It is interesting to read that the program of catching and vaccinating wild koalas against chlamydial disease is happening in the Northern Rivers region.
If your curiosity has been piqued by the recent article in The Echo (17 May 2023) let me assure you that although Chlamydia pecorum and Chlamydia pneumoniae can cause STD infections in koalas, it is not the Chlamydia trachomitis organism implicated in human sexually transmitted disease (STD).
Chlamydial infections in koalas is a disease endemic in nature and has not, in this or any other circumstance, emanated either from bats or a laboratory.
This link provides an excellent summary of chlamydia in koalas in nature. (Take particular note of the paragraphs called ‘Research’ and ‘Conclusions’ on page 5.)
I wonder: Was a study conducted to determine the risk versus benefit of this vaccine for preventing chlamydial infections in these wild animals?
Did the proponents of this project consider the physical and psychological consequences of human handling, capture, deprivation of natural environment, enforced medical interventions and disruption of normal life routine for these wild creatures? Did the proponents of this project consider whether or not the vaccinated animals on release would continue to cohabit harmoniously with any ‘vaccine free’ animals encountered in the wild?
Did the researchers conduct a randomised double-blind trial before commencing mass vaccinations in order to determine if there would be any vaccine injuries occurring in these animals? If yes, how many animals were surveyed? What was the age range and gender of the trial cohort?
Do the vaccinators intend to monitor the vaccinated animals at regular intervals in the future to discover whether or not unexpected consequences relating to this novel vaccine have occurred? Do the vaccinators intend to conduct regular press releases to inform us of the incidence of infections, the up-take of vaccines and the efficacy of this novel pharmaceutical product?
Did the proponents of this vaccination program consider non-invasive alternatives, such as advocating for the preservation of natural habitat where the koalas can live a normal and productive life according to nature’s intention?
After all, if there are any doubts as to how a mass vaccination program should be run, then we only have to ‘follow the science’ and review the last three years of human history.