Tough lessons learned about vaccination

Image: Chief Advocate Ian Henschke's brother Bill who died in 1943. His death could have been prevented had mass vaccination been available.

Tackling the flu

The untimely early onset of the flu season is a reminder for all older Australians to be vigilant against the flu and the best way to do that is to keep fit, eat well and be vaccinated.

In fact, health experts are warning of a “killer” flu season, with numbers showing three times as many people have been diagnosed with the virus so far this year, compared to the same period in previous years.

ABC News quoted the Chair of the Immunisation Coalition, Professor Robert Booy, saying those affected were mainly in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.

"The data I have received shows that we are seeing three times as many cases this year as last year," he said.

There continues to be community debate about the merits of vaccination. It is a debate that won’t go away even though the evidence of the benefits to the vast majority of the community is overwhelming.

National Seniors Chief Advocate, Ian Henschke, recently recounted his personal family connection to this issue.

Ian lost his older brother to a disease that continues to claim lives to this day.

“Vaccination was not available then. It is now, and it saves lives,” Ian says and asserts that “anti vaccination advocates are deadly deceivers.

“Meanwhile experts say we’re now entering a killer flu season and measles (once eliminated) is now on the rise again in the USA. Stupidity it seems is contagious,” he said.

Ian told the story of his family loss and the value of vaccination to the SA Weekend Magazine. Read now

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