Dermatologists at a Brisbane dermatology summit are worried about the effect of the measles vaccine on the industry, with a few worried it could have an adverse effect on their business.
Dermatological Society of Queensland (DSQ) president Dr Lee Kuan said some patients were experiencing severe itching, which is not normal.
“We don’t know if the vaccine is going to cause itching or not, but if it does, it will certainly impact the business, and we will have to make a decision about whether to continue or to close down,” Dr Kuan told 7.30.
He said he was worried it was possible the vaccine could be harmful, but he did not think it would affect the majority of patients.
“If people start having a rash, then that is something that we will need to consider,” he said.
He also said some dermatologists thought the vaccine was causing “a lot of problems”.
Dr Kwan said many dermatologists were still not sure if the vaccination would work in terms of the incidence of measles.
“People are saying, ‘well, we haven’t got any symptoms’, so what is going on?,” he told 7-30.
“I don’t think it’s really a question of if, but when, so that we can get a better understanding of that.”
Dr Khao said he did think it was important for dermatologists to understand the impact the vaccine would have on their businesses.
“The more we know about the adverse effects of the vaccine, the better we can understand the efficacy of that vaccine in the community,” he added.
Derma experts are also worried the vaccine might have an impact on their industry, but are hopeful it will be “truly safe”.
Dr Kaye said the vaccine “is safe” but she did not know if it would be “perfect”.
“We need to wait and see.
This is a really important point because the vaccine doesn’t have a full complement of side effects.
So, it may have some side effects that are milder than what you would get with the vaccine,” she said.
Dr Kayle said the “virus” that caused the rash was not yet “out in the open” and she was not sure whether it would eventually spread to other areas of Australia.
“It’s just too early to know what that virus is doing,” she told 7 News.
She said she did know it had spread through Queensland, but was unsure if it was spreading anywhere else.
Dr Kuana said some doctors were worried about how it could affect their practice.
“They’re worried that they’re not going to be able to practise anymore, and they’re worried about losing their practice,” she explained.
“Because of the lack of access to the measles vaccination program, we may be losing access to some of our patients, or it may not be possible to reach those patients, because of the limited vaccine coverage.”
Derma Society of Victoria president Dr Michelle Kuehn said some people had developed skin rashes.
“When you have outbreaks like this, it’s a real concern,” she noted.
“But when you have an outbreak like this it is a bit of a different story.”
Dr Ken Kuehns, president of the Victorian Dermatopathological Society, said there were some doctors worried about their business, but there was also a lot of support.
“Some doctors are worried they are going to lose their practice, and some doctors are going ahead and are just doing what they need to do,” he explained.
He added that some people were reluctant to get vaccinated because they were worried it would make them sick.
“There’s a whole spectrum of people who are reluctant to be vaccinated,” he noted.
He urged everyone to “just get vaccinated”.
Dr Lee said there was “still hope” in the vaccine.
“Hopefully, we can see a reduction in the numbers of people getting measles in Australia, because that is the best way to stop the spread of the virus,” he conceded.
“However, if we do not, then we will be in for some really hard times.”
Dr Lee suggested those who were most likely to get measles could take the vaccine for four weeks, after which they should “continue with their normal routine”.
Dr Thomas Lee said he would “probably” take the measles if the risk of spreading was low.
Dr Thomas Kuehl, vice president of Dermatologic Society of Australia, said he believed some people “might feel better” about taking the vaccine if the chance of spreading to other parts of Australia was low, but warned that the vaccine did not protect people from getting the disease in general.
“Any person who is immunocompromised has to be cautious, and there is a lot that can happen when people don’t get vaccinated,” Dr Lee told 7News.
“For example, if a child is immunosuppressed, or immunocontinent, then they have a higher risk of getting the measles,