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"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink



Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!



Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Immunization 

I've been embroiled recently in a debate (if one can really use that
term) over childhood immunizations. There are lots of reasons people
give for not immunizing their children, and to be honest none of them
hold water. The religious objections are I suppose valid, but the
problem is that it not only endangers the child in question, but
everyone else too: one non-resistant kid becomes a vector for new
variants of a disease, and all of a sudden you have an outbreak.

The most preposterous of the anti-immunization arguments, however, is
that they aren't proven effective and/or safe. Yes. They. Are. The
whole "debate" only really started when one guy in the 1970's decided
to go on a personal crusade, and cooked up all kinds of bogus science
to support his delusion that vaccinations were variously harmful to
kids, kids' immune systems, etc. And so the public health world has
had to re-invent the wheel on vaccines, spending untold millions on
unnecessary studies to prove that something some guy made up isn't
true.

And more bits of the puzzle fall into place: research shows that thiomersal
is not harmful to children, and that the chicken pox vaccine
reduces hospitalizations.


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