Our minds’,Sam Harris in his book ‘Waking Up’ said are all we have. They are all we have ever had. And they are all we can offer others’. We should take care not lose the precious gift of the mind to career conspiracy theorists,the modern day Nostradamuses,-men who preys on our innocence and fears and sometimes on our inability to question all truths,our inability to ask why and on our inability to righteously make use of the google search engine which is readily available through our hand-held devices. The alarmists are on vaccines.
I do not claim to know it all. Dear reader, this discussion is about vaccines. A vaccine is a biological preparation that, when introduced into the body, creates long-term protection against contracting a specific disease. Only clean water performs better than vaccines in reducing the burden of infectious diseases as per the WHO. Both clean water and vaccines are basic human rights. They are both essential for the survival of Homo sapiens. Nobody should be deprived of either.
VACCINES AND HEALTH
The immune system are the soldiers that defend the body against foreign invaders(diseases).These enemies which we cannot see with unaided eyes and which is responsible for yearly hospital visits and decreased quality of life are known as pathogens. Pathogens have substances on their surfaces called antigens coined from the two words “antibody” and “generator”. Antigens then provokes the immune system to make antibodies which are carried in bloodstream to fight off the the disease-causing invaders. The antibodies made are what would protect the individual from coming down with infection when next she or he comes in contact with pathogens.Sometimes the individual gets seriously sick or dies before enough antibodies are produced.
Vaccines works by introducing a mild form(inactivated or dead form) of the disease-causing micro organism to the immune system. This mild form of the pathogens allows the immune system to develop antibodies and immune cells without necessarily harming the individual. This was how chicken pox was eradicated. 33 known human diseases as of 2018 could be prevented by vaccination.
One of the benefits of vaccination is herd immunity. Herd immunity or community immunity refers to a situation where a larger part of a population are vaccinated against a disease thus breaking the chain of transmission which in turn protects the entire community from the disease.
Some years ago,a friend told me of a yellow fever vaccine program in their facility. I went with him to the medical Centre,got vaccinated and was issued a card or certificate containing my details and the name of the vaccine I was given. I still have the certificate to this day.So Dear reader,vaccine certification is not in any way connected with the mark of the beast or end time. It is a way of knowing the people that have been vaccinated against certain diseases. Some countries requests this certificates before letting in anyone into their country.
THE VACCINE CONTROVERSY
Vaccination like everything in life comes with its attendant risks and benefits. In medical science medications are placed on a scale of risks and benefits,where the balance tilts towards the benefits such medications are considered relatively safe for use. The reverse is also true.The benefits of vaccination since the days of Edward Jenner have always outweigh the associated risks. The risks inherent in vaccines are injection site pains,swelling,reddening of the injection site. Fewer than 1 in 1 million doses of DPT(Diphtheria,Pertusis(whooping cough) and tetanus vaccine causes injection site soreness,anaphylaxis,brain damage or brain inflammation,shoulder injuries and sometimes fainting from the body’s overreaction to the vaccines. These reactions caused mainly by the pertusis component of the vaccine are rare and cannot be compared to the benefits which are decreased hospitalizations and decreased deaths. The DPT vaccines are given routinely at 2,4 and 6 months of life with subsequent boosts later in childhood. It is within these age ranges that childhood infections and diseases are more pronounced making some people to attribute other childhood problems like autism to vaccines. Same thing happened in India with the HPV vaccines which protects against certain forms of cancer.
CONTROL OF INFECTIOUS DISEASE BILL 2020
The control of infectious disease bill sponsored by the speaker of Nigeria’s house of Representative, Femi Gbajabiamila is not an entirely new bill,it is meant to correct the defects in the previous colonial-era quarantine Act.
Among other things the bill states that the President may make a declaration of public health emergency and public health emergency zones.The bill also seeks to empower the President to be able to legally declare a lockdown and restrict movement in all or any part of Nigeria where there is an outbreak of epidemic.
There is therefore nothing sinister, Bill Gate or depopulating Africa about this bill.What I supposed should be done is that the National Orientation Agency,the Federal Ministry and state ministries of information,the traditional and religious leaders should create massive awareness about not just the bill but also about the many miracles of vaccines using radio jingles,print and social media etc. The Control of Infectious Disease Bill 2020 must however be scientifically debated,subjected to public scrutiny. Health experts should also be carried along.
Unproven vaccines should not be allowed to be tested in Nigeria or anywhere in the world.