The company in question hopes that fresh juice can strengthen immune systems
Translated by Thomas Ansell
The Drents business Versapers is coming under huge criticism for its position, as reported by RTV Drenthe. Versapers is based in De Groeve (municipality Tynaarlo), and has offered to give a free juicer worth 399 euros to any expecting mothers that promise not to vaccinate their child against Whooping Cough.
Whooping Cough is a highly contagious bacterial disease, caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis. Initial symptoms seem like that of the common cold, though the distinctive cough follows shortly after. In very young children, the coughing is so bad that they are at risk of not breathing for an extended period. The only known preventative measure is a vaccine that has been in use since the 1930’s (it is not a true vaccine, rather an inoculation). Whooping Cough can be treated with antibiotics once it has developed.
Versapers is a company that makes juicers and blenders. According to the company, using these sorts of healthy products are a ‘natural’ way of strengthening a childs immune system. They also hold that vaccines have their own risks and are not always likely to help. It should be noted that the medical and scientific basis for vaccines is well-known, and responsible for the elimination of diseases such as smallpox.
Specialist Children’s Doctor Annemieke Bams, of the Treant Zorggroep has little time for the offer: “all vaccines that are used in the Netherlands are used against life-threatening diseases. Whooping Cough is life-threatening for young children. I completely disagree with this offer: the general vaccination level in the country is under pressure, and that’s not good for us. It is even possible that your own child will remain healthy, but pass on the disease to other children.”
Owner of Versapers, Joost Duikerwinkel, has said that the offer is a publicity stunt. “I actually want to elicit a response from the government. Let them say whether I am crazy, or if I have a point. I myself have zero trust in the medical system. In my eyes, doctors make expectant parents unnecessarily scared, and they wrongly insist on vaccination.”
Duikerwinkel himself is not concerned about the storm of protest against his companies’ offer. He expects to find the 100 women that he is seeking this week. They must sign up and pay for attendance at a ‘wellness conference’ to be held in Utrecht on 6 February, where they will be able the claim their juicer.”
Secretary of State for health, Paul Blokhuis, warned about fantasies related to vaccines, he said: “every year 170 babies with Whooping Cough are admitted to hospital. That’s why we have the 22-week vaccination programme for expectant mothers.”