Thursday, March 20, 2014

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate, that is the question but why so much fear and hysteria?

Why is vaccination becoming such an emotional topic?

With a measles outbreak in North America again, the hysteria level rises with fingers pointed at the growing numbers who question vaccination and either limit it or reject it completely.

What continues to confuse me however is the fear factor amongst the pro-vaccination camp when, as the vaccine theory attests and common sense demonstrates, it is the unvaccinated who are at risk and who have chosen to take that risk for themselves or their children and not the vaccinated. Vaccination, so it goes, either prevents one from getting the disease completely or ensures a mild case of the disease.

Given the absolute impossibility of 100% of the world being vaccinated ever, for any length of time, and the reality of constant air travel, exposure to various diseases for which people can be vaccinated is a given. So, in the circumstances the vaccinated should rest comfortably that they are protected and accept that not everyone is alike and those who accept the risks supposedly associated with non-vaccination, have a right to do so. In the same way that some people join fundamentalist religions, become vegans, home-school their children etc., so too, as is their right, do some people choose not to vaccinate themselves or their children.

What concerns me most about this situation is the hysteria and the demonisation of the non-vaxxers as they are now labelled. My view is that with informed research parents and people should be able to make up their own minds whether to have all vaccinations, some vaccinations or no vaccinations and no-one has the right to condemn anyone on any count.

The first moves to question vaccination came from parents who saw changes, often crippling changes, in one or more children after vaccination. Given that even scientists and doctors agree, if there is a fallback position then parents are likely to be right, it seems a matter of respect, if not sanity, that those parents who now limit or reject vaccination be respected.
There is a witch-hunt mentality amongst too many of those who support vaccination and the deeply troubling thing about it is that they should be so hard-line because clearly they are fearful, when logic and science/medical theory would have it they are under no great threat.

So what is it really about when those seeking to promote or validate vaccination - and obviously not all do, but it is increasingly common - feel a need to demonise those who hold different views?

The reaction to the current measles outbreak in the US would have one thinking it equates with the Black Death instead of a childhood disease in the main which generally is mild, brief and does no harm.

Quote: Remember that antibodies mean nothing with measles. A child who cannot make any antibodies at all, can sail through measles with a normal infection course and not have a second bout, because measles is fought and overcome by front line defences, not antibodies. That’s all laid out clearly in medical textbooks and the first book I read that in was written years ago, by Australian, Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet. Antibodies are simply a by-product of the process, and have no role in a first experience of any disease. People immunosuppressed by toxic drugs are a different story, and can die from measles, because those drugs knock out the whole immune system.


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