Friday, February 1, 2019

Are you an 'anti-vaxxer'?

Do you know what a 'vaxxer' is? If so, then you of course know what an 'anti-vaxxer' is.  I ran across this term for the first time on a Facebook post.  Someone wanted to know what steps they could take to help their children avoid catching common-place childhood diseases such as measles, mumps, etc.   They were seeking this information because they didn't believe in vaccinations, hence the term vaxxer, or in this case, antivaxxer.

The responses to this person's post ranged from raw sarcasm to severe scolding.  After all, who in their right mind wouldn't want to vaccinate their kids?  Well, as it happens there are a fair number of people who feel that way.  Some of them have religious beliefs that prohibit medical treatment like vaccinations but the overwhelming majority feel that way because of an article published  some time ago  in the British medical journal, Lancet.  The author, a prominent physician, linked vaccinations to the onset of autism.

It wasn't until some time later that the claims made in the article were completely debunked and the physician was kicked out of the British Medical Society as a quack.  Unfortunately the belief persists.  Parents are worried that their children if vaccinated will develop autism.  That belief is completely and absolutely false.

So what happens when kids don't get immunized?  They just get sick and move on, right?  Lots of people my age had childhood diseases like measles and mumps and here we are.  But there are also a lot of people walking around with complications from those diseases.  And that's the least of it.  Sick children also pose a threat to other's-especially pregnant women.  Women who are exposed to many of these diseases in the early stages of pregnancy risk developmental issues for their unborn babies.

There are other consequences too but the point is people who avoid vaccinating their kids are in my view negligent, irresponsible and, well, just plain stupid.

That was pretty much what most people told that lady who put that post on Facebook.

There's no law saying you have to vaccinate your kids but I hope you're prepared to home school them because unless they've been vaccinated they're not going to a public school.

Be a 'vaxxer'!

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