Do you believe in The Easter Bunny? Mermaids? The Tooth Fairy? All of these are indeed beliefs. But medicine is not a belief. And not all medicine is based on fact. But it is based on evidence.
Evidence shows that vaccines save lives. Vaccines are a miracle of modern medicine.
Vaccine Audio if you prefer to listen
What are vaccines? How did they come to be? How do vaccines work? What good are they, anyway?
To induce a protective immune response against an infectious agent without causing harm to the patient.
HISTORY OF VACCINES
We must begin any history of vaccines with a disease that’s been around for tens of thousands of years .
30% mortality rate with a painful, lingering death by multiple organ failure.
That ugly mummy on the right is Ramses V. If you look closely, you’ll see smallpox scars!
The guy on the far right survived smallpox. 65 to 80 percent of survivors had to live with the scars.
More innovative and curious scientists went to work!
VACCINES ARE A MIRACLE OF MODERN MEDICINE
FLU VACCINE AND COVID-19
I am not touching Covid-19 right now. We need more information before I do!
Many people hold beliefs about the flu vaccine that are at odds with the best available scientific evidence. A recent study found that more than two-fifths, or 43 percent, of Americans believe that the seasonal flu vaccine can give us the flu.
There can be complications after putting anything in one’s body, from drinking water to eating an apple to applying aloe to getting a vaccine.
If someone is looking for issues with the H1N1 vaccine, they will find them.
Nothing is 100% safe. Just surf the web and you’ll find a plethora of exceptions, anecdotes, and myths sprinkled among the facts. (CDC flu guidelines for the upcoming season here)
Getting the flu from a flu vaccine is not happening.
Because many vaccines do not contain a live virus, the shot itself cannot give anyone the flu.
What does live virus mean?
There are three types of vaccines.
The problem with Inactivated vaccines is that the antibodies your body produces don’t stick around for your entire lifetime.
This is why booster shots are necessary!
And why my kids accused me of not vaccinating them after they had testing for antibodies… and were low on several. Okay, many.
The term “herd immunity” is widely used but carries a variety of meanings.
“A common implication of the term is that the risk of infection among susceptible individuals in a population is reduced by the presence and proximity of immune individuals.” —Fine P, Eames K, Heymann DL.
In other words, the herd helps protect immunosuppressed people and people with allergies (to egg proteins) who can’t get vaccinated.
So. Being immunized impacts those around you in more ways than you can imagine.
For more on the concept of herd immunity, here is an intriguing article!
It makes sense that the more communicable a pathogen, the greater the proportion of the population must be immune, in order to block sustained transmission.
In other words, percentages of immune people in the population to achieve herd immunity depends on how contagious a disease is.
MISINFORMATION ABOUT VACCINE SAFETY
Widespread misinformation about vaccine safety is an important public health problem. People who believe that vaccines can make us sick are less likely to vaccinate themselves or their children.
Our 24-hour news cycle mentality sensationalizes stories that the news media cherry picks. They inflate our mortal fears and push our panic buttons far more than the unsexy risks of excessive sugar consumption, not wearing a seat belt, or not getting a vaccine.
Measles photo from PD-USGov.
Twins above; one vaccinated one not (Wikimedia Commons ) Which twin would you want to be?
In 1982, a television news special aired ‘DPT: Vaccine Roulette’ It depicted anecdotal, heart-wrenching stories of children who became handicapped or even died after receiving the DPT vaccine.
DPT is a vaccine cocktail, created by Hilleman to reduce numbers of shots.
It provides protects against diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough.
Nothing is 100% safe. (Last month, when I was walking Louie down our street, a neighbor backed out of his driveway and bumped me! GAD)
So. One TV show made vaccines look like Moses spreading a plague.
In Japan, this scare let to banning the DPT vaccine. This spurred a tenfold increase in whooping cough cases and a tripling of whooping-cough related deaths.
Panic in England let to a 40% decline in immunizations, with a resulting surge in 100,000 cases over the next few years.
Despite physicians and the FDA presenting large, long-term studies w a combined sample size of over 1 million children, and the data showed that as many as 265,000 children annually came down with whooping cough and 75,000 died before vaccines, the spread of vaccine fear went viral.
People believed the show instead of physicians. Why? It’s an interesting question. What do you think?
Flash forward to the 21st Century!
Parents are still opting out. This is bringing measles back from near extinction.
We’ve moved into an era where more people are beginning to question why we need vaccines. Herd immunity is keeping many children safe, which helps grow an anti-vaccine mentality.
There are risks with vaccination, and it’s important to be aware! But it’s disadvantageous to be so hyper reactive that the risks outweigh the benefits.
For some, it’s a conspiracy issue or a control issue. Or a hatred of large corporations. Aren’t they all in it for the money? Some viruses have been tamped down for an entire generation so fear has waned. ‘The disease can’t be that bad.’ Or ‘why do we need shots. Diseases doesn’t exist anymore.’
THAT IS NOT TRUE.
In recent years, vaccination rates at many California schools have plummeted as parents, some of whom fear a now debunked link between vaccines and autism, have declined to inoculate their children.
Vaccines do not cause autism.
Get cut by a rusty nail and you’re given a tetanus shot. What if you weren’t? (Click on link below)
In 2019,WHO listed anti-vax as one of the top ten global health threats.
Contact me if you want more information! I am happy to provide you w/ articles and books with mountains of scientific evidence that back up what they say, written by physicians and scientists.
Not one book cites a tweet by an actress and former playmate in their bibliography.
Information is power! That’s why I wrote this post. To provide information.
Because this post was on the serious side, I am leaving you with a calming video of cottonwoods!