just to name a few.

It is too easy to worry about the side-effects of a vaccine rather than the death caused by the disease itself. After all, we live in a country that has successfully removed many infectious diseases (due to mass vaccine programs I might add)...but will they stay gone if no one is protected against them?