What on earth drives someone to put up an anti-vaccination billboard? – Nikki Turner

An anti-vaccination billboard on State Highway One in Auckland will be removed mere days after it was installed, following numerous complaints. Director of the Immunisation Advisory Centre, Dr Nikki Turner, writes about the bigger issue on The Spinoff.

An excerpt (read in full):

Immunisation programmes and other established public health programmes (such as fluoridation) now appear to be pawns in an unrelated, but problematic international issue – that of “trust”. There seems to now be quite a deep malaise over the concept that governments care for their population as evidenced internationally by the Trump-style US and in much of the Brexit rhetoric.

To some extent, I get this: It is a complex world, things go wrong at times, people can behave badly, we want more personal control over our destiny. However, this cannot then simply add up to somewhat simplistic responses of throwing away all our trust in authorities. Why would I assume my knowledge and a few hours on Google will give me a better answer than the advice from our Ministry of Health? Do I then feel more in control of my destiny? Seems like a bit of a con job really.

I fear this translates into creating a lot of unrealistic pressure on the individual. Parents of young children can feel they themselves have to carry the full responsibility for health decisions for their children, with a baseline starting point of suspicion that the advice of established authorities cannot be trusted.

Keep reading…