Tag Archives: vaccinate

One Shot

Hello,

I really don’t want to turn this blog into an anti-vaxxer bashing blog, but, you know what, I kinda do.

Buzzfeed just posted this story and I’m, again, angry.

New York has recently put into effect an order stating that if you don’t vaccinate your kids against measles you get fined $1000. You have to show proof that you are already immune (because you had measles at some point) or that you have been vaccinated.

They are doing this because there are now, currently, 300 cases of measles in New York City. Twenty of those cases are in the hospital. Five of those cases are in intensive care.

Now, that’s not a lot of people, although I would argue that any number of people being hospitalized for an easily preventable illness is ridiculously high. But then there’s this fun quote:

“The problem is, there’s nothing more difficult to contain than a measles epidemic,” Peter Hotez, professor of pediatrics and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Texas’s Baylor College of Medicine, told BuzzFeed News. “The measles virus is the most highly transmissible virus we know about.”

So it’s a highly transmissible virus with each person that is currently carrying the virus becomes a liability, especially in a society where people have decided they’d rather not take one shot.

On top of that, there are parents who have decided to have measles parties instead of just vaccinating their children and, in that way, avoid the fine. Here’s what those children have to look forward to:

“The first sign of measles is usually a high fever, which begins about 10 to 12 days after exposure to the virus, and lasts 4 to 7 days. A runny nose, a cough, red and watery eyes, and small white spots inside the cheeks can develop in the initial stage. After several days, a rash erupts, usually on the face and upper neck. Over about 3 days, the rash spreads, eventually reaching the hands and feet. The rash lasts for 5 to 6 days, and then fades. On average, the rash occurs 14 days after exposure to the virus (within a range of 7 to 18 days).” – Borrowed from WHO

Let’s be clear here: Measles can kill. Measles can maim. Let’s look at those symptoms:

“Most measles-related deaths are caused by complications associated with the disease. Serious complications are more common in children under the age of 5, or adults over the age of 30. The most serious complications include blindness, encephalitis (an infection that causes brain swelling), severe diarrhoea and related dehydration, ear infections, or severe respiratory infections such as pneumonia. Severe measles is more likely among poorly nourished young children, especially those with insufficient vitamin A, or whose immune systems have been weakened by HIV/AIDS or other diseases.” – Also Borrowed from WHO

So….the parents can give their kid one shot or they can get them sick and risk all those symptoms and consequences listed above. Here are the common symptoms of the measles vaccine:

  • Sore arm from the shot
  • Fever
  • Mild rash
  • Temporary pain and stiffness in the joints, mostly in teenage or adult women who did not already have immunity to the rubella component of the vaccine
    Borrowed from the CDC

Huh….looks like getting the vaccine is much less risky than actually getting the measles.

Weird.

Wait! There’s a risk of fever induced seizures in older infants! Except that it’s extremely rare and the seizures have no long term effects on the child. Not like measles which can, once again, result in blindness or death.

So, to recap, parents in NYC would rather make their child incredibly sick for two weeks (and risk their child’s death!) rather than get a shot that would prevent that from happening.

This is asinine. This is irresponsible. This is dangerous.

Vaccinate your children, for their own sake.

-D-

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Filed under Thinking and Pondering: Science, History, Analysis and Over-Think

Vaccinate Against Stupidity

I don’t feel that there is any reason to debate an Anti-Vaxxer when it comes to the Science of vaccines. At this point, if someone still believes that vaccines cause autism, no study, no research, no rationality will ever cause them to bend. But, let’s be honest here, vaccines do not cause autism. At all.

No, the point I wish to debate is a new crop of folks that seem to think that vaccination falls under a rights issue; that parents should have the RIGHT to determine if they should vaccinate their children or not. Because this is the new argument I see cropping up online. I see people arguing that, individuals should be allowed the choice of whether to vaccinate their children or not, that no-one has the right to tell them to vaccinate little Billy or little Susan from the measles or the mumps.

Now, I am all for people being free from government intervention in their day-to-day lives. I believe that the State has no place in determining what is marriage. I believe that the State has no place in determining what God we choose to worship (or not worship). I believe that the State has no place in our day to day interactions with each other, so long as those interactions do not harm one another.

The point of a society, on a very basic level, is to ensure a basic level of security and happiness for the individual. Otherwise, we’d be living in the wilderness, huntin’ deer and choppin’ wood and growin’ crops and surviving as individuals alone and free. Society protects us, helps us, keeps us safe on a fundamental level. It provides infrastructure. It provides security. It provides a basic level of support.

We have a lot of laws that protect us from individuals that act in ways that harm the majority. You cannot rob banks. You cannot steal. You cannot blow up buildings. You cannot act in a way that hurts other people. That is the strength of a society. It protects us from the selfish, single-minded, obtuse, moronic and absolutely stupid individuals who believe that they, for some reason, know better than scientists and professionals who make their bread and butter from studying human illness.

So when an anti-vaxxer says that they have the RIGHT to not vaccinate their children, I get a little angry. If you do not have the RIGHT to rob a bank when you need money, if you do not have the RIGHT to speed down the highway when you’re late for work, if you do not have the RIGHT to endanger CHILDREN and PEOPLE in every other instance, what the fuck makes you think you have the right to risk epidemic death and disease just because you are stupid enough to believe fraudulent studies that were disproved years ago?

We have reached the point where we are so afraid of confrontation, of debate, that we are allowing people who have no position, who are arguing a point with no scientific evidence, who believe something with no basis in reality; to determine how the rest of have to live our lives. We are now living in fear of diseases that were wiped out generations ago, because our society has grown so afraid of causing offense, so afraid of dismissing stupidity out of hand, that we have become ineffective.

There is no debate here. There is no argument. There is no discussion. Anti-vaxxers are hurting us, hurting ALL of us, by refusing to vaccinate their children. And every moment that we refuse to shut these people down, every moment that we  allow them a podium where they spew their idiotic and mindless rhetoric, we are allowing them to continue hurting us all.

Society only works when we work together to protect the weakest among us. When we allow morons with loud voices and baseless opinions to hurt our children, which is what happens when an un-vaccinated child spreads disease in a public place, then maybe it is time to re-evaluate the society that allowed this to happen.

-D-

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Filed under Thinking and Pondering: Science, History, Analysis and Over-Think