Editorial: Salmon Arm court decision a victory for vaccination

Judgment based on current best evidence

A court ruling by a Kamloops-based judge is welcome news in these days of anti-vaxxers using long-discredited studies in their bewildering battle against vaccination.

Judge Stella Frame’s judgment in Salmon Arm provincial court came to the proper conclusion: the current best evidence is vaccination is preferable and any adverse reaction to the vaccine is largely outweighed by the risk of contracting the targeted disease.

Frame was ruling on a case involving a father and mother of two young children.

The father wanted his kids vaccinated. The mother, while not necessarily completely opposed to vaccinations, was nevertheless cautious, asking the children not be vaccinated against diseases that no longer exist in Canada or any to which they already carry immunity.

Read more: Salmon Arm judge rules in favour of vaccination for two children

Read more: Shuswap residents share good reasons for immunization

As part of her argument, the mother submitted a report from a doctor who claims to be an expert in the study of adverse reactions to vaccines. Frame, however, found it read like a “conspiracy theory.”

It is natural for parents to be protective of their children. And, in this day and age where too much information is available, but difficult to verify, false claims find room next to legitimate medical evidence.

It is incumbent upon everybody to sift through the nonsense and find the truth, which in the case of the vaccine debate, can be found through reliable sources — such as the World Health Organization, Health Canada, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Interior Health and your family doctor — rather than on a Facebook post.

According to the World Health Organization, so few deaths have been attributed to vaccines that it is difficult to assess the risk statistically. What is known is the risk of death from a disease is extremely greater than the risk of death from a vaccine intended to prevent that disease.

-Kamloops This Week

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