Get Yourself and Your Children Vaccinated

Steven Weinreb suffers from chronic lymphocytic leukemia and has new white blood cells in his body, making him vulnerable to diseases the rest of us don’t have to worry about.

So he makes an important plea in today’s New York Times:

… if 75 percent to 95 percent of the population around us is vaccinated for a particular disease, the rest are protected through what is called herd immunity. In other words, your measles vaccine protects me against the measles.

The truth is, we should not get vaccinated for ourselves alone; we should do it for one another. Having cancer has taught me the value of living in a community. We assist the infirm, pay our taxes and donate to charity, and getting vaccinated — for the flu, for adult whooping cough, for pneumonia — is just another important societal responsibility. After all, we’re in the same herd.

Yes to that and good riddance to the Jim Carreys, Jenny McCarthys, and Andrew Wakefields out there who insist on spreading false information due to their own ignorance.

On a side note, the grossly-misnamed “National Vaccine Information Center” plans to show an anti-vaccination ad during the New Year’s Eve celebration in New York’s Times Square:

“In 2012, NVIC is marking our 30th year of public education and consumer empowerment,” said NVIC co-founder and president Barbara Loe Fisher. “With so many health care options available today, becoming an educated health care consumer is essential and our pro-informed consent message will be seen by millions on New Year’s Eve.”

Damn right. And that’s why you should ignore NVIC’s advice and get yourself and your kids vaccinated.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/d3st88 Morva Ádám

    That ad and the fact that they can call their little group of horrors sound like a federal institution is completely nauseating.

    • Michaelbrice

      You mean names like the National Secular Society, American Humanist Association, American secular union etc?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jennifer-Therrien/738753435 Jennifer Therrien

    I already follow that advice, Hemant, especially since my mother had her heart-attack and still hasn’t fully recovered. It also gave me a chance to laugh at my roomie and his girlfriend.

    They passed the cold to each other as if it was a hot potato, but even though I spent more time with her boyfriend, never once did I get anything worse than mild headache.

    Unfortunately, we didn’t know he was a type-1 diabetic (neither did he for that matter), so when he got sick, we all thought it was a bad chest cold. If it weren’t for the fact that his girlfriend and I were getting suspicious about something worse, he’d had not gone to the hospital and he’d probably be dead or in a diabetic coma by now.

    I have now learned my lesson about vaccination. It’s not enough that I get it, but I have to make sure that my friends get it too.

  • Charles Black

    He’s not the only one who would benefit from herd immunity. Just ask the Native Americans after the Europeans settled the Americas.

  • Anonymous

    There’s a change.org petition up now calling for ads like this to be pulled.  There’s more information on it and a link at skepchick: http://skepchick.org/2011/12/times-squares-5000-sq-ft-infectious-disease-party-extravaganza/ 

    • EJC

      Sorry, I cannot get behind that. As much as I LOATHE denialists and anti-vacciners, as long as the ad is not an outright lie or fabrication, I must hold to the free speech rule. 

      Group mentality goes both ways; just because a large group disagrees does not mean that group gets to dictate what the other group says or promotes, as repugnant as it is.

      • Anonymous

        I would not want to censor free speech, which I why I don’t advocate government censorship of such ads (unless they contain outright lies).  But I think what we are looking at here is consumer feedback.  I get asked for my feedback about advertising all the time.  I have no problem with speaking up as a consumer and saying to a billboard owner (or tv network, or airline, etc.) that anti-vax ads bother me.

        • EJC

          In theory I agree with you, however, this results in a mob mentality.

          “WHAT! You disagree with us!?! How dare you. We are going to assure you never get a voice by using coercion and threat to shut you up” is the end result, and that scares me more than a vocal lot of idiots.

          At least we have the chance to provide actual fact and reason in the hopes of turning decisions. I just cannot sign on to a petition like that, and yes, I am a member of the Change.org organization. I must take issue with this one though.

      • Abstractsecularist

         True, except advertising has truthfulness requirements. In directing the viewers to their website, which is wall-to-wall bonkers with proved falsehoods, the billboard ad is rendered unacceptably false. The website itself, is legal, and is covered by freedom of speech. The difference is exactly the advertising part.

