Monday, November 23, 2009

Vaccines are NOT Dangerous

There is a growing anti-vaccine reaction among the uninformed that threatens our overall health. Some folks "believe" that a measles (mumps and rubella) vaccine can lead to autism. Some think that the H1N1 vaccine is unsafe. Bill Maher called people who get flu shots "idiots." And then there is the hatred directed at Paul Offit, a Philadelphia pediatrician and the coinventor of a rotavirus vaccine that could save tens of thousands of lives every year.

This anti-scientific thinking -- or better yet, lack of thinking -- is causing otherwise "sane" people to become fearful and thereby avoid getting vaccinated. This is unfortunate, as it reduces the overall immunity of the herd (us) and puts everyone at greater risk.

But is there anything to all of those beliefs? No! As Wired reports: To be clear, there is no credible evidence to indicate that any of this is true. None. Twelve epidemiological studies have found no data that links the MMR (measles/mumps/rubella) vaccine to autism; six studies have found no trace of an association between thimerosal (a preservative containing ethylmercury that has largely been removed from vaccines since 20011) and autism, and three other studies have found no indication that thimerosal causes even subtle neurological problems. The so-called epidemic, researchers assert, is the result of improved diagnosis, which has identified as autistic many kids who once might have been labeled mentally retarded or just plain slow. In fact, the growing body of science indicates that the autistic spectrum — which may well turn out to encompass several discrete conditions — may largely be genetic in origin. In April, the journal Nature published two studies that analyzed the genes of almost 10,000 people and identified a common genetic variant present in approximately 65 percent of autistic children.

So get your damn flu shot!

7 comments:

BAWDYSCOT said...

The reason I don't get, and have never gotten, flu shots is I believe it is beneficial to me to exercise my immune system. The hypothesis I have heard as to why young people are more suseptible to HiNi is that they haven't been exposed to the virus. Older people generally have. Now I don't recommend this stance for everyone, but true to my individualistic nature, this is just right for me.

csm said...

I hope you do not get the virus, my friend. But if you do, I hope you stay the fuck home as soon as you begin to feel sick and don't spread it to anyone else!

Word verification: graind

BAWDYSCOT said...

I hope I do get the virus(though I do think I already got it the first go around), I mean it is just the flu. Not the same as the old flu, but it is just the fucking flu. (Insert government scare tactics here.)

But I tell you what csm. If I do get it, rest assured I will not go to work and spread it. I will go to Texas and hunt you down and sneeze in your face and then give you a big sloppy kiss. :)

csm said...

Well, then I hope you get it, too. That sound damn exciting!

csm said...

While you're at it, I hope you get mumps, crabs, rubella, head lice, scabies, pink eye, a nasty rash, erectile dysfunction, polio, and a bad case of the runs!

BAWDYSCOT said...

Man, if I ended up with all those maladies I sure would be in need of the federal government's public option.

csm said...

Well, the only one that is mandatory if you're coming my way with a big sloppy kiss is the erectile dysfunction ;-)