Thursday, April 14, 2011

On A Soap Box

Vaccines are a hot button issue to be sure.  It's a topic I've written about before and one that can be dangerous for bloggers to pursue.  There are many different stances and many different reasons for a stance.  I can respect that.


...I get upset when incorrect information about vaccines hazes the judgment of parents and thus leads to poor decision-making.

Of course, I'm speaking about Andrew Wakefield’s fraudulent study suggesting a connection between the MMR vaccination and autism.

Just this week the Minnesota Department of Health confirmed a 17th case of measles in the Twin Cities.

If a parent chooses not to vaccinate his/her child it's easy to say that's their choice.  It's their right.  And it is.  But it's careless to say that that decision doesn't affect anyone else.  Because, you see, the MMR vaccination series does not begin until a child's first birthday.  So any infant under the age of 1 year is at risk of acquiring the infection.

And that's exactly what's happened here.  Six of the 17 reported cases were under a year old and thus too young to receive the vaccine if that were the parent's intentions.  And, of course, being that young makes the infected infant that much more vulnerable to the serious complications that can occur with the measles.  Learn more about the measles from the CDC website.

I want to be pro-choice when it comes to vaccines.  I certainly can understand the fears and worries on the other side of the fence.  But when it affects someone who is too young to have a choice, there has to be a better answer.  Certainly popular opinion and fear-mongering cannot replace scientific evidence, can it?

OK, getting off my high horse now.

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