  • Xeon2000

    The anti-vaxxer mentality blossoms in an environment of despair. When autism has torn a family to shreds and left the parents bitter. When answers are not forthcoming and parents want to know “why did this happen?”. When the parents are angry and they want to know who to blame. Even a normally rational and intelligent person might latch onto the easy answers that the anti-vaxxers provide. It puts all the unknowns and pain in a nice, neat, and easily identifiable package. Suddenly, life makes more sense, there is blame to be assigned, there is a “reason” for there misfortune. The only downside is you sell the legitimate vaccination institution down the river and fuck over the rest of the community.

  • EJC

    Too much dangerous ignorance out there. Denialists and anti-vaccine types are idiots. Even when presented with FACT, they continue to beat the drum loudly….hmmm….I wonder if they are xtians…

  • TychaBrahe

    Please, blaming ignorance for Andrew Wakefield’s actions is far too charitable.  It has since come out that the man LIED, FABRICATED RESULTS, and FALSIFIED INFORMATION.  He was paid by a group of lawyers who were seeking grounds to sue vaccine manufacturers on behalf of children diagnosed with autism.  This man’s greed and willful calumny has resulted in the deaths of thousands of children.  Many of the children who died were not themselves denied vaccines, but were too young to vaccinate.  

  • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

    I keep hearing conflicting information from both sides. Are there any good sources of information out there regarding the additives they put in vaccines, why they put them in, and how harmful (if at all) they truly are? The biggest gripe people I know have with vaccines is the additives they put in them. Everywhere I look, I keep getting blogs and articles saying how horrible they are. Does anybody here know of any sources that state facts and not emotional hyperbole?

    • Xeon2000

      From the CDC’s website:
      http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/default.htm

      Potential side-effects of vaccines:
      http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/side-effects.htm

      Note: Generally speaking, you should be knowledgable about your medical history so you can accurately report what you are allergic to before receiving a vaccination.

    • Becky Shattuck

      People griped about the thimerosal preservative in vaccines because it contains trace amounts of mercury.  It has been removed from all vaccines given to children (with the exception of some brands of flu vaccine, but that’s being phased out, too).  

      • Parse

        Just to add on to what you said here, the mercury in thimerosal won’t cause the standard heavy metal poisoning that’s typically associated with mercury exposure.  (At least, in rational doses (including those amounts far above the volume in vaccines), this is the case.  Like most substances, drinking gallons of the stuff isn’t recommended.)   In the body, it gets metabolized to ethyl mercury, and purged relatively quickly (as compared to methyl mercury or Hg2).  

        Complaining about the mercury in thimerosal is like complaining about the chlorine in table salt.

    • http://antigold.myopenid.com/ Jude

      You might try reading Science Based Medicine, an interesting blog.   Here’s a recent blog posting about vaccinations.  http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/ringing-in-2012-with-antivaccine-propaganda/

      • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

        Holy crap, thank you for that website! It has a glut of information about vaccines, the non-existent link to autism, and so much more.

  • Michaelbrice

    I joined the Friendly Atheist site (and other similar sites) in order to increase my knowledge and interact with those who prefer to live their lives on fact based information. When I read some of the articles and comments on this site I am often awed by the incredible intelligence and intellect of the participants, I sometimes feel rather ignorant by comparison.

    Perhaps one of your readers/bloggers/contributors can help me to determine my position on vaccines – can anyone provide me with information regarding the efficacy of vaccines which is not anecdotal, follows scientific protocols, has been peer reviewed and has not been funded by the makers and/or distributors of vaccines?

    Thanks

    • Secularhumanist

       If you are not a troll….

      Try the AMA:

       http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/public-health/vaccination-resources.page

      or the CDC(funded exclusively by the US gov):

      http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/

      Took me almost 60 seconds to round those up…

      • Michaelbrice

        Dear Secularhumanist,

        I viewed the sites you recommended, I saw no evidence of the type of studies I asked for assistance in finding. All I see is exhortations to get vaccinated by two organizations that are funded by the pharmaceutical industry.

        I am quite disappointed, many of the comments/arguments within this thread supporting vaccinations seem to use same form as fundamentalist christians arguing for their god. Christians are right, atheists are wrong, case closed!

        I expected better from this site, I am especially confounded by the comments of some of your posters; claims regarding the efficay of vaccines, allegations against Wakefield and claims of babies dying -  (with no supporting facts), and by the way  EJC you called me an idiot – what gives?

        Apparently around this site it is not o.k. to claim the existence of a god or gods without evidence but a simple question asking for evidence that vaccines actually work results in some of you ‘going all fundie’ on my ass.
        You made the claims, I am merely asking for evidence – isn’t that the way it’s supposed to work around these parts?

