Re: Dr. Flegg - just a wee point.... 8 February 2005
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Jamie S Robertson,
Intercalating Medical Student
University of Glasgow, G12

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Re: Re: Dr. Flegg - just a wee point....


"To Hilary Butler...Since you state “nutritional insufficiency is rampant in developed countries”, I would assume you would support all possible means of preventing these children becoming unwell, including vaccination. "

Most of the scientists in the immunology department where I am being taught at the moment say that vaccination is potentially a very BAD thing to do in the developing world, as the money spent on research and vaccine manufacture could be spend to greater effect on environmental issues, agriculture, clean water, sanitation, etc etc, and these would tackle many different diseases as well as providing humanity with a general improvement in the quality of their life (which is, after all, what we're called to do as doctors)...

I'm not trying to detract from the importance of vaccinations, especially in developed countries, but if Ms. Butler is right (and, sitting in Glasgow, I can assure you that she is), is it not unfair to say that there are many OTHER avenues that can be explored to fight disease, not just jags at the doctor's? I passionately believe that this general rule should be at the forefront of any initiative or policy to tackle disease or inequality. Vaccines are good (sometimes very good), but they're not the be-all and end-all.

Competing interests: None declared