Is the anti-vaccine movement dangerous?


I get e-mail from Bob Park, the physicist curmudgeon/philosopher at the University of Maryland (I’ve added links):

Robert L. Park

Robert L. Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“DEADLY CHOICES”: PAUL OFFIT EXPOSES THE ANTI-VACCINE MOVEMENT.

There was never a time before people knew that falling trees and large animals with teeth can kill.  Microbes are another matter. They had been killing us for perhaps 200,000 years before Antonie van Leeuwenhoek showed them to us. Paul Offit and two colleagues worked for 25 years to develop a vaccine for the rotavirus, a cause of gastroenteritis that kills as many as 600,000 children a year worldwide, mostly in underdeveloped countries.  The vaccine is credited with saving hundreds of lives a day.  Offit wrote “Autism’s False Prophets” in 2008 exposing British physician Andrew Wakefield for falsely claiming the MMR vaccineis linked to autism.

H. Fred Clark and Paul Offit, the inventors of...

H. Fred Clark and Paul Offit, the inventors of RotaTeq. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vaccination prevents more suffering than any other branch of medicine, but is still opposed by the scientifically ignorant who accept the upside-down logic of the alternative medicine movement.  Because vaccination of schoolchildren against virulent childhood infections is ubiquitous, crackpots, scoundrels and gullible reporters get away with linking it to unrelated health problems as they did in the 1980s with the ubiquitous power lines.  We still hear echoes of the power-line scare in the cell phone/cancer panic. Paul Offit has just written “Deadly Choices: How The Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All.”  We need to do everything we can to stop it.

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THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND.
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You’ll be smarter for reading his little missiles missives missiles.

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One Response to Is the anti-vaccine movement dangerous?

  1. Ellie says:

    Yes, the anti-vaxxers are dangerous. They have latched onto a craziness that is appealing, and they throw scienc-y sounding facts at people to draw them in. They lie, and one woman doctor (whose name escapes me at the moment) actually describes the tortures a baby goes through during whooping cough, but still tells her readers that this is better than getting an evil vaccine. Plus they have whackaloons like Jenny McCarthy and Bill Maher spouting vile nonsense. I think people like that should have to spend 24 hours in an iron lung….with a case of the shingles.

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