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



> 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

>            protests

> 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

>    other.


>    ``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

>    control.''


>    James Gregg, another Waterloo chiropractor, would agree with that

>    statement.


>  * 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

>    traumas.


>    ``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

>    vaccinated.


>  * 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

>    it?


>    ``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

>    disease.


>    ``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

>    that.''


>    Clinics


>  * 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

>    cards.


>    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

>    Haller.


>    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


> 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

>    needless.


>  * 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

>    Ottawa-Carleton.


>    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 ***