Southern Religion

Epidemic fear of flu vaccines endangers all

Amy Wallace at Wired Magazine writes:

This isn’t a religious dispute, like the debate over creationism and intelligent design. It’s a challenge to traditional science that crosses party, class, and religious lines. It is partly a reaction to Big Pharma’s blunders and PR missteps, from Vioxx to illegal marketing ploys, which have encouraged a distrust of experts. It is also, ironically, a product of the era of instant communication and easy access to information. The doubters and deniers are empowered by the Internet (online, nobody knows you’re not a doctor) and helped by the mainstream media, which has an interest in pumping up bad science to create a “debate” where there should be none.

Sanity has yet to prevail and bootless anti-vaccine arguments are still being given undeserved credence. As a result, the necessary change is likely to have a high price. Surgeon/scientist Orac at ScienceBlogs writes:

My prediction is that a lot of children will have to die before the anti-vaccine movement looses its influence. Hundreds. Thousands. Tens of thousands, even. We have a short memory as a society. A mere 60 years ago, people lived in fear of polio. Every summer, in various parts of the country, swimming pools would be shut down based on its appearance. Children were condemned to iron lungs. Thanks to the polio vaccine, that all came to an end. Even more recently, a mere 20 years ago, Haemophilus influenza B was wreaking havoc among children [and vaccines put an end to that].

. . .
As I’ve said, we have a very short memory. Deadly microbes taught us a deadly lesson over hundreds of years, until we learned how to keep them at bay with vaccines. I fear we will receive a refresher course on how deadly they can be, courtesy of Jenny McCarthyand her allies.

Read the Wired articles here.


October 20, 2009 - Posted by | Health, Medical Care, Politics, Science | ,

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