Monday, March 24, 2008

Please vaccinate your children

Vaccines have been one of the great public health advances of modern history. But increasingly, some parents are opting out, either due to misplaced fears of autism or worries about the safety of the vaccines. I think this is very bad. I would not go so far as to call parents who do this "twee Bobo sociopaths" the way Megan McArdle does. But I think this is a case of parents not seeing the suffering that not vaccinating your children can cause. Here's a commenter to McArdles' post:
I nearly died at 15 months from a case of the measles that I contracted from an unimmunized older child. My case was so severe that I ended up with corneal scarring, which is a complication usually seen in adults. I just think that in cases like this where the good health of the public is at stake, government intervention is needed.
I do think vaccine companies should be scrutinized to make sure their immunizations are as safe as possible. And there are legitimate reasons not to have certain vaccines for medical reasons. But blanket rejections of the whole process are just bizarre, and are leading to serious public health consequences.

Next thing you know, parents will be "opting out" of the public sewage system and having their children poop in the gutter.

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