Vaccinations or Not

I only became aware of people opposed to childhood vaccinations a few months ago. Wired has an interesting article about the subject. (via The Angry Drunk) As with Nova‘s show about intelligent design, the piece is worth reading not just for its subject matter, but for its examination of science and pseudoscience, and how they each operate.

I wonder whether families who decide not to vaccinate their children are going to experience some natural selection over the coming decades. I just hope the effects don’t spill over to the rest of us.

(I hated getting shots when I was a kid, but I sure am glad now that I got them. I get a flu shot every year, too, mainly because they’re made conveniently available at work.)

3 thoughts on “Vaccinations or Not”

  1. If the parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids were only risking their own children’s lives, I’d be more okay with their decision. Unfortunately, there’s this whole “Herd Immunity” thing. Some number of folks can’t be vaccinated, for one reason or another (immune system disease, transplant patients, etc). For some others, the vaccination won’t give them immunity.

    These people are at elevated risk to die because some superstitious parent refuses to vaccinate their child. That makes the refusal to vaccinate a much more morally questionable practice, to my thinking.

  2. I could rant about this for hours. Once I became pregnant, I discovered a whole host of ignorant things that parents who are well educated and fairly well off do under the guise of protecting their kids. Most of these people are individuals I have decided to call “fippies” (short for faux hippies). They aren’t really hippies, because that would mean giving up their iphones and other accoutrements of their cushy standard of living. But they rally behind certain hippie thought parades because they aspire to what they see as the less stressful, back-to-nature lifestyle that hippies enjoy. Apparently, science and technology (which has lined most of their pockets, btw) is apparently the source of all the evils in the world. Makes me batty!

  3. It will surprise nobody that I did go onto the Internet and read for myself about vaccinations before AJ was born. (He’s had all the required shots plus the recommended ones, including flu shots this year and last, and probably will continue to do so, also to no one’s surprise.)

    Smallpox vaccination or anthrax vaccination would be a much tougher choice, because there is a real downside; if those vaccines use live virus, then one in a million or so people who get the vaccine will get the disease, and in those cases they’ll almost certainly die. (Fortunately, that’s not a choice we’ll have to make.)

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