Antivaxxers are people who think vaccinations cause health problems, most notably autism. This is despite study after study showing them to be wrong; there simply is no link between vaccines and autism. While there can be isolated reactions to vaccines, they are very rare, and the overall health benefits of vaccines vastly — vastly — outweigh the negatives.
But these antiscience crusaders are starting to have an effect, and it’s a bad one: measles outbreaks in the U.S. are on the rise. In the first seven months of 2008 there have been seven outbreaks — a typical year has just one — with over 130 reports of measles infections, compared to just 42 last year in total. Of these cases, 122 children were either unvaccinated or have unknown vaccination status. That’s 93%.
As it happens, there have been no deaths from these outbreaks yet, though over a dozen kids were hospitalized.
The overall vaccination rate in the U.S. probably hasn’t dropped significantly, but these outbreaks are probably due to pockets of people not vaccinating their kids. Some are from home-schoolers, others due to religious reasons… but I will guarantee that a lot of this is due to the antivaxxers spread of lies, and smearing of the medical community. We’ve seen it before, and we’ll see it again.
This part of the article is telling:
The nation once routinely saw hundreds of thousands of measles cases each year, and hundreds of deaths. But immunization campaigns were credited with dramatically reducing the numbers. The last time health officials saw this many cases was 1997, when 138 were reported.
Vaccinations work, and they save lives. Don’t believe the lies. Do the research yourself. I did, and I’m convinced the antivaxxers are wrong. And in some cases, they’re dead wrong.
Help stop them. Educate yourself, and talk about this with people. If you have a friend who is considering not vaccinating their kids, send them here, or here, or especially here. Give them the facts. They need it, to fight the onslaught of antiscience they are likely to find elsewhere.
Fight. Literally, kids’ lives depend on it.
Links to this Post
- Move the Needle Telepathically | Blog of the Moderate Left | August 22, 2008
- Only Thing We Have To Fear Is Fear Itself « theBIOT | August 23, 2008
- Doin' it Right | The Perfect Silence | August 23, 2008
- [links] Link salad sneaks in during a busy day | jlake.com | August 23, 2008
- Vaccinate your kids, so they don’t die « Cubik’s Rube | August 23, 2008
- Vaccinate your kids! at Amatuer Rocket Surgery | August 23, 2008
- Masern und die Opfer der Impfgegner | DER MISANTHROP | August 24, 2008
- Antivax: new evidence shows (again) no link to autism | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine | September 3, 2008
- McCarthyism | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine | October 1, 2008
- Las penas del Agente Smith » No hemos venido a que nos expliquen los rayos N | November 12, 2008
- Antivaxxers are doing real damage to society | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine | December 18, 2008
- This American Measles | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine | December 27, 2008
- Vaccination quickies | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine | January 14, 2009
- Alison Singer: autism hero | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine | January 17, 2009
- Tagging the Web Daily 01/26/2009 « PAB Skunkworks Weblog | January 25, 2009
- Vaccines and autism: yet another dead link | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine | January 26, 2009
- Antivaxxers on the rise in California | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine | March 31, 2009
- The Sad Corners of Crazy « toxic culture | June 4, 2009
- Jenny McCarthy: spreading dangerous | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine | July 6, 2009
- Middle Raged Punk » Blog Archive » Why can’t I escape Fox “News”? | August 11, 2009
- Newsweek Takes On Oprah : Delaware Liberal | April 18, 2012