        In closing, for all any cash starved vaccine advocates there is a ($10,000 USD) reward being offered to anyone who can produce proof that vaccines actually work,

        http://www.naturalnews.com/027985_H1N1_vaccines_safety.html

        after you claim the prize would you please post your evidence here for me to read?

        Thanks

        Michael

    • Becky Shattuck

      It’s very easy to test immunity after vaccination.  During my second pregnancy (age 28), my midwife drew my blood to check to see if I was still considered immune to rubella, which is a disease that can be devastating to fetuses but is preventable through the MMR vaccine.  I hadn’t had the MMR vaccine since I was 12, but I still had enough antibodies in my blood to be considered immune!  

      Scientists do work like this all the time.  After they immunize a group of people, they can then check their blood later to see if the immunization worked.  No vaccine is 100% effective, and that’s why multiple doses are given.  For example, 5% of people who get one dose of the MMR vaccine do NOT develop immunity to measles.  If you take 100 people and given them all the vaccine, only 95  of them will be immune to the measles.  So, we give two doses of the vaccine.  After two doses, over 99% of all people test immune to measles.  That immunity is lifelong.

      Of course, “over 99%” is still not 100%.  There are some (maybe 3 in 1,000 people) who will not develop immunity to measles even after getting two doses of MMR.  Those people could still fall ill if they come in contact with measles.  This is why they are protected by everyone else who is vaccinated.  If you are vaccinated and develop immunity to a virus, you cannot be a carrier of the disease.  This is why it’s important for people who travel abroad to get vaccinated for diseases that are pretty much eradicated here.  If they do not get immunized, they can bring it back to our country and infect others.

    • Kathy Strawn

      These studies are available to those who avail themselves to the resources around them.  Go to your local University and ask the librarian for information.  Many if not all of the peer reviewed papers will be found if you ask.  Medical Journals don’t always place their all of their papers on the internet for public consumption.  You may be able to find abstracts, but will have to either subscribe to the journal or go to a library for a copy of the reference. 

      Having a Masters of Science I know these types of searches can be tedious and if you do not have a medical background a keyword search may be challenging.  Agricola is a database for agricultural bibliographies of published papers.  I’m sure a similar database exists for medical papers.  If you are TRULY interested in find these citations, you can do it with the aid of your local library, instead of a blog on the internet.

      Here is a link that lists academic databases: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_academic_databases_and_search_engines

      Find an appropriate one or more and begin your research. Happy New Year!

      • Michaelbrice

        According to Just Like That, these studies do not exist. And hey, if they did wouldn’t the ‘pro-vaxxers’ have thrown these studies in the face of the ‘anti-vaxxers’ long before today? By the way, congratulations on your masters degree in science,

        best regards

        M

        • Kathy Strawn

          Your link is asking for studies on ONE specific vaccine. It is disingenuous of Natural News to ask that the study not be funded by a drug company. The type of study they want costs millions of dollars. Just who is going to pay for it? Natural News might be better served to place their $10,000 into a grant to help fund such a study. Whether Just Like That is correct that the type of study outlined would be unethical, I don’t know. I would need to research it more.

          However, what you posted above was asking for proof that VACCINES work.   These studies DO exists, and I am not going to do your work for you.  I’m sure animal studies exists using the similar criteria as outlined in your article. The fact that samllpox was eliminated as a disease in the world speaks to the efficacy of vaccinations.  The history of vaccines goes back to the early 1800′s, if not earlier.

          I’ve studied immunology for a year in graduate school.  Go back and research the discovery of  acquired immunity, and maybe you will begin your journey of discovery.  Here’s a link to get you started.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immunity_%28medical%29

          Also, a little hint…at the end of the article there is section called References.  Start there and you may find the studies you need.  Again, I believe this is your journey.  You can’t make the claim the studies don’t exists without making any effort to see if the claims are true or not.  There are plenty of people on the web that do that, don’t be one of them.

          • Michaelbrice

            Your article drips with sarcasm and like the other responses lacks factual evidence. I have searched (for many years), the studies do not exist, and, if you are aware of a study that supports vaccine efficacy why don’t you just produce it for me?

            If you have studied immunology for a year surely you can do that. The fact that smallpox does not exist does not prove the efficacy of vaccines, it may just prove contemperaneous events, not a causal link. the elimination of some diseases also coincides with the understanding of hygeine and appearance of indoor plumbing.

            It is clear that many of the posters (as you are) are emotionally attached to their position, and will not brook any questioning of their beliefs – you would make a great christian!

