I found the picture below while searching for information on how different groups within the vaccine controversy define risk. As a mother of two growing boys I find these images quite disturbing and they are definitely successful in provoking an emotional response. If I was a member of the general public with no scientific background and my child was about to be immunized this image would communicate to me that there is a definite risk involved and that risk of harm to my child, due to lack of sufficient testing and scientific evidence of efficacy and safety, is not worth taking- the precautionary principle at work.
The article from the website was discussing how, with the upcoming flu season in the US, government officials were still encouraging a mass vaccination program even though it had been found that in Australia there had been an increase in febrile convulsions in children that had been vaccinated with the seasonal flu vaccination. I will be discussing this case in detail in my following blogs but it is interesting to consider that perhaps the US government is also applying the precautionary principle when suggesting such mass vaccination programs. These government organisations are faced with a level of uncertainty as to how severe the years flu season is going to be so rather than doing nothing and risk massive outbreak and widespread illness they opt for the less risky approach, mass vaccination.