Does this strike anyone else as ‘ironic’?
In Australia, there are parents who willingly choose not to vaccinate their kids, believing them to be unsafe.
But in Jakarta, thousands of parents are this week lining up and queuing for hours on end for the privilege of having their babies inoculated.
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They’re doing so because many of their kids have been given fake vaccines over the last decade, under a massive, ongoing criminal enterprise that saw doctors and nurses inject saline into youngsters instead of inoculations.
This is just mind-boggling when you consider that Indonesia, where the scam has been going on for 13 years, is a country where diseases such as hepatitis C, hepatitis A, measles, tetanus and whooping cough are prevalent.
How many children were exposed to life-threatening illnesses as a result of this money-grabbing scandal? How many children actually died?
And it was all in the pursuit of the mighty dollar. Greed has a lot to answer for to humanity.
The doctors and nurses involved in the scam were reportedly making up to AU$10,000 a week by selling the fake vaccinations – which they claimed were a superior brand – at a higher price.
What a devastating betrayal of trust – and it’s unlikely we’ll ever know the true cost. As I said, shocked and devastated parents in Jakarta are now scrambling to have their kids re-vaccinated to protect them from these prolific diseases.
One young mum, Yuliana, told the ABC she panicked when she realised her nine-month-old daughter had received the fake vaccine.
“When she was younger she got a high temperature every month, she was often sick and her immune system was weak,” she says. Now it’s obvious why!
Around 20 people have been arrested over the scam and parents are understandably calling on hospital authorities for more answers.
Public anger has also intensified after it was revealed that the Food and Drugs Agency was warned about the fake vaccines but failed to take action, until a police investigation was launched this year.
As an Australian parent, it certainly puts things into perspective. Here, we have the luxury of having a ‘vaccination debate’ – while the parents of Jakarta are weighing up whether to sue their hospitals for failing to keep their children safe.