Meningitis shot is not healthy, Waterloo chiropractor protests
> PAPER Kitchener-Waterloo Record
> DATE * 971223
> PDATE Tuesday, December 23, 1997
> EDITION Final
> SECTION Local
> PAGE B1/FRONT
> LENGTH 828 words
> STOTYPE NEWS
> ITYPE COLOUR PHOTO
> ILLUS Colour Photo: Peter Lee, Record Staff/ Dr. Jeffrey
> * Winchester stands by the sign at his Bridgeport Road
chiropractic clinic in Waterloo.
> HEADLINE * Meningitis shot is not healthy, Waterloo chiropractor
> BYLINE Steve Cannon
> SOURCE Record staff
> DNOTE Ran with "Clinics" which has been appended to the end of
> this story.
> CNOTE Picture stored in Library
> A Waterloo chiropractor believes it is unnecessary to
> * vaccinate 100,000 young people against meningitis and planned to
> take his message to one of the temporary clinics today.
> * Jeffrey Winchester intends to stand outside Bluevale Collegiate
> * Institute in Waterloo with a small sign that reads: ``A Meningitis
> Shot is not Mandatory'' on one side, and ``Get Informed'' on the
> ``I think all inoculations are dangerous because they mess with the
> * body's natural immune system,'' Winchester said Monday.
> But Dr. Doug Sider, Waterloo Region's associate medical officer of
> health, said overwhelming medical evidence shows mass vaccinations
> are both safe and effective.
> ``He's free to say what he wants and he has said this other
> * times,'' Sider said of Winchester.
> ``But the bottom line is when we look at the results of other
> community-wide vaccination campaigns . . . the vast number of people
> make the decision that this is the course to take.''
> Jane Daley, the region's director of infectious diseases, said a
> similar mass vaccination was effective in wiping out a 1991
> * meningitis outbreak in the Ottawa-Carleton area.
> ``This isn't just the thinking in Waterloo,'' said Daley, who knows
> * many chiropractors and naturopaths share Winchester's beliefs.
> ``Philosophically, we just have different approaches to disease
> James Gregg, another Waterloo chiropractor, would agree with that
> * Like Winchester, he thinks the mass immunization program is
> unnecessary and people don't know enough about the vaccine.
> * Gregg said certain people are susceptible to meningitis. Among them
> are alcoholics, people with diabetes, AIDS patients and others with
> weakened immune systems, and people who have suffered recent head
> ``Those are high-risk people, yeah, I can see that's an issue,''
> Gregg said. ``But a mass vaccination program isn't needed.''
> Temporary vaccination clinics are being run at six area high
> * schools after four people contracted the same strain of meningitis
> earlier this month.
> A 16-year-old Kitchener girl died of the disease two weeks before
> the others were diagnosed, but there have been no new cases in the
> last week.
> * Both Gregg and Winchester believe public health officials have
> public safety in mind and are doing what they believe is right.
> * They just disagree with their methods to the point where Winchester
> will not allow his own children, ages three and four, to be
> * Winchester has trouble with inoculations that inject dead bacteria
> into the body, which is supposed to react as if the bacteria are
> alive and produce antibodies to attack it.
> ``But it's like me bringing a tiger into your office. A live tiger
> is going to illicit a different response than a dead tiger, isn't
> ``So, if your body is injected with something that is dead, I look
> at the body as being very intelligent and it's not going to react
> the way they would like it to.''
> * Daley said the meningitis vaccine does contain ``killed bacteria.''
> But studies have shown it does spark the immune system into making
> antibodies, which is the goal.
> The vaccine takes 10 to 14 days to become effective, and provides
> immunity to 85 per cent of those who receive it.
> * Still, Winchester believes salvation does not come from the tip of
> a needle, but from healthy living, which will fight off bacteria by
> itself, he said.
> * Winchester recognizes many young people don't always eat well. They
> might smoke, be generally rundown and ill-equipped to battle
> ``But there's not 100,000 of them out there, so I want parents to
> make a responsible decision,'' he said. ``If they know their kids
> are eating right and if their kids are controlling themselves, in my
> opinion they don't need this injection.''
> Sider said he wouldn't gamble.
