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Friday, December 17, 2010

Vaccine Times: Some celebrities get science and reason

I have often been amazed at how much we Americans listen to celebrities...  And how much stock we put in the words of people whose job it is to portray a non-reality.  That is probably to say that the best way to describe an actor is someone who is paid a lot of money to make you sincerely believe the lie he is portraying on the screen.  Think about it.  So when they make outrageous claims about something, why is there so much stock placed in what they say?  Is it because we are predisposed to believe them?  Well, sadly, too many celebrities with their limited (i.e. non-existent) education in medicine and biology will say and endorse the craziest of things.  So I can only say that it is refreshing to sometimes hear some of these folks that actually understand that.

Some celebrities get science and reason

On December 14, 2010, in ALL POSTS, NEWS, Polio, by Leart Shaka
While we bemoan the lack of critical thinking displayed by our celebrities (McCarthy and vaccines, Shaq and PowerBalance rubber bands, Oprah and, well everything) Amitabh Bachchan, a huge Bollywood star, has writen an article for The Times of India, about the polio eradication efforts in India, and he displays the kind of understanding of the issue, the dangers of the disease and the benefits of the vaccines, that we can only dream off form some of our celebrities, here in the U.S.
In just over half a century, we have made massive progress in protecting our children from polio. It’s paying off. Today, on this World Polio Day, we are closer than ever to eliminating this terrible disease from India.
In just one short paragraph, Mr. Bachchan shows a deeper understanding than most anti-vaxers: he realizes how terrible these diseases can be; they don’t.
Polio cripples and kills. Children face many threats, but this is one that we can prevent forever right now.
True, unless you’re Meryl Dorey of the AVN of course; she maintains these diseases don’t kill, maybe she’s never heard of India.
We know what works. When the polio eradication campaign started, India was reporting 500 polio cases per day. Since then, more than 40 lakh children have been saved from paralysis. You have seen me, cricketers and other public figures on television, urging everyone to join the immunization effort. In the last few years, there has been a marked increase in the number of parents who ensure their children are immunized. Thousands of dedicated health workers travel great distances to take vaccines to remote areas. All of this has had tremendous impact along with support from government leaders and increased surveillance to track and stop the polio virus. So far this year, we have seen only 39 polio cases — down from 741 in 2009. But as we know, India’s eradication campaign still faces a variety of challenges. If not addressed, we will be unable to keep our children safe
One lakh is equal to 100,000; when the math is done, this means that more than 4 million children have been saved from paralysis in India alone, since the start of the polio eradication campaign; a rousing success that even the most rabid anti-vaccine proponent cannot ignore. When compared to the very few cases of vaccine derived polio paralysis, the cost-benefit ratio is substantially on the side of vaccination.
Through our success, we will prove that India is serious about defeating polio once and for all — for the sake of the children, and for the sake of the world.
How refreshing to hear the words “for the sake of the world”; they display an understanding that one’s actions affect others, and no-one lives in a bubble. Compare that with the anti-vaxers “argument” that we shouldn’t vaccinate for polio in the US; after all we haven’t registered a case of wild poliovirus for decades. I guess they haven’t heard of airplanes.

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