The Toll of the Anti-Vaccine Movement - U2 Feedback

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Old 01-25-2014, 06:25 PM   #1
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The Toll of the Anti-Vaccine Movement



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Aaron Carroll today offers a graphic depiction of the toll of the anti-vaccination movement. (H/t: Kevin Drum.) It comes from a Council on Foreign Relations interactive map of "vaccine-preventable outbreaks" worldwide 2008-2014.

A couple of manifestations stand out. One is the prevalence of measles in Europe -- especially Britain -- and the U.S. Measles is endemic in the underdeveloped world because of the unavailability of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine.

But in the developed world it's an artifact of the anti-vaccination movement, which has associated the vaccine with autism. That connection, promoted by the discredited British physician Andrew Wakefield and the starlet Jenny McCarthy, has been thoroughly debunked. But its effects live on, as the map shows.

Vaccine panic also plays a role in the shocking incidence in the U.S. of whooping cough, also beatable by a common vaccine. Researchers have pointed to the effect of "non-medical exemptions" from legally required whooping cough immunizations -- those premised on personal beliefs rather than medical reasons -- as a factor in a 2010 outbreak of whooping cough in California.

These manifestations underscore the folly and irresponsibility of giving credence to anti-vaccination fanatics, as Katie Couric did on her network daytime TV show in December. We examined the ethics of that ratings stunt here and here.

Among other worthwhile examinations of the impact of the anti-vaxxers, see this piece about growing up unvaccinated in Great Britain in the 1970s, and this disturbing piece by Julia Ioffe about her battle with whooping cough, a disease no American should have.

The lesson of all this is that vaccination is not an individual choice to be made by a parent for his or her own offspring. It's a public health issue, because the diseases contracted by unvaccinated children are a threat to the community. That's what public health is all about, and an overly tolerant approach to non-medical exemptions -- and publicity given to anti-vaccination charlatans like Wakefield and McCarthy by heedless promoters like, sadly, Katie Couric, affect us all.

Carroll, who assembles the relevant papers and documents on the MMR/Autism sophistry here, deserves the last word. "Vaccinate your kids," he writes. "Please."

The toll of the anti-vaccination movement, in one devastating graphic - latimes.com

Unbelievable the irresponsibility of the anti-vaccine movement, and society is now going backwards in defeating diseases. Sigh!
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:11 PM   #2
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I have some friends a few states away who
have neighbors who did not vaccinate their young
son because of this "scare" that has been making
the rounds. The boy is now in a hospital
in critical condition.
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:21 PM   #3
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Why say "scare" then?
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:26 PM   #4
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People don't get much stupider than anti-vacc activists.
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the iron horse View Post
I have some friends a few states away who
have neighbors who did not vaccinate their young
son because of this "scare" that has been making
the rounds. The boy is now in a hospital
in critical condition.
Is he in critical condition due to a vaccine-preventable disease? Not playing devil's advocate; generally curious.
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Old 01-26-2014, 11:20 PM   #6
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The anti-vaccine movement should be a punching bag that all of FYM can agree to hit.
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:35 AM   #7
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I'd go as far as calling not vaccinating your child child abuse. It's downright stupid and puts them at risk of preventable(heh, by vaccinating) diseases that could ruin their childhood and/or life. As a parent you have to take care of your child, so if you can prevent him from getting sick or die, why the hell would you not?
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:02 AM   #8
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my kids have had all their routine vaccines (MMR, tetanus, diphtheria, polio, TB, whooping cough etc.), however i have hesitated to give my teenage daughter the relatively new papilloma vaccine (which protects against only a small percent of viruses which cause cervical cancer) as i feel it hasn't been sufficiently tested and was launched onto the market very quickly, and more and more negative side effects are still coming to light - long-standing vaccines are fine but i really don't want my kids to be guinea pigs for new ones, especially for illnesses which can be prevented somewhat thru lifestyle and by taking adequate precautions...

i remember the MMR scare very well as that was very topical when my kids needed vaccinating and it did worry me immensely as a mother and i talked to my doctor at length, but in the end i felt it was the right thing to do to vaccinate my kids (that was years before it properly was debunked)...

i also see a lot of anti-vaccine paranoia with animals (horses) and people refusing to vaccinate or worm because of chemicals... well, really, i would not like my horses to end up with tetanus, and also know of a horse locally who nearly died last year due to internal worm damage, then high-dose medication to eventually treat the worm burden gave her acute founder which caused her to lose a hoof - all of which could have been prevented...
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:07 AM   #9
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what do the colours on the diagram specifically stand for? that would be interesting to know!
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:25 AM   #10
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Is he in critical condition due to a vaccine-preventable disease? Not playing devil's advocate; generally curious.

