It's the same old story

Denialists claiming to be pro-science. Politicians insisting on a balanced treatment. A population ignorant of the science indignantly rejecting a clear and well-established, evidence-based conclusion.

I'm not talking about creationism, although it's exactly the same story. It's the anti-vax position now.

That dishonest weasel, Chris Christie, is now talking about respecting the choice of anti-vax parents.

Mary Pat and I have had our children vaccinated and we think that it’s an important part of being sure we protect their health and the public health, Christie told reporters here Monday. But the likely Republican presidential candidate added: I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well, so that’s the balance that the government has to decide.

Christie, however, said there has to be a balance and it depends on what the vaccine is, what the disease type is, and all the rest. He added, Not every vaccine is created equal and not every disease type is as great a public health threat as others.

This is absurd, almost as absurd as declaring the earth to be 6000 years old. Vaccination is effective; the arbitrators of that effectiveness should be qualified doctors, not ignorant politicians pandering to the stupid vote; and some things are not a matter of opinion, and not subject to the whims of the biggest dumbasses in the population. "Balance" should not be an issue in public health (what, we need to have equal numbers of the sick and dying vs. the healthy and thriving?) just as it isn't a concern when determining what biological science to teach our kids.

This is what the current measles epidemic, caused by asses who refuse to vaccinate, is doing.

We're now living in a country where the fostering of New Age nonsense has led to one of our richest states, California, being the leader in child suffering, while Mississippi now has the honor of the nation's best child vaccination rate -- and freedom from measles outbreaks. Measles is not some irritating rite of passage for children, with a few spots and a bit of itching and then it's all over -- kids die of this disease, and often it's the innocent who are the casualties, not the privileged jerks who don't want their kids to be afflicted with imaginary side-effects. Read Roald Dahl's letter about his daughter, who died of the measles. I wouldn't expose my kids to that kind of risk.

And then there are the irresponsible 'professionals' who spread lies about health care. Just as with creationism, it has to be made clear that these aren't innocent differences of opinion, but that the public is being lied to.

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Several of my fellow ScienceBloglings have noted that the increase in measles cases is due to idiots who refuse to get vaccinated. Beyond the obvious health threat this represents, there is a more subtle, yet equally murderous effect of all of this anti-vax woo. It distracts us from other…

"there has to be a balance and it depends on what the vaccine is, what the disease type is, and all the rest. He added, Not every vaccine is created equal and not every disease type is as great a public health threat as others."

Why do you consider this absurd? It seems quite reasonable to me.

By Beth Clarkson (not verified) on 02 Feb 2015 #permalink

Not sure on what basis you conclude that "the asses who refuse to vaccinate" caused this "epidemic". Are all those with measles in the current "epidemic" unvaccinated (the asses I presume)? Where is the science? Or must we accept your claim that "vaccination is effective", just like that? And those that disagree with you are "dishonest weasels". Not every convincing but at least it rhymes.

By Axel Ponik (not verified) on 02 Feb 2015 #permalink

Or must we accept your claim that “vaccination is effective”, just like that?

Well, you could look at the science and the thousands of studies that show they are effective and safe. That would take some work though, and most anti-vacc people are averse to that as well as to science and fact.

And those that disagree with you are “dishonest weasels”.

If they try to argue that there is some link between vaccines and autism (there isn't), that some vaccines are made from aborted babies (we have one such loon locally here in Michigan - they aren't), that they contain mercury (nope), or that there has never been any work done to see what happens when vaccines are given together (look up concomitant studies on vaccines), so people should be allowed to pick and choose when/if to vaccinate their children, I'd say "dishonest weasels" is being overly polite.

In order for people to "choose" not to vaccinate their kids against Measles without significant risk of death or infertility, the rest of us must achieve a "herd immunity" of 97% by vaccinating ours. Moreover, all health care workers, who are very likely to be exposed to isolated cases of communicable diseases and, if not immunized themselves, may expose desperately ill children with immune compromising illnesses like leukemia to death, cannot "choose" not to be vaccinated.

Vaccination is very effective, and this outbreak was indeed caused by idiots who failed to vaccinate their children.

By Craig Thomas (not verified) on 02 Feb 2015 #permalink

If you ever contract measles, as a parting gift or door prize you contract shingles when you hit middle age.

By shartiblartfat (not verified) on 03 Feb 2015 #permalink

sharti, it's chicken pox, not measles, that can lead to shingles.
There is a shingles vaccine available, usually recommended only for those over 60.

There is a shingles vaccine available, usually recommended only for those over 60.

Often younger (55) if one has had chicken pox, but insurance companies typically will not cover any part of it unless the person is at least 60.

because rationalists who are smug and hide behind the jargon and shield words of "science" are generally , by virtue of their smuggness, just as oft likely to repeat the herd crowd based groupthink pattern of many arationalists, it is useful to remind them sometimes to open their mind to alternative sources of data that do not come from the main stream media.

in this case, ---i would say the link i am offering IS from the main stream media. but it is an older interview when the issue wasn't so 'hot' and there was room for personalities with respect to go on television and speak as to the observations they were seing.

self identifying rationalist group thinkers tend to blithely allign themselves with democrat parties and so i think this will speak to you as it is coming out of the mouth of a well known 'liberal democrat' robert kennedy only about 5 years ago.

By liberal dolt (not verified) on 03 Feb 2015 #permalink

dolt (very good choice for you name, by the way) the items in kennedy's "paper" were found to be uniformly false - as made up as wakefield's study. Nobody pays attention to it because it was just a huge pile of conspiracy theory crap.

les: your link too is essentially an expansive lie. The issue with the paper involved a "link" between vaccinations and problems with a small group of African American children. The comment was not addressed in the original paper (I think it should have been because it was a non-starter from the get go) because the group was too small to give an indication there was anything of practical significance in the findings: later investigations found that the issue could be traced to differences in completeness of medical records between this group and other children in the study. If that was adjusted for the issue vanished - in short - it was a statistical issue, not a medical issue.
The "whistleblower" in that article was a co-author who was (as he has repeatedly said) duped by the person writing the "hiding data" article about what the intent was and how his comments would be used. In short - the forbes link takes you to another "expose" written by dishonest folks.
There is no there there - every study done, around the world, has failed to find a link between vaccines and the awful things people like you (and dolt) assert are there. Your attempts to harm children are vile.

I HAD measles when I was 5 ..I remember how miserably sick I was ..and that was 55 years ago....I celebrated the day they came up with a vax so that my kids didn't have to suffer thru that ...I also had a much older cousin who for the longest time I had thought had contracted polio because it had crippled her to that extent .....that's right! measles had crippled her
no one in their right mind would let their kids go thru that

By brightmoon (not verified) on 10 Feb 2015 #permalink