By: Carolyn Cooper
03 October 2010
(excerpt) Unfortunately, earthly vaccination is not always as reliable as the heavenly kind. Last August, the Rastafari Millennium Council put on a symposium at which I learnt a startling fact. Some Rastafari are quite sceptical about the presumed value of medical vaccination. And they feel persecuted by inflexible government policies that prevent unvaccinated children from attending state-run schools.
Rastafari are in excellent company on this issue. George Bernard Shaw, the irreverent Irish playwright, once declared, “As well consult a butcher on the value of vegetarianism as a doctor on the worth of vaccination.” This witticism would certainly resonate with Rastafari for whom vegetarianism is a central principle of their ‘livity’.
Compulsory vaccination is quite a contentious matter. Although the practice of vaccination is now accepted as gospel, there are non-believers who question its power to save. The American lobbyist Rick Rollins blames the combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination for his son’s autism.