            I again confirm my astonishment at the responses and vitriol I have been subjected to by ‘free thinkers’ for merely asking questions. I am not making the claims regarding vaccines, you guys are, I merely ask for evidence. Again, isn’t that the way it works here – extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence – although I would settle for merely ordinary evidence.

            Every year my doctor asks me if I want the flu vaccine, every year I ask “can you guarantee that it will work?”. Every time his response is “no”, seems pretty simple to me. 

            There seems to be little point in continuing this debate and requests for assistance in finding information, so I will continue to eschew vaccinations and I guess you will continue to preach on behalf of vaccinations.

            I leave this thread disappointed with the responses of my atheist brothers and sisters and fellow seekers of truth.

            Finis.

            Michael

             

            • Kathy Strawn

              If it seemed I was “vitriolic” in my post, I apologize.  I strive to be respectful and if you feel I was not again, I am sorry.

              I attached a Wikipedia link that gave information regarding acquired and passive immunity and some history of how these discoveries are made.  If you believe that simple informational article is “dripping with sarcasm and has lacks factual evidence” then no information I provide will be acceptable.  I don’t think you even opened the link. The elimination of smallpox by vaccinations is a historic event created by the world medical community.  My challenge to you is to prove your position, that smallox was eliminated by better hygiene and the appearance of indoor plumbing.  If that were the case then why doesn’t smallpox still exist in Third World countries much like cholera.

              I still believe that this journey is yours.  However, against my better judgement here is one last attempt: http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/13/1/87.short

              Or just Google “efficacy of vaccines”.

              This just one single medical journal article discussing the efficacy of vaccinations out of many thousands that are out there for those who are interested.  My position stems from the education I received.  There is a plethora of data and it is available.  It was not spoon fed to me, it is backed up by research that anyone can find.

              Your link is in reference to ONE specific vaccine.  It does not even support your position that vaccines as a whole are ineffective.  In fact, it seemed to be more concerned with the safety of this one, specific vaccine flu vaccine (H1N1).  If this $10,000 challenge was open to ANY study regarding vaccines it would be met in a heartbeat.

              Flu viruses mutate on a continuous basis.  The flu vaccine that you receive would protect you from a specific strain of flu.  If you came in contact with a different flu virus than what you were vaccinated against, you will still catch the flu.  Every year the medical community tries to predict which flu strain will become the dominate strain and they manufacture accordingly.  Sometimes they get it wrong.

              There is nothing in medicine (or science) that is 100% full proof.  Nothing.  So does that mean you should stop using antibiotics to treat your infections?  No cure is 100%.  Only thing that is 100% certain is that we will all eventually die.

              Good luck to you and your family.

  • Becky Shattuck

    Thank you for posting this.  There are so many parents who are not getting their children vaccinated for things like pertussis (whooping cough) that the viruses are making a comeback.  Whooping cough is deadly in infants, and babies are not able to get their first dose of the vaccine until about 2 months old.  Even then, many babies do not get protection from pertussis until their 3rd dose, which is given at 6 months old.

    There are pockets of pertussis popping up around the country in places like California and Utah.  People are getting sick and babies are dying.  As a mother of an infant, the best I can do is get vaccinated and ask my loved ones to get vaccinated, too.  After that, I just have to trust and rely on my community to keep our vaccination numbers high enough to protect my baby.  

    Some parents mistakenly think that skipping vaccinations only effects them.  In reality, it effects everyone else because unvaccinated people allow viruses to spread.  Whooping cough might not be deadly to a healthy 20 year old, but it can kill a 2 month old.  The flu might not typically be deadly to a healthy 20 year old, but it can kill an elderly man or woman.  People need to realize that they shouldn’t mess with deadly diseases.  

    Sometimes, I think how, if a virus like H5N1 (which kills an estimated 50% of people who get infected) becomes air born, anti-vaccination people should be the last ones to get vaccinated if a vaccine becomes available for the virus.  That’s cruel, I know, but sometimes I feel that way.  If those people can’t be bothered enough to protect my babies and my elderly and sick loved ones, then I think they should NOT be first in line for a vaccination to protect against a pandemic.  They should be last.  Of course, there’d be no way to enforce that, so it’s just my two cents.

