Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Anti-vaccination. More exercises in wilful ignorance.

I watched this Frontline documentary on the anti-vaccine movement. The selfishness and idiocy of the anti-vacciners is astounding and appalling. Seemingly intelligent people, people who can form complete sentences and supposedly read incapable of understanding the implications of their choices.

One woman was whining about the polio vaccine and how polio doesn't exist in the US anymore, so why should we continue to vaccinate for it. I can only assume that she lives in such an insular world that she doesn't anticipate her children nor anyone her children will ever come into contact with won't leave the US. This same woman was annoyed at a nurse trying to vaccinate her newborn child against hepatitis on the grounds that it's a sexually transmitted disease. I guess she assumed no one has ever caught it any other way or and this is worse, that the chance of her child catching hepatitis from a blood transfusion or the various unknown ways hepatitis is transmitted are so low that her child would be safe. The reason I say that is worse is because she's basing her arguments against vaccinations on a minuscule chance that her child is not only part of the the tiny population people who have an adverse reaction to vaccinations but also part of an even smaller population within that tiny population that will have actual serious side effects.

In the wake of the original paper that linked autism to vaccinations being retracted and the author being thoroughly discredited, it seems that the anti-vaccinators have shifted from the hard line of "vaccine causes autism" to "vaccines might cause something". These same anti-vacciners claim that there is no harm done by their not having their children immunized, even as we see outbreaks across the world of diseases that have been under control for 50 years. (Recently: As I've said before, these people are idiots.

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