Secret Knowledge – Vaccine Edition

People who deny the best that science can give piss me off. Their claims of secret knowledge that is better than things that has been tried and tested, sometimes for decades.

Vaccine deniers that say that vaccines cause autism have been thoroughly debunked. The only evidence that ever existed for it was retracted. It’s not science, and the British Medical Journal have confirmed that conclusively. Nothing to see here, folks, carry on.

Claiming that your family is healthy and you do things to keep them that way, so you’re not going to vaccinate, is a slap in the face to those who have lost family members to preventable illnesses who could have been saved by herd immunity. And what it tries to say about other people is just nasty. ‘You only got sick because you are too weak. We’re strong so we didn’t’. And what does it say about those who are more vulnerable, the people whose immunity is low – the elderly, the young, the medically immunocompromised? How are they supposed to stay well under this thinking? No, screw you hippies and your elitist thinking. You’re putting others at risk, as well as your own children, because of a false belief in your own specialness.

People who blame the high rate of preventable diseases in developing countries on lack of good food, clean water, and inadequate hygiene practises are also in line for my scorn. Yes, developing nations have problems with access to food and water. That does make them unwell. These kids are born with the exact same immune system that poncy white kids are, and they deal with pathogens just like we do. Their medical care is lacking, so they’re more likely to die of the diseases they catch, but that’s a feature of not having enough medical facilities. Delete medical systems from our neck of the woods, and you’ll find exactly the same thing – kids dying from things that are eminently treatable. So those who catch tuberculosis, or measle, or whatever, are more likely to have poor outcomes. But that doesn’t mean that some nice clean water and modern sanitation will just magically make the vicious childhood diseases go away. Vaccines have done that. Even in villages with a day-long walk to water have seen a drop in disease rates with vaccination. In contrast, the war in Sudan and the unrest in Ethiopia have meant a recurrence of diseases formerly on the wane.

I’m sure there are other, equally frustrating (to me) arguments, but these are the ones pissing me off tonight. Vaccinate your kids, people. For them, for you, and for the people around you. No-one wants to see a baby gasping for air after contracting whooping cough, at it’s everyone’s responsibility to stop that happening.

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