  • S weinreb

    Thanks for the kind words!  I’m always suprised at the anti vaccine anger.  The fact is that 1) if you don’t vaccinate your kids and 2) the newborn next door dies of  Measles, 3) You are a horrible, horrible person. We are all in this together, and, honestly, I doubt anyone  wants to bring backl iron lungs from the days of polio

    • Michaelbrice

      No anger here Steven, merely (what I perceive to be) legitimate questions, by the by, I take it to mean that if my next door neighbour’s infant dies you believe it is my fault because I eschew vaccinations – do you believe that contemperaneous events equate to cause and effect?

      M

      • Erp

        If the infant too young to be vaccinated (or for whom vaccination was not medically advisable or for whom the vaccine didn’t take) dies of whooping cough or measles caught from your children because your children  were not vaccinated but should have been and so themselves caught the disease (or became carriers), yes.      If you persuade your neighbor not to vaccinate and the child dies of a preventable disease, yes.   If you persuade other people not to vaccinate and their children pass the disease onto your neighbor’s kid who dies, yes.    Dana McCaffery died painfully of whooping cough in 2009 (along with several other children in Australia)  because she was too young to be vaccinated and too many kids in her town had not been vaccinated. 

        Most vaccines have some small risk (just as driving to the doctor’s office has a risk) but the risk of  having the disease is far higher in all recommended vaccines.    Other vaccines are either no longer needed (e.g., smallpox because the disease no longer exists in the wild) or for diseases that are extremely unlikely to happen and be passed on in your area (e.g., yellow fever) or are higher risk so should only be given after exposure or if there is a high chance of exposure (e.g., rabies).

         

      • S weinreb

        I’m sorry, I  always hate name calling on the net and the phrase ” horrible horrible person”  is harsh. Nonetheless, I worrry this country has been seized by a “me first”mentality and it’s time to consider the consequenses of our actions.  If we refuse vaccines for ourselves and  our children, people will die who woulndt have if you had been vaccinated.  Those are the facts, without name calling.  As for info,  google the cdc sites on vaccination, they are filled with dispair as people slowly stop getting vaccinations.

  • Michaelbrice

    All I am asking for is just one published scientific article proving the safety and effectiveness of any vaccine through two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. Facts please

    • Just Like That

      As you are well aware (seeing that you take your arguments straight from the antivaxxers), there is no such study.
      For a long explanation why this is so read and try to comprehend this: http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/08/its_so_cute_when_anti-vaxers_try_to.php
      In short, doing a study like you’re suggesting would be highly unethical because it would mean leaving a group of children completely unvaccinated and susceptible to preventable and possibly deadly diseases without them (or they parents) even knowing this. It’s just not possible. It is equally impossible to conduct an observational study comparing unvaccinated children to vaccinated children because there are so few unvaccinated children. To conduct a well-designed study with children in both groups matched for age, race, gender, income of parents and other factors known to influence health you’d need to enroll a hugh number of children to be able to get statistically meaningful results, especially if you’re looking for side effects with low incidences. Such a study isn’t going to happen and doesn’t need to happen because there’s not a hint from other studies that vaccinations are unsafe. On the contrary, all the evidence we do have from other well-designed studies (e.g. epidemiological studies) show that vaccines are generally safe. Some links (like autism caused by the MMR vaccine) have been explicitly disproven beyond reasonable doubt.
      If a group of people says that the only evidence they’d accept to disprove their claim is evidence that is impossible to get then they are not reasonable. If a group of people have only anecdotes to support their claim while all available evidence points in the opposite direction but is dismissed as “paid for by the pharma lobby” then they aren’t interested in evidence at all but in protecting their belief system.

      • Michaelbrice

        Thanks Just Like That,
        finally a thoughtful answer! Although I do resent being called an ‘anti-vaxxer’ as I am undecided on the subject. I also note that you take your arguments straight from the ‘pro-vaxxers’, pot, kettle, black etc. You also note that such studies would leave unvaccinated children “susceptible to preventable and possibly deadly diseases” – your argument presupposes that vaccines work – isn’t that what we atheists call a circular argument? The same type of circuitous logic that ‘proves’ the existence of god(s)?
        I’ll review the link you provided, but it seems you have answered my question – there are no studies that prove vaccines are effective. As for your claims that such a study would be unethical, that has not been an impediment to the AMA or CDC or other U.S. based medical/pharmacalogical organizations in the past (and yes, I can quote verifiable sources). Looking forward to reading the link you provided, I’ll respond after digesting it – you did say it was a long article.
        M

      • Michaelbrice

        Brief update,

        after posting my response to you I opened the link you provided – I note that the writer chooses to remain anonymous, for me that is a huge red flag, and the site begins with a disclaimer (below):

        Disclaimer

        This is a personal web log, reflecting the sometimes prickly opinions of its author. Statements on this blog do not represent the opinions of anyone other than the author. They most definitely do not represent the opinions or position of the author’s hospital, university, cancer institute, surgical practice, partners, or research colleagues. The information on this blog is intended for discussion and entertainment purposes only and not as recommendations about how to diagnose or treat illnesses.

