Monday, August 9, 2010

Anti-Vaccine = Pro-Disease

It's taken me a long time to write this post, because it just makes me so very mad.  I can't even include many of the pictures I originally considered in this post, because it makes me too angry.  People who know me know that I don't get mad easily, probably not nearly as easily as I should.  If I am going to get riled up about something, it's most likely to be less an interpersonal thing and more some big, social issue.  I've touched on some already: civil rights, creationism in public schools, etc.  If you really, truly want me to get spitting mad, though, one of the best ways is to bring up anti-vaccinationists.

Smallpox vaccine
Surely you've heard about it by now, from someone, somewhere.  The story most often goes that vaccines contain some sort of toxins that cause developmental problems -- primarily autism -- in children, and that the rise in cases of autism since the early 1990s is directly caused by an increase in the number of vaccines children get.  Supporters of this idea cite their personal experience, where their children only started showing signs of autism shortly after getting vaccinated, and a 1998 study by Dr. Andrew Wakefield published in The Lancet.  They claim that children are getting too many and too dangerous vaccines, that they are being pushed on us by the pharmaceutical companies not for health reasons, which are negligible compared to the risks, but because of profit and greed.

This drives me insane.