Do you know a PRIK?

"The name of this condition is Purposeful Rejection of Immunization in Kids (or PRIK) but it also overlaps with other disorders such as Kyle Sandilands."

"The name of this condition is Purposeful Rejection of Immunization in Kids (or PRIK) but it also overlaps with other disorders such as Kyle Sandilands." Photo: Allen Donikowski

It has been said that some people are destined to die stupid.

If you take the Pacific Highway six and a half hours north from Sydney, you’ll reach the Mid North Coast. Just before Coffs, if you veer off the highway and aim dead west you’ll pass through a sprinkling of towns. My mother is the GP at one such small town. She doesn’t do it for the scant money but because she loves her patients.

But of late, this love has been tested by a silent killer. The mid-north coast of NSW may well be a microcosmic Petri dish for this disease but is by no means alone. Cities across the developed world have also fallen prey to this stealth assassin. Scientists, feverishly working to gain control of this outbreak, have identified the following predisposing factors: living in the first-world and access to the internet. If you’re in this group and want to be tested, do not worry – you are home safe because you have not presented with another critical sign: pigheaded refusal to heed (western) medical advice.

A copy of the anti-immunisation children's book <i>Melanie's Marvelous Measles</i>.

A copy of the anti-immunisation children's book Melanie's Marvelous Measles.

What renders this disease unique is its displaced transmission: the full physical brunt is passed onto the hosts’ children (names such as Dantay, Storm and Anarchy have been correlated with higher incidence), while stupidity and paranoia actually bolster within the adult hosts themselves. The name of this condition is Purposeful Rejection of Immunization in Kids (or PRIK) but it also overlaps with other disorders such as Kyle Sandilands.

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The first clues can be gleaned in the clinic itself. A toddler, deviously put forward as the subject in need of medical attention, is given an examination. The doctor will then request the child’s immunization history. Alarm bells should ring if the adult displays any of the following: ignorance, confabulation and the production of internet print-outs. The latter all look cute and eco-friendly - colonic irrigation is good for the self- starter - but take a darker hue when you actually begin to read the articles. Closer examination will reveal paranoia, moral panic and purported evidence of a grand conspiracy between governments, doctors and drug companies. However, wingnuttery’s full force is always unleashed on the same topic: vaccination. Vaccinations cause dangerous side effects. Vaccinations don’t work. There’s the claimed link between vaccination and autism, debunked so many times that wearing a tinfoil hat whilst dancing the Macarena actually begins to feel life-affirming.

My mother encountered a well-meaning PRIK who had deprived her daughter of vaccinations. Sure as eggs, the child contracted whooping cough and recovered normally due to herd immunity (their chances of getting sick was lessened due to the sense of responsibility of the immunized majority). When the parent was gently pressed over the fact that her actions could conceivably have killed a baby, even a partially immunized one with whom her child had come in contact, a response was not forthcoming as she was rudely interrupted by a spirit called Canathe (Can-ath-ay). It later turned out that a huge number of children at her kids’ school became afflicted with whooping cough, the end of year festivities had to be cancelled and most tragically, a child with a disability was robbed of his first big chance to perform on stage. There is a conspiracy here, but it’s not Zionists, Freemasons or NASA goblins – it’s called the cult of the individual.

I suppose there’s even a chance that some PRIK’s are reading this article right now. I’ll let them off the hook for a bit. Nobody likes reading scientific studies. Unlike headlines, they’re not even remotely sensational. Science is ball-busting, bleary-eyed work with lots of numbers and digits and words like hypovitaminosises and subacute sclerosing pan encephalitis that are beyond most people’s comprehension. As a result, science is best left to the scientists. As well as the luminaries who make the discoveries, there are also other scientists who pore over every corpuscle of data to make sure there’s no margin for error. This is called Peer Review. PRIK’s really like glossing over this stuff because it’s way more exciting to say that crystals will stop your kids from getting sick or that Aunt Daphne died at age 95 and was a PRIK all her life.

But it’s never too late to get informed. Take a science class. Read a book (not titled Melanie’s Marvellous Measles). Go and visit a cemetery, littered with the graves of those who died prematurely due to childhood infective diseases. Best of all, consult some statistics. Whereas once, a mother needed to give birth to fifteen children just to ensure three or four of them survived to adulthood, now we have been given the ultimate defensive weapon – an ability to fight the organism by building up antibodies. This is the essence of vaccination.