        I will continue reading but – c’mon! Your source is an anonymous blogger who provides information for discussion and entertainment purposes.

        Best regards

        M

        • Just Like That

          I’m sorry, but if you do not accept that vaccinations work, after erradication of small pox, after nearly erradicating polio, after reducing cases of measles from 4 500 000 cases to 300 000 in the last 30 years then you really don’t want to believe that vaccinations work.
          Source:http://www.who.int/immunization_monitoring/diseases/big_measles_global_coverage.jpg
          There are tons and tons of studies showing the efficacy of vaccinations, but that wasn’t what you asked for. A double blind, placebo controlled study enrolls children and randomly puts them in a vaccinated and a placebo treated group – this is, as I’ve explained, not possible. But we do have e.g. epidemiological studies showing that vaccine preventable diseases virtually disappear after the introduction of the vaccination. Every vaccine is and has to be tested before introduction for safety and efficacy. We can look at cases of e.g. measles and see that a much higher percentage of the infected were unvaccinated than in the general population. There are literally thousands of articles in scientific journals showing all this and much more.
          Additionally, it is very well understood how vaccinations work, after all, it’s the same mechanism that leads to immunity after a naturally occuring infection.
          You don’t have to believe the author of the blog I linked to, and you don’t have to believe me, either (not me, btw), but there are scientific articles in spades (and the blog author links to loads of them) showing efficacy and safety of vaccines, and the blog is a good starting point to find articles like that. Use the search function to find articles relating to the vaccination you’re interested in.
          I apologize if you were honestly asking for information. Asking for a study of the type you asked for is the newest angle of antivaxxers to confuse people unsure about vaccinations. It is IMO a despicable tactic, because they full well know that a study like that can’t be done. So I assumed that you’re one, too. Again, I apologize if I misjudged you.

  • Michaelbrice

    Clarification:

    it appears that many of the posters in this thread have characterized me as an ‘anti-vaxxer’, that they beleive I support the positions of the ‘anti-vaxxer’ movement and furthermore seem to have assumed that I believe that vaccines cause autism.

    Not true, I have no evidence regarding either side of the vaccine argument. If you read my original post you will note that I merely asked for information to assist me to assimilate information and make an informed decision, see quote below,

    ” Perhaps one of your readers/bloggers/contributors can help me to determine my position on vaccines.”

    It seems that both sides of the vaccine debate are deeply entrenched in their beliefs, I did not realize that merely asking for vaccine information on an atheist site was in fact tantamount to tipping your sacred cows. I am open to information that supports vaccines, I just don’t have any.

    And to reiterate my comments in previous posts,  I was surprised to be the subject of veiled attacks and insults on a free thinker site, it was Weintraub that started the thread with his position on vaccines, (and by the way Steven, you have my sympathy, it sucks to have lost in the genetic lottery) all I did was ask that he support his position so that I might review and clarify my position with the benefit of factual statements or arguments.

    In closing, although I do not think it is relevent to the discussion, my son was vaccinated for polio, (cost benefit analysis), I am pretty sure that does not make me an ‘anti-vaxxer’,

    best regards

    Michael

     

  • http://antigold.myopenid.com/ Jude

    If there’s a war on *anything*, it’s a war on science.  A few years ago, I ended up arguing in favor of vaccinations with a friend who wasn’t interested in scientific evidence–she was only looking for conspiracies.  So when I started saying that as a parent, I’d had to thoroughly investigate the issue, and that in spite of the fear that other people’s fears engendered in me, my research led me to fully vaccinate all three of my children; and when I started telling her about the polio vaccine I received as a kid (in roughly 1960), in a long line that contained every relieved person in my town who now knew they no longer had to fear that dreaded disease; and when I brought up information about babies dying in Australia because so many parents weren’t vaccinating their kids–well, she yelled at me and after that, we were no longer friends.  It’s an emotional issue, but the emotion is caused by unnecessary fear, just as the emotion against climate change is caused by a lack of necessary fear (i.e., God would never let climate change happen–he gave us a rainbow after the last world-wide flood and that’s our promise that he will save us).


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