On vaccines and a brave new (old?) world of polio, measels and whopping cough

Between 2008 and 2014 there has been a 6000% percentage increase in vaccine preventable deaths. Why? Because parents no longer give their kids the vaccines of the standard vaccination program due to ideas of vaccines being harmful.

Out of 12000 annual whooping cough cases worldwide, 5000 are in California [1]. Worldwide in the last 6 years there have been over 1.2 million deaths that would have been prevented fi they’d been given vaccines [2].

In Oregon and West Virgina, vaccine coverage has dropped below herd immunity [3,4]. Loosing herd immunity leads to deaths among both unvaccinated individuals (who might want to vaccines but can’t get them due to cost, immigration status, access and many other reasons) as well as vaccinated individuals for whom the vaccine isn’t 100% effective [5].

So, supposedly “informed” and “conscious” parents opt out of vaccines, ensuring that people with either poor immunity, poor vaccine cover or lack of access to vaccines die from “their” choices.

And on the basis of what? Often things like that study about vaccines and autism is quoted… well that one could never be repeated by anyone else and was recently retracted as complete and utter bullshit (“study leader Andrew Wakefield, MD, and two colleagues acted ‘dishonestly’ and ‘irresponsibly’ in conducting their research”) [6].

Here’s an interactive map to illustrate the extent of our problems with vaccine preventable death (notice those clusters, like the one in the middle of Sweden? That’s how vaccines spread, they infect groups or clusters of people and that’s why herd immunity is so important):

But yeah, a world with smallpox, measels, polio, spanish flu etc. would be a much better world wouldn’t it? A more natural one I’d say…

  1. http://magazine.good.is/articles/vaccination-preventable-disease-map
  2. http://www.cfr.org/interactives/GH_Vaccine_Map/index.html
  3. http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2013/08/low-state-vaccine-rates
  4. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/too-many-children-go-unvaccinated/
  5. http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/08/26/vaccine-exemptions-in-california-threate/
  6. http://www.webmd.com/children/vaccines/news/20100202/study-linking-autism-to-vaccine-retracted

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