I’ve lately heard some rhetoric against… of all things…. vaccinations. Some examples:
- A young guy that I used to work with just a few months ago told me that he had avoided vaccinations throughout his childhood years, believing that they were not “natural”. He told me that he believes that a healthy balanced diet was what was needed, together with lots of sleep, and that vaccinations were really just an unnatural stopgap. He tells me this is his opinion.
- I heard from someone else that vaccinations are linked to autism. The study that suggested this has been debunked for some time now, but continues to be referred to by those who refuse to stay current on science.
I’m all for a healthy lifestyle, and natural living, and whatever the heck it might be that you’re into. I’m not at all for outright selfishness, and conduct that puts everyone else, and more importantly the children of others, at risk. These assertions are put forward as “opinion”. Opinion is considered thought, taking into account knowable information. Opinion is not whatever stupid thing might fall out of the speakers mouth.
Since it seems a bit difficult to make the importance of this stuff clear I’m thinking a series of questions might help lead to a sensible conclusion:
- How many people do you know who have died of tetanus poisoning, also known as lockjaw? Roughly 59,000 people died in 2015 of Tetanus. It’s almost unheard of in the western world. Why? Immunization.
- How many people do you know who have died of whooping cough? It’s a highly infectious disease. In 2015 roughly 58,000 people, lots of them young children, were killed by it. Again, it’s almost unknown in the western world, except in pockets where religious kooks won’t get their children vaccinated. Vaccinations put this one away for most of us.
- Met anyone that’s had smallpox? In the 1700’s in Europe it’s estimated that 400,000 people per year died of smallpox. You won’t see it now, there has not been a known case since 1977. That’s right, not since 1977, because the disease was eradicated with.. get this, vaccines. Before that the disease had existed for hundreds upon hundreds of years, killing millions of people, and we got rid of it.
- Seen any survivors of polio walking around? Also a disease almost unknown in the western world, but still active in developing nations. The disease causes muscle weakness that can be lifetime crippling.
These diseases are a public health threat to everyone, and particularly to babies and children. You may be able to avoid these, just as you may be able to avoid the flu or a cold. We’ve all had the flu or a cold, all of us. Maybe not very often, but we have all had them. Saying you’re going to live a healthy lifestyle and that will be as good as a vaccination is to straight up be putting your head in the sand. Even an ostrich does not actually put its head in the sand. Be part of the solution, and prevention, and get your vaccinations. Get your kids vaccinated to so that they’re not a health threat to others and can live long enough to do their own research.
* – thank you to the nice people who have worked to establish Wikipedia.org. It’s a site that greatly speeds research, though fact checking is still necessary.