> * ``I can't stop Jeff Winchester from saying those things, or
> believing what he wants to believe,'' Sider said. ``But the proof is
> in the pudding. The end result is these community immunization
> initiatives do work and the vast majority of people are aware of
> * Meningitis vaccination clinics scheduled for today and Wednesday:
> Clinics are only for people aged 12 to 22 who live, work or go to
> school in Kitchener, Waterloo or the townships of Wilmot, Woolwich
> or Wellesley. People are asked to bring identification to confirm
> age and address. Students should also bring their Ontario health
> Young adults not in school may attend any clinic on any date.
> All clinics run from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., except for the clinic on,
> Dec. 24, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.:
> Today: Eastwood for students from Margaret Ave., Courtland Ave.,
> St. Patrick, St. Bernadette, St. Boniface (Kitchener), St. Joseph
> (Kitchener), St. John (Kitchener) and Kitchener students only at
> Ecole Secondaire Pere-Rene-de-Galinee; Grand River for students from
> Cameron Heights; Bluevale for students from Waterloo Collegiate;
> Resurrection for students from Laurentian, Queensmount, Blessed
> Sacrament, Our Lady of Grace, Laurentian Christian and Monsignor
> Wednesday: Catch-up clinics for all schools, and young adults, at
> Eastwood, Grand River, Bluevale and Resurrection.
> There are no clinics Christmas Day or Boxing Day.
> DOB 971223
> UPDATE 971223
> *** END OF DOCUMENT ***
> PAPER Kitchener-Waterloo Record
> DATE * 971227
> PDATE Saturday, December 27, 1997
> EDITION Final
> SECTION Opinion
> PAGE A14
> LENGTH 425 words
> STOTYPE EDITORIAL
> HEADLINE We can have faith in mass vaccination
> SOURCE Kitchener Waterloo Record
> Plague is a word not commonly spoken by Canadians -- and for
> good reason. The terror of deadly, contagious diseases spreading
> rapidly over wide areas -- which is what a plague is -- grips few of
> us because we are shielded by medical science, and in particular its
> massive inoculations.
> Smallpox, polio, whooping cough and other illnesses that filled
> Canadian graveyards for generations were all defeated in this
> country due to public vaccination crusades.
> That record of success should convince every reasonable person that
> the vaccination of up to 100,000 young people now going on in
> * Waterloo Region is our best defence against a deadly meningitis
> outbreak in this area.
> Unfortunately, a few skeptics are stoking public doubt. Waterloo
> * chiropractor Jeffrey Winchester opposes the inoculation campaign
> * enough to put up a sign that says ``meningitis shot is not mandatory
> or necessary.'' He even picketed a vaccination clinic to persuade
> people not to have the shot. If he is right that no one legally has
> to have the needle, he is wrong, even irresponsible, to call it
> * And he should be challenged by facts. Meningitis is a dangerous,
> swift-moving illness that kills. Four local people contracted the
> * same meningitis strain this month. A Kitchener girl died of the
> disease two weeks before they were diagnosed. Health officials in
> the region studied the situation carefully and made the right
> decision that mass vaccination was the best bet to prevent more
> sickness and death.
> Canada's medical establishment is neither omnipotent nor
> infallible. It can blunder, as it did in the tainted blood scandal
> that left thousands of people in the '80s infected with AIDS or
> hepatitis. Meanwhile, many people find alternative medical
> treatments effective. Chiropractors have their place in promoting
> health. But when they claim inoculations are dangerous and interfere
> with the body's immune system, they challenge irrefutable science.
> Once one of the world's most dreaded diseases, smallpox killed two
> million people in 1967. By 1977, it was declared eradicated. A major
> reason this scourge was beaten was massive inoculations. Severe
> epidemics of polio, which cripples and kills, swept North America in
> the '40s and '50s. But by the '60s it was under control -- again
> thanks to vaccination. Vaccines fought whooping cough and
> tuberculosis, too. It is also worth recalling that public
> * inoculations wiped out a 1991 meningitis outbreak in
> Unless chiropractors, or anyone else, can prove inoculations don't
> work, unless that can say how they would thwart an outbreak of
> * meningitis and save people, then the life-saving work of local
> health officials should continue.
> DOB 971227
> UPDATE 971227
> *** END OF DOCUMENT ***