My letter to Oprah.

Oprah!

I am so dreadfully concerned that giving Jenny McCarthy an outlet for her anti-vaccination drive could greatly increase the wealth of illnesses plaguing our children.

I urge you to use your resources to better convey scientific understanding of vaccinations. Perhaps with a better understanding of how vaccines work and the research behind them, the public can make smart decisions for their children without the influence of sensational media like McCarthy. Mankind has come so far. To turn our backs on our scientific advancements seems to contradict that which makes us different: a mind and an ability to understand our surroundings in the pursuit of a better, more peaceful life.

Thanks for listening,
Mike D.

9 thoughts on “My letter to Oprah.

  • 5/7/2009 at 1:20 pm
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    Damn right. I am just finishing a book by Paul Offit, co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine, called Autism’s False Prophets. He has a lot of interesting information about the anti-vaccine movement and how much harm it’s done.

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  • 5/7/2009 at 1:33 pm
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    Whether vaccines have anything to do with Autism is a matter for study. I know there is a lot of fad medicine being practiced, but that doesn’t mean the new ideas don’t deserve consideration.

    Parents should have a say in how their children are treated medically. Scientific advancements are usually a good thing, but they have to be weighed against personal rights and beliefs.

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  • 5/7/2009 at 1:41 pm
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    The problem is that vaccines don’t work on a take it or leave it basis. They need something like 98% of the population to be immunized in order to keep the disease from spreading.

    Some children do have allergies, adverse reactions, etc to the vaccines, but the herd immunity of everybody else being vaccinated keeps them safe. If enough people opt out of vaccinations, even the people who get vaccinated are at risk, due to increased chances of mutations and new strains being introduced.

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  • 5/7/2009 at 1:52 pm
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    Lately it seems that outspoken celebrities are flooding the airwaves, and it’s a disturbing trend, because people are dumb enough to listen.

    This is an interesting article on this subject:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/lostinshowbiz/2009/apr/10/marina-hyde-showbiz

    And, if you have any more time, watch this video, where Craig Ferguson very effectively dismantles Tom Cruise, another frequent offender. WARNING – very foul language, arguably NSFW
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zc0j09Zm-lE

    The latest popular argument is regarding Creationism vs. Evolution. This is a similar situation, where while personal belief weighs largely on people’s opinions and decisions, ignoring the history and proven science is largely ignorant – Evolution is not a theory, neither is the rapid, nearly 100% decrease in disease thanks to modern vaccinations in developed nations.

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  • 5/7/2009 at 2:13 pm
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    I haven’t researched the anti-vaccine movement. Is it big enough for that to be an issue?

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  • 5/8/2009 at 2:14 am
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    I have no idea whether or not she might be right about vaccines and Autism. It seems possible to me, if for no other reason but that *someone* in the world has a reaction to *everything*. If people can be allergic to cats, pollen, and peanuts, and have bad reactions to penicillin and anesthesia, I don’t see why reactions from vaccines would be totally implausible.

    The difference is, avoiding cats, PBJs, and flowers wouldn’t have the same repercussions for the population at large, and we would never abandon antibiotics or anesthesia en masse just because a few people can’t have them. If and when I have kids, they are definitely getting their shots.

    BTW, regarding Mike D’s link above, I totally got whooping cough last year and it was horrendous. Apparently that vaccine wears off by the time you’re in your twenties, so I’d highly recommend people get the booster shot!

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  • 5/19/2009 at 11:32 pm
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    The problem is it has been studied. And those studies (16 huge-scale epidemiological studies) showed that vaccines have no link to autism.

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