Anti-vaccinationists winning the war against healthy children

21 09 2008

Re-emergence of diseases like measles and mumps amongst Canadian communities (see Respectful Insolence) is starting to show what the totally unfounded (see The Stats Blog)  fear surrounding the MMR and other children’s vaccines has the propensity to cause.

I also had a link to similar outbreaks emerging in the UK. Outbreaks in other parts of the world are also likely to happen.

Part of reading this stories has helped me learn another horrible fact about the ramifications of less children being vaccinated. It does not just affect children who aren’t being vaccinated. Vaccination relies upon a concept called “herd immunity”.

We all have heard how vaccines aren’t 100% effective in the first place. This is an anti-vaccinationists selling point. Every time you are exposed to the contagion there is a chance of your vaccine failing. Think of it like brakes on your car, you can only be in so many “near-miss” situations before you bang something.

The idea of mass vaccination is to reduce the number of gambles. If every child is vaccinated, there is virtually no entry point for the contagion to enter your community. Every unvaccinated child is a bad driver on the road with no brakes. Not only are they relying on the brakes on your car to reduce danger to their children, they are an additional risk that your children need to avoid.

Some savvy parents are taking this into mind. Daycares that allow unvaccinated children (or do not have data on enrolment vaccines) are seeing health informed parents remove their children to other institutions that provide. The link I lost had a story of a mother who found out one of her children’s friends mothers had bought into the anti-vaccinist screed – and promptly stopped their children playing. A similar incident is found on MSNBC:

Karey Williams [47, Chicago] never thought a parenting decision would come between her and a good friend. The two had known one another for a decade, supported each other through infertility treatment and had their first babies around the same time. But when she told the friend that she had stopped vaccinating her daughter at age 1, the relationship abruptly ended. “She said, ‘Well then, your child can’t come into my house,’”

You might think this is harsh. But these are serious deadly diseases, no parent should be reprimanded for ensuring the health of their children. Lifelong complications (such as deafness) are very very common amongst victims of these diseases.

The positive impact of mass vaccination has a very clear and positive record. Science-Based Medicine has put up the stats for major vaccines. All of them have efficacy rates of over 80%, and save thousands of lives every year (if not more). And none of them have autism as a proven side effect. Science-Based Medicine’s author, Mark Crislip also points out that if GP/Big Pharma was really some sort of evil diabolical institution, they’d be joining the anti-vaccinists. More vaccines, means less disease. Less disease, means less business.

“I am an Infectious Disease doctor. I make a living from treating diagnosing and treating infections. I don’t make dime one if people do not get infected, so I am against any and all vaccines as they cut into my bottom line” – Mark Crislip, Science-Based Medicine weblog

Mandatory safety measures such as bicycle helmets, seat belts, standardised testing of car breaks are important for road safety. Shouldn’t similar safety measures be mandated for children’s health and safety.

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7 responses

12 03 2009
BlindHumanity

You know, Galilee was imprisonned because he said the earth was round… everyone was laughing at him, but he was right. In this post you’re the one lauging at Galilee.

You are wrong on all accounts ant history will prove it… but you’ll probably never realize it. Vaccination is a horrible failure and some people knew it was a failure at the time it was invented (even Pasteur said he was wrong before he died)

You should’nt care about my comment anyway, because the mass agrees with you. Vaccines are safe… yeah, keep dreaming in the matrix.

12 03 2009
zayzayem

Ok going to ignore general errors on history and geography…

…but Vaccination is not a horrible failure. Vaccines have successfully demonstrated the reduction of disease burden and even elimination of diseases like smallpox (globally) and polio (many regions).

No one is saying vaccines are completely safe. They aren’t. No intervention is.

The point is blind hysteria based on bad science (or non-existent science) is awful, and made all the more awful by preying on some of societies greatest fears (the safety of children).

Anti-vaxxers are not Galileo. They aren’t even the Catholic Church. They are present-day flat-earthers, who despite evidence to teh complete contrary, desperately cling to ancient fears about modernisation and science.

19 02 2010
marcydrake

I think it’s worth mentioning that people we’re hearing from (Jenny McCarthy and Generation Rescue, as well as many if not most others like her/it) are specifically NOT “anti-vaccine”. They are pro-vaccine, but anti-current vaccine schedule. As much research as scientists are doing to determine whether or not there’s a link between vaccines and autism, I have yet to hear about any research on what is causing the regression into autism within a frighteningly short period of time after various vaccinations. I think (and I’m still doing a lot of research on this; I’ll be posting it as I find it on my own blog, hollyscottresearch.wordpress.com) that the toddler regression into autism isn’t the same kind of autism that you see in children who displayed autistic symptoms from birth. There are thousands of stories of kids recovering from autism, which lends very well to the idea that autism isn’t entirely (or possibly even mostly) genetically based.

The point of this comment actually was to make sure you know that a lot of the people out there who want vaccine schedules/components changed are NOT “anti-vaccine”. Watch any interview with Jenny McCarthy and you’ll hear her say so.

Also, I find it worth mentioning that although you and a few others do clarify when the debate gets heated that vaccines aren’t entirely safe- that’s not what parents are being led to believe by the mainstream media and most pediatricians. Whenever I’ve seen the debate brought up on TV, doctors tell people, “Vaccines are safe. Get your child vaccinated. Get the flu shot. If you’re pregnant, definitely get the flu shot and the swine flu shot when it’s available.” They give absolutely no indication that there may be risks other than a standard low-grade fever. The most they say is usually something like, “If you still have concerns, talk to your pediatrician.” This is fine, except that the majority of pediatricians adhere rigidly to the current schedule, reiterating that that vaccines are “safe,” and often refuse to see children who aren’t up to schedule. What else are parents supposed to do?

1 03 2010
zayzayem

I don’t think that’s worth mentioning at all. Mainly because it is baloney.

I do think it’s worth mentioning that McCarthy and her ilk are duplicitous liars who switch their story according to their audience.

On a mainstream show like Oprah they might parrot “not anti-vaccine” lines as many times as they please, but read actual information said at their rallies, published in the newsletters and in less mainstream media you will see the crazy for what it really is.
There is a big difference from a message of “understand risks” and outright fear, loathing and paranoia that comes from anti-vax camps.

2 03 2010
marcydrake

“but read actual information said at their rallies” — You mean like the Green Our Vaccines rallies?

31 03 2010
marcydrake

You do realize, don’t you, that by “independent” they mean “conducted by professionals whose hands and/or pocketbooks are in no way affected by the multi-billion dollar vaccine industry”? I’d love to hear how you rationalize that that isn’t a serious conflict of interest.

4 04 2010
zayzayem

No matter how independent tests get, they never meet the bar (crosscheck with “shifting goal posts”).

Also, they seem absolutely fine using research by people heavily invested in goods, services and media steeped in promoting the idea that vaccines are bad (crosscheck with Wakefield’s rival MMR vaccine & payments by litigating lawyers).

Finding people who are not affected by the vaccine industry to conduct tests would mean looking for people without expertise in vaccines. You would not want people independent of the automobile industry testing cars, because you wouldn’t find a qualified person amongst them.

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