The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Vaccinations Work

I was sent this article/graphic today and just had to sigh. Look at the interactive map. Look at all the red (measles). That is a vaccine-preventable disease and it's all over Europe and southern Africa. And, for fuck's sake, look at all the light green in the U.S. That's pertussis, or whooping cough - and it's totally preventable with vaccination. The nonsense that anti-vaccine crusaders spout needs to be effectively countered in the public sphere so parents can see the difference between populations that get vaccinated and populations that don't.

Funnily enough, vaccine-deniers keep asking for exactly that sort of "test". The problem is that when we get clear graphics showing what happens when a population's vaccination rates drop below the level for effective herd immunity, all we hear from them is crickets or lame apologetics. They think homeopathy is just dandy, neglecting the deaths resulting from that ridiculous nonsense. If it does such a piss-poor job not treating something as simply controlled as eczema, what's it supposed to do against something that is scarier and contagious?

If the vaccine-deniers have their way, we'll be swamped in infectious diseases in the coming years. We're getting a preview of what happens when vaccinations stop right now. In Syria polio cases are rising because of war and the resultant political kerfuffle:
The return of this crippling disease and the response, she (Mary Ana McGlasson, RN) says, are a sign that the international aid system is failing Syria's children. "My anger is directed at all parties to the conflict that are slowing down humanitarian aid even by a fraction," McGlasson says. "It's children caught in the middle of that who are suffering, and that's tragic to me."
The humanitarian aid mentioned here is predominantly a rigorous vaccination program for every child.

Also, we can see from Syrian's example, diseases that were almost eradicated can make a screaming comeback.
Once the most feared disease of the twentieth century, polio in most countries had long ago passed into the history books. Syria was no exception. Polio was eliminated there in 1995 following mandatory (and free) immunization introduced in 1964 after the Baath party took power. Yet wildtype 1 polio—the most vicious form of the disease—has been confirmed across much of Syria.
It would not take much to help the affected and stop the spread, but that's not what anti-reality, anti-vaccine nutbars would have you believe. They say that vaccines are dangerous and that these diseases just aren't that bad at all!
What is needed is for vaccinations to be available and taken. It's a safe and simple solution and one recognized as necessary in Syria.
What would an effective response to the outbreak of polio in Syria look like? First, vaccination is a critical component, if the substantial deficiencies in the government’s program are rectified, and the ACU is fully supported. Starting vaccination at birth is essential.

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2 Barbaric Yawps:

At 24/1/14 5:48 am, Anonymous Woody said...

When discussing anti-vaccination and other disgusting pseudo-crap with a friend recently, my friend informed me that the reason so many cannot gain from my views is that I 'hold others to the same level of rational thinking that I use'.
I'm still not sure how to feel (good or bad) about this, any ideas Mike?
I'm keen to know what you think.

At 24/1/14 8:49 am, Blogger Heathen Mike said...

Wow, that's a new one. That's like saying I want people to breathe because I hold them to the same level of oxygen consumption that I use. It's good, I think, that your friends think you're rational, so it's just sort of leading by example and being a resource they can use. Some people I know do that and at times I get really excited that they're calling out nonsense...then they tell me about the acupuncturist they went to see or something.

Can't win 'em all, but help 'em when you can.


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