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

Smoke scraps MS Bike Challenge

The annual fundraising event cancelled its cycling Saturday because of poor air quality

Nelson’s mural festival: scenes from opening night

Crowds wandered the streets and alleys finding delightful surprises in unlikely places

Smoky skies force flight cancellations

Air quality in West Kootenay also a health concern

Castlegar bridge designed by architect of collapsed Italian bridge

Riccardo Morandi designed the Kinnaird Bridge, which is part of Highway 3.

Columbia River Treaty negotiators met in Nelson this week

Next session is in Portland in October

First responders, police march in funeral procession for Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Canadians believe in immigration but concerned about asylum seekers: study

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada paid for study to understand Canadian attitudes

These are the highest-paid actresses of 2018

In its list released this week Forbes said all 10 earned a total of $186 million before tax

Safeway union urges rejection of mediator recommendations

Says mediator asks for too many concessions

Most Read