Anti-vaccine letter harmful

I am writing in response to the letter to the editor entitled “Flu shot picture doesn’t help” written by J.L. Craig.

I am writing in response to the letter to the editor entitled “Flu shot picture doesn’t help” written by J.L. Craig and featured in the Nelson Star on November 2.

It’s an unfortunate fact that every fall we see articles and letters incorrectly stating that the influenza vaccine is harmful and unnecessary. These commentaries, which often contain erroneous and exaggerated details, are concerning to medical professionals on the frontlines in the battle against influenza.

Physicians and nurses who have thoroughly studied the benefits of immunization advise people to get the influenza vaccine. These are society’s health-care providers. They are the people who actively work to keep people safe from unnecessary sickness. They have witnessed firsthand, every winter, the impact of influenza on children and adults of all ages. They are knowledgeable about and committed to population health and wellness.

While influenza vaccine is not 100 per cent effective in eliminating any chance of infection, it is the best preventative weapon we have to reduce the annual winter toll of illness among our most vulnerable citizens.

While Cochrane reviews of medical evidence are one source of assessment, there are limitations to their assessment processes. Readers wanting to be fully informed may want to review BC Medical Health Officers discussion of those limitations at newsroom.gov.bc.ca/ministries/health/factsheets/letter-to-editor-vaccinating-healthcare-workers.html

Health professionals know that while influenza symptoms can be mild for many, the illness can also be deadly for some. Influenza infection is often more serious for seniors and those with preexisting health conditions. Complications from influenza can include bacterial pneumonia, bacterial meningitis, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes. Healthy adults who choose not to get immunized should consider the impact of their decision. If they do get sick with the flu they can pass the illness along to a person who is more susceptible to severe influenza illness — their elderly mother, perhaps, or their neighbour’s new baby.

I would strongly encourage your readers to visit the ImmunizeBC website at immunizeBC.ca or contact their local public health nurse for accurate and balanced information about vaccinations.

Dr. Robert A. Parker

Medical Health Officer

Interior Health

 

Just Posted

Nelson, Salmo councils decline to contribute to preservation of Cottonwood forest

The decisions have effectively stalled negotiations between the RDCK and the landowner, Kootenay Land Corporation

KBRH on watch for bed bugs after two recent cases

Spokesperson Mandy Lowery says there has not been a bed bug sighting at KBRH since Dec. 8

Avalanche Canada issues special public warning

Very weak layer buried under recent snow a cause for concern

Coffee card donations return at Wait’s News

The program supplied over 200 cards last year

Trafalgar students build home for sanctuary horse

Grade 8 students collaborated on a project with a local farm sanctuary

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Final phase of Kelowna hospital cardiac centre completed

Finishing new recovery rooms marks completion of $381 million project

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Most Read