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Links With Your Coffee - Friday

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CDC preventable deaths link: I would be fascinated to hear how the links on this idiot's website, jennymccarthybodycount.com, provide evidence of deaths which could have been averted by vaccination. Mind you, I only clicked the first 10 or 12 of them, by which point I could only shake my head. The only one of those that was even remotely related to the stated topic was the 10th one in the list (Jan 30th) which is, at best, a mixed bag with regards to one death.

Sacred cows, indeed.

OK, the veil on my idiocy has been raised once again, since I now see that the MMWR table he links to does, in fact, display pediatric flu deaths; I had thought the table only showed cases of illness, but this is the exception.

I don't have any children so I don't know. I know you give them measles, mumps, polio, chicken pox, etc., but do people get flu shots for their children every year?

Flu shots are recommended yearly before flu season for kids who are at least 6 months old; however, the shot is generally less effective in young children than in older kids and adults. Obviously, there's no way to determine from the MMWR table what age these kids who died were, nor whether they actually did receive a flu shot. These complications are quickly glossed over in the FAQ section of this jennymccarthybodycount website.

No doubt the website's host (who says he's in the 'entertainment industry') would claim that any kids in this vulnerable age group who got the flu only got it because of the negligence of someone else who failed to get the shot and then exposed a young child to the virus (this, too, by extension, is Jenny McCarthy's fault, apparently). I say this is basically the same as stating that the flu only exists because of people's (i.e., Jenny McCarthy's) negligence, which is a bit silly.

I was just wondering if people get flu shots for their kids every year.

Yes - I think this is truly a stupid site. If people are going to base their medical decisions on Jenny McCarthy (and I don't care if she was saying immunize or don't immunize), they were bound to screw their child's care anyway. If they want to take Ms. McCarthy's celebrity visibility seriously enough to talk to their doctor about something, fine - she's a mom with a platform, they might ask questions about something a neighbor mom says, too - but, if they are going to do something based on her advice - they are likely not the brightest and would probably think Bush would make a good president and the Earth is 6000 years old.

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