We’re all gonna die. But you don’t have to die a prick.

155 comments

  • People who refuse to immunize their children for no good reason other than believing in the crap distributed by anti-vaccination websites are the most selfish human beings on earth.

    Commenter
    Mum2One
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    January 14, 2013, 9:07AM
    • If vaccinations really work, why does my non vaccinated child affect yours?

      People need to make informed decisions, not follow the herd

      Commenter
      BuggerIt
      Date and time
      January 14, 2013, 10:21AM
    • Hear, hear, people who refuse to vaccinate should also follow up on their stupid beliefs and not clog the health systems any time their darling little ones get a runny nose....I mean if you are preaching it then stick to it for the rest of their life by not taking them to the docs!!

      Commenter
      gixxa
      Date and time
      January 14, 2013, 10:42AM
    • "f vaccinations really work, why does my non vaccinated child affect yours?"

      Because my newborn is too young to be vaccinated yet.

      I agree with Mum2one. People who don't get their children vaccinated are the some of the most idiotic and selfish people on the planet.

      Commenter
      Dirk
      Date and time
      January 14, 2013, 10:50AM
    • "If vaccinations really work, why does my non vaccinated child affect yours?"

      It's my child, what concern is it of yours if I whip them on a regular basis to teach them manners at the dinner table?

      That's why.

      Commenter
      DM
      Date and time
      January 14, 2013, 10:52AM
    • Your non immunised child absolutely DOES affect other children, particularly babies and children with allergies. Your use of the word "herd" is particularly badly chosen considering that "herd immunity" is the primary reason why your child SHOULD be immunised:

      "Herd immunity theory proposes that, in contagious diseases that are transmitted from individual to individual, chains of infection are likely to be disrupted when large numbers of a population are immune or less susceptible to the disease. The greater the proportion of individuals who are resistant, the smaller the probability that a susceptible individual will come into contact with an infectious individual."

      Commenter
      Captain Great
      Date and time
      January 14, 2013, 10:59AM
    • Buggerit, your non-vaccinated child affects all small babies and children who may not have had their follow-up shots yet and are therefore not yet fully protected. People who don't vaccinate are potential murderers of their own and other people's children.

      Commenter
      kaffirlily
      Date and time
      January 14, 2013, 11:02AM
    • I once read the forward to a book campaigning against immunization. The author related a story about how she was the only doctor present during a discussion on the subject and her expertize was the defining factor and she was able to discourage those present from immunizing their children. She was a chiropractor. That was as far as I needed to read.

      Commenter
      rext
      Date and time
      January 14, 2013, 11:16AM
    • Your unvaccinated child is a potential baby killer, or killer of someone with an immune system disorder. Vaccinations are engineered to be as safe as possible and don't promote an immune response in all recipients as some are weak enough that in some people the immune system doesn't recognise it as a threat. This is a completely random response. Most people are immunised successfully, some are partially immunised and a small portion think they are immunised but might as well have had a saline injection given their immune system didn't respond at all. It's distressing you knew so little about this before making such an important decision. If newborns and the immunosuppressed couldn't die, and we did antibody screening and multiple vaccinations for those who's first vaccination didn't "take" then you're right, I wouldn't really care about your child. They could go blind or deaf from measles, or maybe even be one of a the rare deaths from chickenpox complications. I would feel sorry for the child and the situation you put them in, like the parents who killed their kid by treating it with homeopathy the other year., but it would be darwinism for you. Luckily for you there are enough responsible parents out there to help keep your child safe even though you aren't (for now). There is however no way your children should be allowed in school or daycare. It's an outrage you are allowed to skate on other's responsibility and we have to endure what you inflict on us instead of being rightly quarantined. I have no problems with you not vaccinating and homeschooling or whatever. I wish more PRIKs would.

      Commenter
      andrew
      Date and time
      January 14, 2013, 11:19AM
    • @ buggerit - it impacts children who are too young to be vaccinated and women who are pregnant. Hope you responsibly keep your kids away from the vulnerable when they inevitably fall ill.

      The problem with PRIKs is that no person whose child has contracted a disease at an early age where it was, or was near, fatal would ever proclaim to be a PRIK so you end up with a group of people who claim 100% success because only the lucky ones remain devout supporters.

      Commenter
      ??
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      January 14, 2013, 11:19AM

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