Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Begin vaccination rant/

I read a post on the facebook page of an old friend Liz Ditz (her daughter and I rode with the same trainer for years) that was in regards to vaccinations:

My two eldest children are patients of Dr. Baskerville. I have also declined to vaccinate them. As the article suggests, Dr. Baskerville has gently and kindly recommended vaccination for them and has graciously accepted my decision not to follow her recommendation. We've discussed the relative merits and risks of the practice and she continues to provide excellent care to my children in the rare instances that they need it.

My concerns regarding vaccinations do not center on autism, though I'm not convinced that there is no link. Rather, I believe that my children's immune systems, evolved over millions of years, in conjunction with good hygiene, nutrition, and adequate exercise, is their best defense against infectious diseases . Given that vaccines have a known, quantified risk (though it's likely that the risk is greater than what's published due to underreporting). I'm not willing to play Russian Roulette with my children's health by exposing them to a known, possibly fatal risk to possibly (since no vaccines are 100% effective) prevent a disease to which they may never be exposed.

I've asked medical professionals if they can point me to a scientific, peer-reviewed study that compared the overall health and well-being of vaccinated and non-vaccinated populations. So far, none has been able to cite such a study.

Obviously, to anyone who has an actual grasp of how evolution and statistics work, this woman is clearly an idiot wrong. What's surprising to me is that her sentences are complete and her punctuation is correct. Because usually, this kind of anti-science absurdity comes from the illiterati Tea Partiers that want the guv'mint out of their bidness.

But a certain core group of the anti-vax crowd in their be-sweatered, minivan driving, organic produce buying, highly educated glory are, in themselves, part of the so-called liberal elite. And these folks, in the  under the guise of fashionable scepticism and possibly out of a desire to feel somewhat in control, possibly through perceived "subversion", choose to believe the likes of Jenny McCarthy over less well known people who happen to understand the concepts of the scientific method, evolution (hint: you can use viruses to demonstrate it) and statistics (or even the fact the large numbers are in fact larger than small numbers: the amount of people who dye of measles today is a smaller number than the amount of people who died before the vaccine was invented).

This woman above is not willing to play russian roulette with regards to vaccinations which have a much lower rate of killing/causing damage to people than measles but she is willing to play russian roulette with the actual disease itself.

/end rant.

1 comment:

Miss Bee said...

Yes - our discussion on the way back from Walgreens when you were in town has me agreeing with you that vaccines are very necessary... That, and all the paperwork the preschool did over the summer to ensure all our kids are up to date on their shots. No vaccine, no school.