Human Shield

We are a pro-vaccination household.  Normally, I feel that you should do what you want with your family and let me do what I want with my family.  But for vaccinations, I don’t agree with that.  Let me tell you why.

If you don’t vaccinate, you are counting on my family to vaccinate.  If you don’t vaccinate, you probably won’t get sick with measles, whooping cough, tetanus, and polio, but that is because most people DO vaccinate.

The whole anti-vaccination thing got started when Dr. Andrew Wakefield published a study that found a link between autism and vaccinations.  His work was never able to be replicated.  Do you know why?  Because he was lying.  It wasn’t because he made a mistake or his data was wrong.  It was because he deliberately and knowingly published false information.  He has lost his license and is no longer able to practice medicine.  His original research was paid for by lawyers who were seeking to sue vaccine manufacturers.

So, there is no link between vaccines and autism.  No evidence, even correlation, has ever been found.  And, even if there was (and please believe me, I am not minimizing autism or its effects), we vaccinate against these diseases because they kill people.

Vaccination is not 100% effective.  Some people, even when vaccinated, will not be totally immune to the disease.  Have you ever gotten a flu vaccine and gotten the flu anyway?  (Bad example, I know, because there are so many different strains of flu.)  But the reason vaccines work is because they work on most people.  If a hundred people are exposed to polio and are all vaccinated, 99% of them will not get it.  One person will.  But vaccines work by keeping those hundred people from ever being exposed in the first place.

Because of the widespread practice of not vaccinating, we are starting to have outbreaks of these diseases that had basically been wiped out.  Like this measles outbreak that was triggered by a seven year old boy whose parents did not vaccinate him on purpose.  He contracted measles and then unknowingly exposed 839 more people.  Including babies that were still too young to be vaccinated who contracted measles. (Read that article and you’ll see evidence of just how contagious measles is.)

In most cases, I agree with people making their own decisions for their own families.  But for vaccinations, we count on each other to make the system work.  If you don’t vaccinate, this is who you are using as a human shield: