One of the most popular health-related topics discussed by Russian bloggers is that of the immunization of children. Current digital media discussions reflect to a great extent debates that are taking place in traditional media in many post-Soviet countries. Although immunization has been mandatory in these countries since the time of the Soviet Union, more and more parents are now refusing to vaccinate their children. In most cases parents are basing this decision on arguments they find on the Internet or in other media.
It is much easier to find bloggers in the Russian-speaking blogosphere who do not support mass immunization than authors who support it. You can find arguments about the ineffectiveness of vaccination in many blogs. These arguments are very well summarized in the blog of helien_ln blog (RUS):
Production of vaccines is the most profitable part of the pharmaceutical business. A part of earned profits are directed to funding so-called “scientific research,” which just has to “prove” that the vaccine is effective and safe.
Vaccines are poisons. They include aluminum, and other toxins …
Vaccines are often based on animal cells and might contain viruses …
The introduction of vaccines in mass usage during the last two centuries has been associated with threatening, scary effects, and the omission of some facts and falsified statistics.
There is no evidence that it was immunization which helped humanity fight some of the infectious diseases. There are statistical data which show that the spreading of diseases such as TB, malaria, pox had decreased dramatically before mass immunization was introduced. This happened due to the improvement of sanitary and hygienic conditions, like better veterinary and food control, chlorination of water, etc.
Annually immunization could be a reason for the death and bad health of thousands of children all over the world. It ruins the immune system of a baby.
Immunization reflects only traditional approaches to understanding infectious diseases, which is not the only possible approach.
Mass immunization totally ignores the individual characteristics of a person, the state of their immune system, and other individual features of a human being.
If a vaccine is a cause of death or injury, medical authorities will obviously do everything to prove that this happened not because of immunization.
Blogger Irena Slavina is one of the few supporters of immunization in the Russian-speaking blog community. One of the reasons she thinks immunization is a good choice for her baby is because of the reputation of pharmaceutical companies. She says (RUS):
Can you imagine all the procedures that a new vaccine has to go through before it will be approved for mass immunization? These is pre-licensing, post-licensing, the monitoring of side effects, government drug certification…
I think that none of the big pharmaceutical companies are interested in a bad reputation of its product. Companies are very concerned about the quality of their products, otherwise they will go bankrupt. If a country chooses vaccine A for mass diphtheria immunization and the next year a country faces a diphtheria epidemic, then this pharmaceutical company would face very serious problems. Nobody likes problems.
She goes on to talk about how, though vaccines are poisons, they can still be beneficial:
Antibiotics are also very harmful for our health but at the same time they help save millions of lives. Often poisons under certain conditions may actually heal the disease… I believe that I have made the least dangerous choice for my child, but you are free to make any other choice. I believe in the accomplishments of modern medicine, but you have a right not to trust any doctors or drugs. But to reject blindly the entire benefits of immunization based just on popular Internet articles sounds really silly for me.
Finally, Irena Slavina points out that vaccines were not created to kill babies, but rather to help them:
I am sure that whoever started mass immunizations a hundred years ago were not unprofessional people and they were not more stupid than me. They did not have any intentions to kill babies. The immunization schedules were developed based on the most dangerous time periods in the life of children. Just think about how many years of medical studies were devoted to developing the immunization schedule and enforcing them all over the country. Just think about the required experience, knowledge, sharing of data… After all this, I, who had just read a few Internet articles, cannot say that immunization is bad as I know better what my child needs.