Saturday, 14 May 2011

Just vaccinate!

In case you hear anyone saying that they are afraid to have their children vaccinated, perhaps you can be ready with some facts.  Failing to vaccinate is now starting to be dangerous to ALL of us, and not just to the unfortunate infants.  Just having been vaccinated yourself should not make you feel safe because a (small) percentage of people do not acquire immunity even if they are vaccinated.  Those of us who are in that category need further help.  We need everyone in our communities to be vaccinated to ensure that the old - nearly eliminated - diseases stay that way.

At present we are failing to achieve sufficient 'herd immunity' because of seemingly rational fears of parents who have heard how their children might be harmed.  Epidemics are now a near certainty.  People will -yes definitely WILL - die because of the dreadful lies of the anti-vaccination movements.

Be ready to give these answers:

1. The anti-vaccination movement bases its scare stories on 'proof by mummy instinct' and not on science.
2/  Andrew Wakefield who started it all off has been completely discredited and is no longer allowed to practice as a doctor.
3/  The 'mercury' in vaccinations is definitely and provably not harmful.
4/  Vaccination does not cause autism - definitely and provably!
5/  Big pharmaceutical companies might not be paragons of virtue but they are not not giving our children autism!

A little skeptical research will help everyone to learn the truth.  And the truth is that many many people will die if we do not vaccinate.  Start here - Health Protection Agency issues warning to parents in SE England.

According to this article at Skeptical Science blog:

The first 20 years of licensed measles vaccination in the U.S. prevented…
  • an estimated 52 million cases of the disease
  • 17,400 cases of mental retardation
  • 5,200 deaths

Incidentally - when I was a baby there was no vaccination for measles, and apparently I am one of the few who has had measles twice.  I don't want to get it again if I can help it, but


Cindy said...

I am not against vaccinating completely but I am against the schedule on which they want to do it. They do too much all at once, it needs to be spread out more and I am against letting my kids be guinea pigs for the new vaccines. I think many vaccines need to be given when a child is older than an infant or toddler, over the age of 5 when a child's system is older to better handle them. On the subject of autism and other developmental delays, they are real!! I live it every day!! Don't go tell a mother that she is causing mayhem in the world for not vaccinating her child when she lives with a child that can not speak, and has sensory issues among a ton of other problems. And when did that child's problems start, just ask her as tears rolls down her eyes and she says "the day I was protecting your world from this horrible disease." "That day, I brought my child home and she ran a fever, she was not herself, I called the doctor she said it was normal, so I brushed it off. I thought nothing of it and then the weeks after, my child forgot how to do things she had been doing for months, again I asked the doctor and was told its nothing, Then my child as they grew never spoke, my mind points to that day where I help to protect the world from a bad bad disease by vaccinating my child, the world tells me I am crazy that vaccines are safe but then why did my child's world change that day. But hey its okay, right?, cause I did the right thing and save you and everyone else in this world from one person spreading a horrible disease."
Maybe, just maybe, mother's intuition is right! But if science and doctors said yea your right you do possible have a slim chance of harming your child if you do this there would be havoc in the world. Sometimes the truth is withheld as to not cause chaos. But thats my two cents. There are too too too many parents that have that story for it not to mean something.

Plasma Engineer said...

I don't know how to express as much empathy as I wish to for every mother and father who find themselves in this situation. I can only say why I feel strongly about vaccination.

First, it is an unfortunate fact that science gets things wrong sometimes. Andrew Wakefield did get it wrong and his paper has now been withdrawn. His professional career has not prospered - quite rightly. Unfortunately - and for understandable reasons - he now has a lot of followers.

It is also an unfortunate fact that in a community where more and more people are not vaccinated, babies are much more likely to be exposed to dangerous infections early in life, and so it is important that they are protected as early as possible. When that is, I do not know, but I think it is very likely to have been found, by science, to be the time when the vaccinations are currently given. Otherwise they would be given earlier.

Mother's intuitions are often right. Sadly they are less reliable in other cases, because everybody is different, and the best way to choose the right course of action is by measuring it over the whole population for as long as possible.

Perhaps it would be good to do what you suggest though, and change the time of vaccinations slightly. Although it would put a few children at risk for a few months initially, it would at least break the 'observed' but incorrect correlation between vaccinations and autism. Autistic symptoms would then appear before the vaccination and the evidence would be clear to all. Everyone would be vaccinated and the least possible harm would result from it in just a few years time.

The only problem is that the evidence would NOT actually be there for ALL to see, because all the people do not wish to look. You can tell that because the evidence already exists. Sadly, far too many people still see it as a conspiracy by 'big pharma' or dismiss it for other reasons.

I'm so sad for everyone affected by autism. I'm equally sad for those infected by measles when this is a condition that can now be avoided, and has been for decades. I'm sad for those who catch polio, having known people of my parents' generation who lived with its effects all their lives.

This is why I say 'Just Vaccinate', but I say it with the greatest sympathy.