Just Do It
Do you remember when small pox killed or disfigured 300-500 million people in the 20th century? Do you remember when measles caused 2.6 million deaths every year? Do you remember when there were 350,000 cases of polio worldwide? You might not. That’s because people don’t get those diseases any more, at least not in the US. Because of vaccines.
The CDC has just reported that cases of measles are at a 20-year high. A disease that was supposed to have been eradicated in the US in 2000. Almost every single one of these cases has come from unvaccinated people traveling overseas and bringing it back. Measles is a dangerous disease. The symptoms are bad, but they’re nothing compared to the potential complications, which include pneumonia, ear infections, diarrhea, encephalitis, and even death. Children are especially susceptible to measles, as well as to many of the other diseases for which we have effective vaccines. We don’t remember when small pox and polio struck fear into the hearts of millions of mothers, a fear that has been largely eliminated. Children don’t die of infectious diseases on a routine basis any more, at least not in this country.
So thanks a lot, all you unvaccinated people. You’re a menace to society now. Especially to children. Well done.
The eradication of infectious diseases like measles depends, I’m afraid, like so many other health conditions, on the behavior of people. People can’t give themselves vaccines, in general. They have to get up off the couch, make an appointment, go see the doctor, and get a needle in their arm. Or their child’s arm. People generally need incentive to voluntarily attempt something with that many steps that doesn’t involve money or chocolate. Fear of the disease used to be incentive enough. It is, or used to be, required for school admission, which was pretty good incentive. Respect for the knowledge of doctors used to be incentive. I don’t know that the well-being of the greater world population much factored in, but I’d like to think so.
Now people don’t remember the diseases. Patient autonomy and respect for beliefs has eliminated, in some places, the vaccination requirement for school (which scares the bejesus out of me.) People now fear the medical establishment and don’t trust their doctors. The internet and social media have made very easy the dissemination of mis-information and downright false statements about the safety and efficacy of vaccines. Here’s a terrifying example of a statement made by a woman who did not vaccinate her children, and brags about it in The Healthy Home Economist:
“…this decision should not be taken lightly and it should not be made in a vacuum. In other words, don’t just take your pediatrician’s word that shots are safe. It is possible for doctors to be wrong. They are human, after all. In reality, your doctor is simply parroting the standard line about vaccination from the American Medical Association (AMA) playbook. If you think you are getting their honest assessment, think again.” – See more at: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/six-reasons-to-say-no-to-vaccination/#sthash.pcztBeGe.dpuf
There’s way more where that came from.
Dear readers: vaccines do not cause autism. They don’t. They don’t don’t don’t don’t. Vaccines do not contain significant amounts of scary and harm-inducing toxins, GMO’s, gremlins, or flesh-eating chemicals. There are many reputable places you can get information that addresses the concerns of “Sarah The Healthy Home Economist”. Please get vaccinated. It’s for the children.