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The Vaccine Song

(Via Respectful Insolence.)



As for how people felt in the "good old days" about childhood death, I have copies of letters sent home by my Great-grandmother about her 3 year old daughter dying from whooping cough while on a trip to India. (The original letters are in the British Library) When I first read them I was heartbroken, even though it was in the 1880s. She also wrote about it to her mother on the anniversary.

I think it was whooping cough that two of my father's siblings died from in the 1920s. It wasn't uncommon in those days, but that made it no less heartbreaking. You and I are old enough to remember polio, and from our parents the stories of other vaccine preventable scourges, but the younger generations don't seem to realize how fortunate they are to have modern vaccines for their children.

Right, Norm, but what of the present? Is it reasonable for parents to be able to refuse vaccination for their children, thus exposing them, and therefore others, to a disease that is preventable? Where does the balance lie between the rights of the individual parent to refuse on behalf of their child, and the right of the population as a whole to the best protection available?

No, it's not reasonable. If there isn't some medical justification then they get poked. Oh I suppose if they agree to spend the rest of their life inside their house I'd be okay with that. Maybe strapping down the parents and giving them a poke with a high gauge needle would do the trick. And what do you think?

I think I might start a bit of a discussion here.

The anti-antivaxer thing [in this form] is a pathetic, self-serving line of bullshit. You can pretend all you want that you're just doing it for the kids, that you're just against the celebrities who spout their misguided opinions as fact, that you're fighting the good fight, blah, blah, blah. But if you're really concerned about public health, then E-D-U-C-A-T-E. Ridiculing others for their fear-based or sheep-like behavior is unlikely to produce any positive (?) effect other than inflating one's ego.

What makes you think that hasn't been tried, and is still getting done? Ridiculing the leaders of ridiculous movements, you know, works. Imagine if every mention of the silly catholic beliefs was ridiculed as much as, say scientology is. Or the inverse, if scientology was as "respected" and not ridiculed by the general public as it is.

Before I came to the U.S., I never heard of this anti-vaccine crap in my little third-world Latin American country, and my sources (MD friends) tell me that they know about it, but they don't have them there, at least not in any significant way. I recently met another MD friend of a friend who works in Cleveland, with children and asked her about it, and she immediately recognized the attitude among many parents there too.

Also asked my friend, who was working in Detroit, but not with children in particular, and he told me many nurses were refusing vaccines (IIRC the flu one).

Seems like all these "worries" are from people who are rich enough to have the time and the arrogance (of ignorance) to believe they have knowledge that science has rejected time and again.

And don't get me wrong, I understand parents are worried, but I'm talking about the Jenny McCarthy-types, and if you saw the "Vaccine Wars" Frontline special, those disgusting mothers (sounds sexist, but as far as I remember they didn't interview such dads) who just plainly stated that their kids would be protected by the other kids' vaccines.

as both a musician and an anti-antivaxer, i usually hate political and ideological songs, even when i agree with them and even if they're written by bob dylan. :) but i thought this was really, really good, and thanks, i have a few people i'm going to send it to.

Just a thought from my better half - maybe the whole thing will be sorted out by natural selection, in that those who do not get their children vaccinated will be less likely to pass on the gene of ignorance and arrogance to future generations? Those that get the shots will be more likely to survive.


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