on vaccines

I took a course in the History of Medicine during my years at UT. It was mostly about syphilis. It was interesting to see the advertising campaigns used back then to remind sailors not to sleep around, the infamous poster of a girl with the tagline “She might look clean…”

Topics I think that will represent our time will be AIDS and vaccines. Especially with this celebrity endorsement of not vaccinating your kids.
One of my patients told me their chiropractor gave them a CD full of facts about the dangers of vaccine. That 4/10 kids who get vaccines get all sorts of sickness, not just autism. Now, considering most of the US has been vaccinated, that means 40% should be affected. Maybe she was including side effects like fever, because some kids do get fever for a day or two. Part of the body’s natural response in immunity-building.
But what gets me is (and I’m not talking about this parent anymore) is that some people have this attitude that is almost “holier than thou” about it. Like, as if they’ve done research themselves and have stumbled upon the cold black money hungry machine that is the heart of medicine.
They don’t realize that it’s because vaccines have done the job of virtually eliminating polio and small pox that these parents can choose to not vaccinate their kids. I’m telling ya, if any of those diseases pop back up it’d be a much harder choice for them to make.
So they are banking on the fact that other parents are vaccinating their kids. Doesn’t seem fair does it? But if a majority of parents stopped vaccinating, we might be reintroduced to old, very serious diseases.
I respect parents’ viewpoints and their concern. I’m not one of those people eagerly supporting mandatory vaccination for HPV. I just want them to understand that there is no doubt diseases are dangerous, and vaccination is one of the weapons we use to fight them. Realize you are trading in a percieved danger for a very real one.

My hypothesis is that we base our decision on a formula similiar to this: (perceived susceptibility to vaccine-illness)(subjective cost of vaccine illness) : (perceived susceptibility to disease)(subjective cost of disease).

The battle between pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine includes throwing statistics at each other like monkeys flinging poop.

Published in: on July 20, 2008 at 12:06 am  Leave a Comment  
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