UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Fund) launched a program asking people to “Give Your Mum Measles This Mother’s Day.” As the press release explains:
For less than the cost of a postage stamp, you can help save a life this mother’s day. Measles kills 450 people every day, yet can be easily prevented with a 31-cent vaccine. A gift of fab jabs from UNICEF will protect 100 kids from measles for just $31.*
The article goes on to state that “UNICEF is the largest procurer of vaccines in the world.”
Unsurprisingly, as the biggest consumer of vaccines, UNICEF partners with the very same companies who sell them: Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, and Pfizer, to name a few of the organization’s “major corporate partners.” However, what should come as a shock to people is the fact that the vaccines UNICEF provides are not always the safest ones. UNICEF still uses the Oral Polio Vaccine, for instance – a vaccine that is no longer used in the U.S. because it can actually infect children with polio.
Meanwhile, according to the Institute of Medicine, studies support that the MMR vaccine can cause febrile seizures; measles inclusion body encephalitis in people with compromised immune systems; and life-threatening allergic reactions. This is entirely aside from any links that the MMR vaccine may have with autism – although a new study does seem to support that argument.
So if you’re donating to UNICEF this Mother’s Day, perhaps it would be better to send emergency food or water pumps, instead of the measles vaccine.
*As an aside, if the measles vaccine costs only 31 cents, it would be interesting to know why the same vaccine costs us $52 at a private doctor!