Thursday, December 23, 2010
A question I ask myself all the time! It is a FACT that vaccines save lives. Yet the lies and distortions of the anti-vax pro-disease nutters are killing people, mostly children. And they think that they are performing some sort of public service... While I am a staunch supporter of free speech, I abhor "free lies" and these people need to be silenced and exposed for the charlatans they are. They are not entitled to their own facts, and that's what they think they have with each lie they spread.
Now that flu season is almost upon us, debate rages about the safety and necessity of vaccinations. Molecular biologist Adam J. Ruben says the flu shot is not only safe and necessary for you but is vital for the health of the public.
A few weeks ago, my sister asked a simple yes-no question on her Facebook page: She wrote, “should I get the flu shot?” She might as well have posted, “should I fillet this kitten?” Friends replied in droves, arguing every aspect of what, in this country, has become a fierce and unnecessary debate.
Last year, when H1N1 reared its head, the public demanded a quick, safe, reliable way to prevent the disease. “Here,” said science. “We’ve made this vaccine!” And the public said, “Eh … what else have you got?”
The government bought about 200 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine and worried whether these would be enough. But many sat unused, and tens of millions of doses were incinerated when they expired this summer. Now, there’s nothing unusual about a vaccine surplus being destroyed, but I was struck, both last year and this year, by what the destruction represented: that millions of people — with the vaccine widely available — had chosen to forgo the shot and tough it out on their own.
I happen to think vaccines are the single greatest invention of humankind. In the middle of the 20th century, the world saw 50 million cases of smallpox every year. Thirty years later, thanks to a successful vaccination campaign, that number fell to — and has remained at — zero.