Yes, the parents were afraid of letting him get a flu shot.
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:22 AM   #11
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The flu shot is a bit different because its efficacy is very arguable as opposed to childhood vaccines.

mama cass, are you talking about Gardasil? Yes, it prevents only a few HPV strains, but those few account for nearly all instances of cervical cancer. I was basically a guinea pig for this vaccine very, VERY early. I actually feel a great sense of relief at having been administered it. Two years ago, a co-worker of mine was diagnosed with cervical cancer 7 months after she had her second baby. Her life has been very difficult since and she said the moment her daughter is old enough, she's getting vaccinated.
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:17 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by mama cass View Post
what do the colours on the diagram specifically stand for? that would be interesting to know!
The link says the green means whooping cough while the purple means measles.

I really would like to know why these parents chose putting their child at risk for serious diseases rather than become autistic. I know vaccines do not cause autism, but I'm baffled those parents chose diseases over autism. Yeah, autism is devastating but at least the kid won't get measles or anything. My guess is that they didn't think those diseases weren't around anymore, but little did they know... I'm going to look around to see if there are any articles about anti-vaccine parents who now regret their decision.
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:18 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by anitram View Post
The flu shot is a bit different because its efficacy is very arguable as opposed to childhood vaccines.

mama cass, are you talking about Gardasil? Yes, it prevents only a few HPV strains, but those few account for nearly all instances of cervical cancer. I was basically a guinea pig for this vaccine very, VERY early. I actually feel a great sense of relief at having been administered it. Two years ago, a co-worker of mine was diagnosed with cervical cancer 7 months after she had her second baby. Her life has been very difficult since and she said the moment her daughter is old enough, she's getting vaccinated.
i'm not sure if it was that one or not (i think one called Cervarix is also available here) - i will have to look into it properly... i know, it's a really horrible illness, but it can be caught and treated very early on with regular smear tests - here (in France) they recommend having smear tests every year - is it like that where you are??

at the time, i discussed it with my daughter and she wasn't happy about it, plus there had been an incident reported in the news of a young girl dying after the vaccine, and i felt i didn't know enough about the vaccine itself to make the decision back then... our GP at the time clearly explained that it didn't offer wide protection though - we have recently got a new doctor though who seems very up to date with things, so will have a chat to her about it...
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:23 AM   #14
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i'm not sure if it was that one or not (i think one called Cervarix is also available here) - i will have to look into it properly... i know, it's a really horrible illness, but it can be caught and treated very early on with regular smear tests - here (in France) they recommend having smear tests every year - is it like that where you are??
Yes, we have annual pap smears. My co-worker, despite having had them annually was diagnosed with Stage IIB, which has something like a 55% 5-year survival rate. Getting annual smears is good but it requires that people be diligent about actually going every year. And even so, if you get a particularly aggressive growing cancer, 12 months is a long time to have it grow unchecked.

I have also read a lot of things about Gardasil and the deaths/adverse reactions. I still strongly feel that you are way better getting it than not.
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:23 AM   #15
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The link says the green means whooping cough while the purple means measles.

I really would like to know why these parents chose putting their child at risk for serious diseases rather than become autistic. I know vaccines do not cause autism, but I'm baffled those parents chose diseases over autism. Yeah, autism is devastating but at least the kid won't get measles or anything. My guess is that they didn't think those diseases weren't around anymore, but little did they know... I'm going to look around to see if there are any articles about anti-vaccine parents who now regret their decision.
i had a friend who chose not to vaccinate as a lifestyle choice - she was into homoeopathic medicine etc., tried to steer clear of chemicals, used natural products, etc. but she was aware of the risks to her child and wouldn't let him go swimming due to the risk of catching polio (i found that difficult, although respected her choice)

i think some people are distrustful of the pharmaceutical industry, and there have been some pretty major pharma fuck-ups - diethylstilbestrol, thalidomide to name a couple...
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