Doctor warns about dangers of outbreak

by Phil Ambroziak

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Meadow Lake doctor Jake Letkeman believes this age-old statement could prove all too true if more people aren’t convinced about the importance of vaccinating themselves and their children against disease.

Dr. Jake Letkeman

Dr. Jake Letkeman

“Many of our younger population have never seen some of the diseases vaccines were designed to combat and they may not be aware of the consequences,” Letkeman said.

Aside from what he described as the public’s general lack of knowledge about certain diseases, Letkeman claims there’s also been a trend in recent years that favours natural or alternative forms of medicine over traditional methods. This trend, he continued, has also deterred some people from having their children immunized against such illnesses as diphtheria, whooping cough, polio, measles and more. In some cases, he added, these concerns stem from the belief vaccines cause adverse side effects.

“People need to realize vaccines have changed over the years, remarkably reducing any such possibilities,” Letkeman noted.

Although she didn’t have exact numbers available, public health nurse Armande Ferland agreed with Letkeman, stating more people appear to be opting out of immunization in recent years compared to the past because of the misconception vaccines can be dangerous.

“The engineering of today’s vaccines is really well done,” Ferland said. “We’ve had very few complaints about side effects.”

In an attempt to steer more people back to a traditional way of thinking, Letkeman shared some historical facts surrounding certain illnesses.

“In the 20th Century, 400 million people died of smallpox whereas today – thanks to the smallpox vaccine – the disease has been eradicated,” he said. “There are also those of us who remember the polio outbreak in the 1940s and how the world changed when Jonas Salk introduced the polio vaccine. Also, there have been no deaths from the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine and no evidence exists to link vaccines to any form of permanent brain damage, SIDS, developmental delays, autism, attention deficit disorder, learning disabilities, hyperactivity, cancer or leukaemia, or any other severe chronic conditions.

He went on to note side effects, if any, would be minimal.

“And, there’d still only be a small price to pay to avoid the death the diseases themselves can cause – diseases that will return if we turn our backs on modern medicine,” Letkeman said.
Meanwhile, Ferland encourages anyone with concerns or questions about vaccines, the importance of immunization or those looking to book an appointment to contact the Meadow Lake public health office.

“People aren’t seeing some of the diseases anymore, so they don’t perceive them to be a credible threat,” she said. “Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of information out there which isn’t credible. Many people tend to take someone’s anecdotal word instead of looking at researched medical information.”

As for why Letkeman is so passionate about bringing more people back to a traditional way of thinking – the veteran doctor said the reason is a simple one.

“I’ve lived through it – have seen the whole thing happen before,” Letkeman said. “To have it happen again when it doesn’t have to is a backward step. Unfortunately, some people are just too narrow minded.”

5 Responses to “Doctor warns about dangers of outbreak”
  1. mitzi says:

    No side effects? That’s not what all the cases compensated by the Vaccine Injury Program would say. And the studies most uneducated health care workers refer to would be from whom? CDC? Proven and documented more than once those studies either didn’t use a quantitative control study, hid findings not in favor of their agenda or other nefarious actions. Don’t take my word for it…it is easy enough for anyone to research. Many other questions I could point out. Suffice it to say I would not make an appointment to be counseled by people with a single agenda that report untrue information. Shame on you.

    • Heather says:

      No shame on you. Go and spend some time in the cemetery. Ask why there are so many whole families eradicated in a span of three years. I have spent countless hours in our local cemetery, asking why did this happen? It was a sad time for families, scarllett fever, measles, mumps and the list goes on. I am so angry at adults who choose to put their children’s lives on the line for a fad of Dr. bashing. I would rather my children had a fever for a day or two than die in my arms of something that could have been prevented.

      • Yes I agree Heather. My son died from meningococcal disease 13 years ago. He was 19 years old. He died at the height of an outbreak in Edmonton, Alberta – one of three teenagers to die. There are far too many people out there who are willing to jump on an anti-vaccine bandwagon. Perhaps they need to read the real stories about real people who would be alive if they had been immunized against not only this deadly disease, but many others as well. To not immunize is to put your children at risk. You can read all about my son and many other people’s loved ones at: His name was Brett.

  2. Maybell says:

    Vaccines can be dangerous…..and a over load in society…they over vaccinate- and what they put in them is not just a prevention! I have vaccinated my kids with ONLY a few things that I find that may be necessary, measles, meningitis. Vaccinations is ALSO a huge money maker, do not forget just like prescription$…Do your research and read the ingredients!! Be Careful…just like your food that you eat…be smart and keep an open mind!!

    • Harriet h says:

      Get real. Pharmaceutical companies had to be legislated to continue making vaccines because they weren’t particularly profitable and many were quitting this field entirely. It doesn’t even make logical sense that something you take very rarely to prevent illness would be a big money maker. The costs of making a vaccine are also going to be much higher than making a drug because of dealing with active viruses and bacteria in at least some stages of the process. If you can’t reason that out than perhaps the rest of your “research” is just as faulty and perhaps it was your mind that was not open in the first place. Which vaccine preventable disease would you like children to suffer through? L

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