Believe it or not, but there was a time in history when the arrival of a vaccine against a terrible virus or illness was viewed as a positive development. Let’s take smallpox, for example.

All the way back in 1796, Edward Jenner demonstrated that being infected with cowpox gave you immunity against smallpox. Later on, a vaccine was developed in the 1950s. The result is no one has been infected with smallpox since 1977 and the virus is now effectively extinct.

No one cried nonsense then about how the vaccine was going to kill more people than the virus, or talked rot about how it hadn’t been tested. People accepted that, although vaccines do come with some risks, they’re more than outbalanced by the benefit of not dying from a horrendous illness. And anyone who did was dismissed as what they were – namely, a moron.

Over the past year or so, a lot of very stupid people have been getting very indignant over the Covid-19 vaccine, some of them before it even existed. But this week, they’ve all been terribly quiet over the news that a malaria vaccine has been approved for use in Africa by the World Health Organisation – the same body which they frequently accuse of being in China’s pocket.

In particular, I have to wonder exactly what’s keeping Danny Rampling away from this party. It can’t be the long-running sense of consistency in his views – it’s already been demonstrated beyond doubt that there isn’t any. Could it be the fact that malaria kills between 1 and 3 million people a year and the overwhelming majority of those deaths are in children under the age of 5?

Perhaps he could finally show some consistency to his views about “protecting children” by publicly stating, right now, that malaria vaccines are a good thing. Or are you only about protecting children when it suits your world view at that particular moment, Danny?