Sunday, March 16, 2014

No spring break for measles

If you’re a regular reader, you may have noticed the blog has been on break for a little while. While I was trying to relax with my morning coffee last week in Sarasota, I kept running across reports of measles outbreaks in New York City, British Columbia, and California. As usual, these outbreaks can be sourced to those who refuse immunizations, perhaps because of long-discredited fears about autism, or (as in the case of the BC outbreak) because they are getting confusing messages from the person who speaks for their deity

I have nothing to add to this commentary by a New England pediatrician, which refers to a depressing study out of Dartmouth that suggests our current messaging around vaccine acceptance is ineffective. For a great recent example of good messaging, see this post by Tara Smith, entitled, “Why I vaccinate my kids”.

But if factual, rational messages fail to sway vaccine deniers, what other options are available? How to respond, for example, to those who base their vaccine denial on religion? So I spent the better part of my time away in prayer and meditation, seeking revelations from all the major deities. I’m happy to announce that they all were in favor of immunization. The main point each of them made to me (aside from pointing out that all the others I communicated with were false deities, not worthy of my time), was that they gave humans an astonishing intelligence and reasoning capacity for a purpose. 

Thus I implore you to go forth and get immunized. The only true god of your choice commands it.

2 comments:

  1. http://gianelloni.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/thanks-pharma-you-created-the-anti-vaccine-movement/

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  2. Under control but not gone has caused too many people to perceive the risks of vaccines as greater than the risks of disease. There was a response to Eli's post about losing to Jenny McCarthy by an ID doc with an autistic child who pointed out that the celebrities are effective because they play to people's fears. If you look at Princeton's recent meningitis situation you see that when the threat of the disease looms large, over 90% chose vaccination.

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