Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Plan to vaccinate kids against drugs

The Evening Standard and Daily Mail have picked up on the vaccinating babies against drugs story that the Sun ran.

However, The Malta Independent does manage to give some more detail of the vaccine and describes the ethical concerns that doctors and others have about widespread and targeted use amongst young people:

In his paper Biomedical research in the drugs field, Prof. Muscat discusses the ethical issues behind the vaccine.

Should it be used, asked Prof. Muscat, “for example where adolescents are considered to be at risk of developing cocaine dependency? Do we vaccinate all young people with increased vulnerability?”

Prof. Muscat pointed out that as not every individual’s brain chemistry reacts to cocaine in the same way, administering a vaccine indiscriminately would be cause for concern.

However, he added, administering the vaccine to people identified as having a predisposition to cocaine addiction, might end up stigmatising them.

Similarly, the Transform blog sets out why they’re not that impressed with the idea:

Most of the hysteria about vaccines is media fueled nonsense (witness the MMR/autism debacle for example), but there are potential risks involved whenever you give drugs to people, especially children and especially infants. Aside from the risk, and even if there was none, vaccines would still take you into the legal/ethical quagmire of informed consent, similar to the issues around random drug testing of children in schools.

Like Steve at Transform I’m very dubious about the likelihood of this becoming reality, and wonder what context the Downing Street paper has for any discussion of it.

Filed under: illegal drugs, vaccination

Anti-drug jabs given at birth

The Sun carries a story about an idea to vaccinating babies to stop them getting hooked on drugs and cigarettes:

Newborns would be injected with brain-altering chemicals that would prevent them getting “high” on cocaine, heroin or tobacco.

Details of the extraordinary proposal to stop the yearly £20BILLION cost of drug misuse are in a leaked Number Ten policy document seen by The Sun.

The document, being considered by Blair’s working group on crime, talks of “immunotherapies” — developed in secret — to protect a generation.

The story suggests that “health ministers and doctors’ watchdog the General Medical Council have already objected.”

Filed under: vaccination

About this blog

This blog tries to pick up relevant media and research stories about drug education. It mainly focuses on information in England as this is the geographical remit for the Drug Education Forum. We welcome comments that are on topic.

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