A recent report has stated that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (the foundation with more money than sense), has plowed $100,000 into the development of small pink and blue silicon bracelets to remind mothers living in developing countries that is time for their child to be vaccinated.
According to Change Generation, children require twenty vaccinations by the time they are four to keep fit and healthy. Each bracelet has a series of numbers representing the months of the year and a series of symbols representing the vaccinations required.
Each time a mother visits the clinic to have her child vaccinated, the nurse punches through the symbol representing the vaccine and records the dose.
Change Generation reported that local nurses were continually walking from village to village, trying to locate mothers whose babies had missed their vaccinations. Cornell University student Lauren Braun decided that a solution to the problem was needed and specifically designed the silicon bracelets to accommodate. Change Generation states:
“If the pilot is successful, Braun (who manufacture the bracelets) will apply for a phase two grant worth another $1 million. That would allow her to invest in more pilots (she is keen to try it in Africa) and develop more bracelet sizes. The current version is one-size only, and too small for some older babies with thicker wrists and ankles.”
Braun stated to reporters that she is now interested in speaking with the pharmaceutical industry about public-private partnerships, as she believes that this is the way to reach scale quickly as the bracelets are a simple and cheap way to get more kids vaccinated. 
More Tricks to Get Parents to Vaccinate
Greeting Cards in your Mailbox
Mothers worldwide are being constantly bombarded with vaccination reminders. In April 2013, I reported that one vaccination initiative being used by twenty-seven states across the US was to send every new parent a “congratulations on the birth of your baby” card. 
Governors from twenty-seven states across the US had teamed up with Hallmark Greeting Cards to send every new parent a card following the birth of their baby. These cards include a personal message from the governor of their state, a detachable growth chart and an up-to-date immunization schedule.
Let us examine some of the other ways that governments help pharmaceutical manufacturers peddle their wares onto unsuspecting parents.
In 2010-2011, a group of US researchers carried out a study to discover whether or not more parents had their children vaccinated if they were sent vaccine reminders by text.
A randomized trial took place in four community-based pediatric clinics affiliated with the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center during the 2010-2011 influenza season. The trial was designed to evaluate whether or not sending text messages to low-income urban parents encouraged them to have their children vaccinated.
Parents of children and adolescents in the intervention group received a series of five weekly, automated influenza vaccine reminders by text to their cell phones.
Published data states that both the intervention and usual care groups received the usual care: an automated telephone reminder and access to informational flyers posted at the study sites.
Results found little difference between the two groups. However, because the vaccination rates rose by 3.7% in the group that received continual text messages, the study was hailed a success. 
Although this scheme was hailed a success, we need to question why the group receiving the texts also was required to receive the automated telephone reminders and the promotional flyers? Was this really necessary?
Television Programs Aimed at Children
In 2009, the animated children’s television program Sid the Science Kid, aimed at small children, aired an episode designed specifically to encourage children to be vaccinated in the US. The episode titled Getting a Shot: You Can Do It! was particularly appealing with its bright and colorful characters and catchy songs.
For those of you who are blissfully unaware, Sid the Science Kid is a computer-generated children’s television program aimed at the under-fives. The central character is a small boy named Sid, who tries to discover more about his surroundings by asking question and using basic scientific principles.
The episode surrounding the topic of vaccination began with Sid and his friends explaining to impressionable young children and their parents watching the program that receiving a vaccination was ‘a really good thing.’ The whole episode was geared to make the topic of vaccinations into an exciting adventure.
Sid began by stating:
“Hey scientists, it’s me, Sid. My grandma’s a nurse and so she is giving me and my friends a shot. So, my friends and I are going to discover that when you think like a scientist, getting a vaccination is a really good thing.”
The vaccination that Sid and friends received was the flu vaccination and the whole program was little more than a marketing tool to make vaccinations sound really exciting to young children. Considering the episode has had over three million hits on YouTube, it was obviously a huge success. 
