• Around 120,000 children will be vaccinated against malaria over the next two years in western Kenya
• There are outbreaks of measles, a killer disease, across the world because vaccination rates have dropped
At least 120,000 children are about to receive an experimental malaria vaccine in western Kenya (see P10).
Initial trials have shown that the vaccine protects children up to two years old, especially when used in conjunction with bed nets. It could save the lives of millions of children in Africa.
Most Kenyans will welcome the vaccine because they know the danger of malaria. Any minor discomfort from the injection is far outweighed by the benefit of protecting your child.
Ironically some misguided people are campaigning against vaccines. As a result, measles is erupting again around the world. In Congo, measles has killed 5,000 people this year. Now people want to get vaccinated against measles.
The first vaccine was introduced for smallpox in 18th century England. Even the king was vaccinated with cowpox. It was primitive and unpleasant but no-one questioned the benefit because smallpox was a widespread killer. Today smallpox has been eradicated worldwide.
Everyone should be vaccinated against diseases like measles. We only disagree when we think there is no risk to us. But when there is a risk, we sober up and are happy to be vaccinated.
Quote of the day: "Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real."
The American monk died on November 10, 1968