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H1N1 vaccine: Protection or conspiracy theory?
The rumored side-effects of H1N1 vaccines are spreading fear Saudi Arabia’s residents, prompting some to question if the vaccines are part of a large, sinister conspiracy.
October 21, 2009 9:37 by Hassna'a Mokhtar
“Everyone watched Horowitz on Al-Jazeera with interest. I received over 10 messages warning about the vaccine that day. Some women are even asking me for advice. The controversy is really alarming,” said al-Otaibi.
One chain e-mails claims that the swine flu vaccine is a freemason conspiracy organized by Baxter Labs. “Baxter Labs makes 158 pounds of pure poison vaccine and sends it out to all European countries,” the e-mail read. “The vaccine creators refuse to take it. Don’t take the swine flu vaccine.”
Responding to these allegations, Musaed al-Salman, dean of the medical department at King Saud University in Riyadh, told Al-Arabiya channel that the vaccine is not new and was tested on human, many years ago.
“We’re used to rumors and skepticism with the emergence of any new drug,” said al-Salman. He expressed regrets that people focused on some of the vaccine’s side effects, neglecting its many benefits.
Al-Salman refused to comment on the claims saying they are just rumors and nonscientific. “The US started a campaign to vaccinate about 300 million American citizens and Britain began its campaign a week ago. Japan also launched a vaccination campaign,” he added.
A concerned father and cancer survivor told Arab News that he is against vaccinations in general. “I will never take any vaccine as long as I live. How can one substance provide immunity against viruses or sicknesses? Logically, it can’t work for all people,” he said.