“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within...”
Romans 12:2

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Hilary's Desk

NZ 2008 schedule - Marketing Multiple vaccines

Hilary Butler - Monday, August 11, 2008

Have you noticed a subtle shift away from defining a vaccine by initials which stand for the number of vaccine components being given in the one needle? When you see GARDASIL, do you mentally realise that GARDASIL stands for Quadrivalent HPV vaccine, i.e. four different viruses in one needle?  When you see the title PREVENAR, do you realise that that is seven vaccines in one?

Have a good look through the old vaccines.

You see titles like OPV, IPV, DPT, HepB, MMR.

In those days, we all knew that OPV was THREE vaccines; the three main strains of oral polio viruses; IPV is THREE polio vaccine strains injected ; DPT was THREE vaccines; diphtheria pertussis and tetanus; MMR was THREE vaccines; measles mumps and rubella.  Then we saw MMRV, which never made it here, but might... and we know MMRV is FOUR vaccines.  Measles, Mumps, Rubella and chickenpox.  We used to say DPTH which we knew was FOUR vaccines. Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (whooping cough) and Haemophilus.

Parents are not stupid.  When given information showing HOW MANY vaccines their baby are getting in any one needle, they can and do add them up. At this point, some might even mentally step backwards when they realise that it is not one, but many.  Perhaps they might not like the idea.  Perhaps they think back to how few vaccines they were given.  Maybe, they will start questioning it. Multiple vaccines will increase, because the queue of vaccines to go into the schedule in the future, will mean that they can't be given separately.  For many parents it is stressful to see babies being "attacked" from all sides with needles.

And of course, the doctor will tell you that you're just being a woos, because they have to be cruel to be kind! Your fears are needles(s).

What marketers want is for parents to just trust doctors and think that doctors wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't right, good, and harmless. To remove any obstacles which start brains thinking more concisely.

So parents of newborn babies from June 2008, now hear this word:  INFANRIX.  What will they think? Will they have any idea that INFANRIX isn't 'just' one vaccine.  The Health Department calls INFANRIX a hexavalent vaccine (six vaccines), but technically, that is incorrect. It has eight vaccines in it.
INFANRIX Contents = eight vaccines

diphtheria,
tetanus,
whooping cough,
Polio type I,
Polio type II, 
Polio type III, 
haemophilus B,
hepatitis B, 

For whatever reason, Polio is considered one vaccine, when it is a triple vaccine, consisting of three different viruses which do not give cross protection. 

The next single word they hear will be PREVENAR. Will parents compute that PREVENAR contains SEVEN different 'vaccines' in one? Contents: seven different strains of the pneumococcal bacteria, none of which give cross protection to each other!

Most parents will think that their child has just had TWO "vaccines", when in fact, they've just had 14.

And parents of 12 year olds, will hear the word BOOSTRIX now, and not know, unless they are told, that BOOSTRIX is THREE vaccines, diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough. 

It's all about framing the debate, beguiling the brain.  Parental compliance is being addressed as a marketing problem, because companies are well aware that adding heaps of vaccines into a schedule individually, and defining the vaccines the way they used to do, might start people asking lots of questions.

So as I see it, meaningless soothing sounding names, which sound smooth, and send other messages, are a vague fantastic way to shut parents up.

What are these other messages?  Prevenar, sounds like a good prevention, don't you think? Boostrix, boosts a turbo and must be a good idea!  Infanrix, is just an infant prescription (Rx) to fix everything that's wrong. 

A lot of thought goes into the rhyming and imagery these words create. 

GARDASIL
.  Well now..., you'd not sell a vaccine if you called it GARDISNIL would you?!

So here we are, in New Zealand in 2008, with these new combo vaccines being promoting with lovely, relaxing, soothing sounding "names". 

A promoter's game set and catch?  Who is being conned and how?  Who makes the decisions?  The parent or the system?

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