Drug the Kids, Please

Ever since a certain public figure decided that vaccines gave her kid autism (which turned out to not be autism anyway), the United States has gone a little crazy with their attitudes about sticking their children with needles. They say it’s poison and causes more harm than good, and that vaccines are filled with harmful additives piled on ineffective science voodoo. Unfortunately, the vast majority of good, peer-reviewed scientific literature doesn’t support that claim. Sure, a “natural science” article may come out about vaccines being linked to higher miscarriage rates, but it is simply a correlation, not a direct relationship of cause and effect. Other studies have been shoddily conducted and don’t control for all appropriate variables, like age, socioecononic status, overall health, or many other factors. Some studies that suggest that vaccines are harmful in certain populations (like the ineffectiveness of the flu vaccine in people over 65) are not completely wrong or badly conducted, but how the public interprets the results is detrimental to the cause vaccines have to start. If one well-conducted study says that vaccines are not incredibly effective, then suddenly the other terrible studies get more credibility than they deserve. The fearmongering starts and before we know it, there is an epidemic of a disease that we got rid of decades ago—just because a few people didn’t get their children vaccinated. If watching outbreaks happen from nonvaccination is not enough to get people to arm themselves against diseases, then perhaps the evidence for how much rates of other viruses like polio or measles have sunk in the past few decades will convince them. There are only 3 countries left in the world that still have cases of polio; why? Vaccination. Even if you don’t get the flu shot every year (evidence may not be strong enough to warrant mandatory flu vaccinations), please, PLEASE vaccinate yourself and your children against the most detrimental diseases that we have vaccines for. Only you can stop an outbreak.