i just finished reading this MSNBC article: “Vaccine-wary parents spark public health worry” and I’ve gotta say, man are we eager to be ignorant.
Essentially the article talks about how pockets of populations in the US have had large increases in the number of parents that are getting immunization exemptions. Their argument is that there are known and unknown side-effects to the immunizations – things ranging from allergic reactions and permanent brain damage to possibly causing things like asthma, attention deficit disorder, or autism.
Alright – I’m not a parent, but I can understand that being a parent means being entrusted with millions of important decisions in hopes of keeping your child healthy and safe. And I 100% agree that parents should educate themselves on the pros and cons of the decisions they need to make – ignorance is not bliss when it comes to the care of a child.
However, when you start Google-medicating your kid with a renewable prescription of Wikipedia – ya need to take a step back and recognize that there are people that have spent the better portion of their lives (and likely most of yours) studying this stuff – and most of them are too busy to check and make sure everything posted on the Internet stands up to the scientific method.
Vaccinations, along with sterilization and antibiotics, are responsible for the largely disease-free lives we live in the West. Should the medical industry rest on its laurals with a pat on the back for a job well done? No, of course not. Should links between immunization and other illnesses be investigated? Absolutely.
But to NOT get your child vaccinated against things like polio, tetanus, and pertussis – you’re being an ignorant selfish twat. Sure, you may be side-stepping a risk your child will get ADD, or maybe not, but you are most certainly increasing the risk that they’ll get polio, tetanus and/or pertussis.
Ah but (and this is where the “ignorant selfish twat” bit comes in) those diseases are tough to get. They’re tough to get BECAUSE everyone’s been vaccinated. If everyone starts declining childhood immunizations, it wont be long before diseases that have been virtually non-existent in developed nations for more than 50 years start buying condos and holding block parties.
Add to this that you’re killing any benefits brought by Herd Immunity and how it protects those that don’t and can’t be immunized, and well… you ignorant selfish twat, you.
Now, this isn’t to say I’m not sympathetic to parents who have kids that are inflicted with autism, aspergers, or any of a plethora of other syndromes plaguing the people of our world. I am, I really am.
It is also not to say that we don’t need to continue to invest serious mind-power and funding into discovering if these syndromes are linked to immunization – or genetics, or allergies, or preservatives, or prenatal drug/alcohol abuse, or, or, or…
But to throw back 50 to 100 years of medical advancement because those advancements aren’t absolutely 100% perfect and guaranteed not to have adverse effects in absolutely 100% of the population… well… that’s somewhat equivalent to choosing not to send your kid to school because the teacher might turn out to be a pedophile.
In the idea pool, this is right up there with banning lawn darts.