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Jakarta Post

Vaccination: The gambling game

  • Dyna Rochmyaningsih

Jakarta   /   Fri, December 23 2011   /  09:25 am

It is now a common thing to hear people questioning the safety of vaccinations. There were two cases over the last two months; a diphtheria outbreak in East Java and the deaths of two toddlers in Jakarta, confusing mothers in our country about vaccinations for their children.

In the former case, the parents’ reluctance regarding vaccinations was cited as the cause of the outbreak, while in the latter case the vaccination was blamed for the toddlers’ deaths.

The vaccine controversy actually began even before the discovery of the vaccine itself. In 1722, English theologian Edmund Massey argued that diseases are sent by God to punish sin so that the effort of preventing smallpox through inoculation – the same procedure as vaccination – was regarded as a “diabolical operation”. In the modern era, this “religious” argument may still be beholden in the minds of ...