Sunday, November 21, 2010

U.K. National Health Service Changes Vaccine Schedule

Right on the heels of my complaints about the anti-vax conspiracy radicals, who are so focused they often overlook issues of concern to all families and individuals with autism and related disorders, comes this twist. Certain to anger the anti-vax movement in the U.K., the National Health Service is considering changing the vaccine schedule. There are also discussions of what can or should be mandated.

One-off 'six inoculation' jabs to be introduced to one-year-olds

Last updated at 5:05 PM on 21st November 2010

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The decision to immunise all the diseases at once, including MMR will create concern with some parents about the risk of side effects with the added possibility that families will not allow their babies to be inoculated in this way.

The joint committee on vaccination and immunisation who advised the government to combine the jabs said research found no safety issues with families 'expected to increase take-up' of inoculations.

It does make me wonder what the response would be in the United States if a commission similar to NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) started to set such policies, which any national system founded on “evidence-based medicine” and cost controls must do. Any national health care system can, and even must, decide what to mandate to control future and current costs. NICE isn’t always so nice... and the U.S. HHS has started to establish structures for the U.S. panel on effective medical practices, which will be based on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. Cost control is a primary, not secondary, function of the new panel.

By definition, evidence-based medical care uses statistical analyses to set policy. I understand this and that is one reason I would always want the option of fee-for-service private medical care. The conflict between idealism and reality will really start by 2014 when the U.S. does start to implement health care exchanges with the ability to enforce some mandates on purchasers of nationally modeled health care policies.

We have some difficult choices ahead in terms of what we want and expect from a semi-nationalized, state-federal-private hodge-podge medical system. Vaccine mandates, already part of most public school admissions, could become a nationalized policy.

While I support vaccination programs, national programs with strict policies concern me. Ignoring parents seeking flexibility will cause a backlash and feed conspiracy theories.

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