By now you’re probably aware that I’m a meerkat of science. Facts and theories backed up with evidence are sexy. Ahem.
Now, there is a good deal of evidence out there to support the effectiveness of vaccination. Prior to the development of vaccines, we were as a species ravaged by diseases such as tuberculosis, smallpox and measles. The tuberculosis vaccine is effective in 70-80% of cases, particular in younger people. Rates of this disease, and other diseases where vaccination is available, have been slashed over the years. Smallpox, once considered a very deadly disease, is now virtually gone – a concerted and determined campaign of vaccination has eradicated it.
There’s a wealth of evidence out there for the effectiveness of this measure. I’ve written at length about this before and pointed out this evidence to others. Unfortunately, there are always those who choose to believe conspiracy theories and those who nitpick from sources in order to spin their narrative. A great case in point of this, in respect of vaccination, would be a poster by the name of Little Graham from the Big Footy forums. There is a thread about anti-vaxxers on the forum, and LG is one of the proponents of the anti-vaxxer idea in the thread.
I’d like to share what he said the other day:
Thats the very issue of many who question current vaccination policy. Most people only find out after the fact, that they’re allergic to them. Most of the numpties in here abusing those who question, have no idea about this. Are not listening. Are using violence to enforce thier beliefs. Really pathetic. There should be no reason to behave this way, the science should speak for itself.
The thing is, the science does speak for itself. Diseases that were one widespread and lethal have been dramatically reduced in their frequency. On-going vaccination ensures the on-going control of these diseases. Not vaccinating carries consequences not only for the person who isn’t vaccinated, but also for anyone who for whatever reason cannot be vaccinated, and there can even be a knock-on effect on the rest of the population. Not vaccinating is irresponsible and dangerous.
His link, far from helping his cause, actually hurt LG’s argument quite spectacularly, as another poster, Long Live HFC, pointed out:
Another ad hominiem. There is circumstantial evidence to suggest the flu vaccine killed…. What was it? 0.000533333% of the people who had it (and that’s a generous assumption to YOU, for if, as is likely, more people were in fact vaccinated, the percentage drops)? Do you care to address this? Or will you spout another ill-conceived ad hominiem?
BTW, I am a father, and I’ve had my little girl vaccinated. I wouldn’t be irresponsible like you and risk her contracting diseases like measles.
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