Radio 4 of the British Broadcasting Corporation is a mouthpiece for The Government Line, the Voice of Big Business and the Emissions of Big Brother. Nothing they include is any surprise to me. I am always prepared, simply, to turn off the radio and fume. But something keeps telling me that I should listen to the news every morning. So I do – though generally still have to turn it off frequently!
Soon their morning news magazine Today, March 21st, 2015, the headline story was that: “A whole year has passed since the Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation, JVCI, recommended the routine adoption for every child in the UK of the Meningitis B vaccine. Today that recommendation has still not been followed up and BABIES ARE STILL AT RISK OF THIS TERRIBLE DISEASE”.
They went on to interview Distraught Mum who had sadly lost her two year old “to the disease” and was now having to spend hundreds of pounds to have her new baby given the jab four times, as prescribed, at at least £100 a go, privately. She was full of “why do I have to do this when it should be being given to every baby on the NHS?”, crying on the listeners’ shoulders.
The Presenter gave figures – “One in thirteen hundred will get the illness and of those one in ten WILL DIE”. She rolled in a London Paediatrician who specialises in “getting children to be vaccinated against Meningitis B”. He concurred that negotiations with manufacturer Glaxo Smith Kline were causing the delay.
There was talk of the costs. Using three or four jabs per infant, as recommended, comes to £400 or even £500 per head. Annually this is thus up to one billion pounds. Yeah, ANNUALLY THIS IS UP TO ONE BILLION POUNDS.
ANNUALLY. That’s every year. Ad infinitum.
“Well, they have agreed to reduce the cost substantially from the list price [“list price”?- like they’re a bottle of pop or a CD?] but the negotiations are ongoing. However, these delays have disastrous outcomes. Yes, the illness IS difficult to spot. Everyone knows about the slight rash and the glass test but really there’s only flu-like symptoms so it’s difficult to spot in the early stages.” [No, seriously, that is EXACTLY what he said. No, seriously, I know it makes ABSOLUTELY no sense!] [He went on:] “And not only is it frequently deadly but also one in four survivors are damaged for life – they may lose a limb or there may be brain damage.”
As I quoted at the very start of this set of investigations:
“ The are the foundation of the modern health care system – they create customers for life”.
No matter how short.