Monday, February 23, 2009

NHS blunders are behind a spate of 'vaccine overloads'

Children are being given the wrong vaccinations and repeat doses of jabs they have already had due to mix-ups at GPs' surgeries. Nearly 1,000 safety incidents involving child immunisations were reported in a single year. Of those studied in detail, more than a third involved babies and children given a different vaccine to the one they were supposed to have. Other blunders included delays to children having important vaccinations, infants given drugs that were out of date and allergic reactions. It is said all of the incidents could have been avoided if doctors or nurses had checked medical records or drug details thoroughly.

Last night campaigners said these mistakes were the `tip of the iceberg' and expressed fears of a `vaccine overload' from Britain's growing childhood immunisation schedule. A report by the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA), the watchdog which monitors NHS errors, looked at 949 incidents involving jabs reported in 2007. A detailed study was made of 138 of these cases, picked at random. Eight caused children `moderate harm'.

In 36 per cent of cases a child was given the wrong vaccination. If the sample is representative, it means that hundreds are given the wrong immunisation every year. And, as the reporting of incidents by medical professionals is voluntary, the true number could be much higher.

In 23 per cent of incidents there were errors in documenting the vaccine, while there were delays in 17 per cent of cases. Other problems included incorrect storage of the jabs or out-of-date vaccines having to be thrown away.

GP Dr Richard Halvorsen, of the Babyjabs clinic in Central London, said: `These cases are probably the tip of the iceberg. It's worrying when children are getting the wrong vaccines at the wrong times but it's an inevitable consequence of the vaccination schedule, which is one of the most complex in the world. `Of course things are going to go wrong - it's a recipe for mistakes.'

Children receive 32 immunisations before they reach four. And the Government is now discussing whether also to give chickenpox and flu jabs. The most controversial vaccine is combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).

Jackie Fletcher, of campaign group Justice, Action, Basic Support (JABS), said: `Children are sometimes given MMR when they go to get their pre-school booster for diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough, even if parents have explicitly said they do not want them to have it. To think mistakes occur time and time again is horrendous.'

Previously healthy Jodie Marchant, who is now 17, was left severely brain-damaged and with a gut disorder after being given seven vaccines in a single jab at 14 months. Her parents, Bill and Pat, from Southampton, had requested that she was given only MMR. A claim for damages failed because there was not enough research into the vaccines. The Marchants are now suing their GP practice. Mr Marchant, 68, said: `To think so many other children suffer vaccine mix-ups is appalling.'

The NPSA said new packaging guidelines for jabs would `eradicate' errors. The Department of Health said: `Staff are trained to administer vaccines safely, follow the childhood immunisation schedule and to record it all.'


Nannystate medicrat care

So you want to grant government hegemony over your health, huh? What is it about voters who forever treat politicians like battered wives treat their abusive husbands? "Well, he punched me in the face for the seventeenth time and knocked out four of my teeth but I still love him and he said I can trust him now so I'm going to give him another chance." You actually want government to take over and dictate your personal well-being? You do know, don't you, that you're putting your blind faith in the same politicians who are bankrupting the Social Security and Medicare ponzi schemes and bilking you out of trillions of tax dollars so they can "stimulate" their politically-connected billionaire banking buddies, right?

You know it means becoming completely dependent upon the same kinds of bureaucrats who couldn't get FEMA off its fat, inefficient office chairs after Hurricane Katrina punched New Orleans in the face, right? Knocking out most of her teeth. Have you seen the Queen of the Mississippi lately, over three years after her near death experience? You're talking about trusting your very life to a class of beings responsible for spawning the likes of Rod Blagojevitch, the grafting governor of Illinois, and Eliot Spitzer, the whorehumping governor of New York.

Sort of like begging a mountain lion to rip out your throat to keep the grizzly bear from killing you. Sort of like voting the fascists out of office and replacing them with socialists. Or kicking the big government Republican hacks out the door while holding it wide open for the big government Democrat hacks to waltz right in. Not a very high IQ play, that, swapping one set of power-lusters for another.

Don't you know yet that there's a much better option available to you? How about not being brunch for the bear or lunch for the lion? How about not being the favorite chew toy of fascists or socialists?

"The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing" (Colbert, 1665)

How about not being the goose for the Republican and Democrat feather pluckers? How about owning yourself? How about becoming a libertarian? But wait. That would require internal fortitude and personal integrity. And knowledge. When you find those things please call the libertarians. They'll happily welcome you.


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