The US is not the only country featuring the subject of vaccinations on children’s television. The UK’s BBC has also covered this topic on CBeebies recently. Anna Watson from Arnica UK expressed her views very clearly in the The Economic Voice regarding the episode titled Inject to Protect. She wrote:
“A man in a white coat smiles, offers an injection to a puppet ‘child’ who is alone. ‘Inoculation is the perfect medication,’ he tells the child after dancing and singing with a syringe. (Cut to a nurse telling children elsewhere that if they are vaccinated with the MMR they won’t get the measles, mumps and rubella.) ‘Will it hurt?’asks the boy. ‘Well, it might,’ says Dr. Ranj, ‘But you can cry if you want to.’ Without waiting for an OK, the doc injects the boy, who then says, ‘I‘m not sure I’m ready for my injection,’ but the doc marvels, ‘I have already done it.'” 
Sadly, I cannot give readers a link to this episode, as it is a BBC television program and currently unavailable to view on the Internet. I can, however, provide a link proving that this program did exist.  There is also an example of this delightful program on the CBeebies website, during which they sing the ‘Get Well Soon’ song, complete with dancing vaccination syringes. 
Tricks Used to Market Vaccines to the Public
Vaccination advertisements can be found everywhere these days. They appear in newspapers, magazines, on television, in movie theaters and on public transport. Here are several ways I discovered pharmaceutical manufacturers and governments advertise vaccines to the public.
Advertising at the Movies
Imagine taking your child to watch a film during the summer vacation and being bombarded with adverts for the HPV vaccine Gardasil! Well, that is exactly what happened to parents in the US when they took their children to see The Incredible Hulk in 2008.
This was because just like the parents, Merck had decided to take their advertisements to the movies. A spokesperson from Merck told CNBC News that the Gardasil ads would be shown at screenings of The Incredible Hulk, Get Smart, The Happening, and You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, among others. 
‘How to Be a Superhero’ Campaign
Last year, UK’s National Heath Service, of Portsmouth, Hampshire, ran a massive advertising campaign. The campaign claimed that if parents wanted to become their child’s superhero then they needed to vaccinate them with the recommended childhood vaccinations.
For weeks, the town of Portsmouth was plastered with posters of colorful superheroes telling parents the benefits of vaccination.
The campaign was extremely impressive, with videos and ads boasting the following captions:
- Be a hero!
- Protect your child!
- X-ray vision and super strength are all very good, but you can be a hero by doing just one simple thing for your child: Get them immunized!
- Childhood vaccinations like the MMR may not sound as exciting as saving the planet, but they are really important and prevent serious illness and even death!
- Vaccinations help protect your child against all these evil characters – Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Diphtheria, Whooping Cough, Tetanus, Polio, Meningitis C, Pneumococcal Infection, HIB, and HPV!
- Don’t forget, vaccinations are safe! Without them your child is at risk!
- NHS Portsmouth is determined to immunize as many children as possible … We need your help to do this.
- Remember, vaccination could save their life.
- So, go on, Mum; go on, Dad, be a hero, protect your child.
- Speak to your nurse today. 
However, is giving your child a vaccination really the way to become your child’s superhero? You need to ask yourself, Why are the pharmaceutical industries and governments targeting the minds of our children by using advertising in this way?
Advertising at the Grocery Store
Even the supermarket is seen as a golden opportunity to bombard us with vaccination reminders. Long gone are the ads for candy and cream cakes enticing us to indulge. These have since been replaced with ads for the latest must-have vaccination. 
However, as we are bombarded with vaccine reminders in what appears to be in every area of our daily lives, are these ads a welcome reminder to have you or child vaccinated or an unwanted intrusion?
One angry shopper demonstrated on film the vast number of advertisements promoting the flu vaccination at his local store. As we see him walk up and down each aisle filming the ridiculous number of ads, I am sure that many of us would agree that the quantity that he observed was excessive. 
Let’s face it – vaccinations are big business. Wherever we go or whatever we do, the pharmaceutical industries have arrived there first with their vaccination propaganda. Whether we believe in vaccination or not, the majority of us would likely agree that vaccinations are probably the most advertised commodity on our planet.
Year in and year out we are faced with ads for the flu vaccine, the HPV vaccine and the MMR. Ads appear on billboards, in our stores, in magazines and at the movies. The pharmaceutical industries and our governments have even stooped to an all-time low by peddling their wares to preschool children on children’s television.
The brainwashing of young children is disgusting. For pharmaceutical industries and governments to manipulate impressionable young minds and encourage their parents to believe they are a failure if they have not vaccinated their children is an appalling abuse of power.
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