02 September 2008


I just listened to a woman on NPR state that she does not trust the numerous studies funded by pharmeceutical companies related to possible side effects of the standard infant vaccination schedule. I really can't understand people like this. There is a very strange anti-science faction developing in the US and it worries me. These are people who feel that the results published by scientists are simply opinions within a cloud of many opinions. This simply is not the case. Scientists are ussually very good at self-regulation, meaning that, if someone publishes results that are BS, they will quickly get called on it. We ought to listen to the experts because they are exactly that. Experts. Most of them have spent their entire lives studying the topics on which the publish, so they really do know what they are talking about.

The other part of this argument that worries me, is that measles cases are on the rise. I remember getting some of my last booster shots when I was in elementary school. I'm sure that as an infant I did not find them comfortable. However, I'm glad that I have been vaccinated against these diseases. Some people argue that some of the vaccines increase the risk of autism in children, but there is no scientific evidence for an increased risk of any disorder associated with the vaccines that most children receive. There is also a very small contingent of people who espouse a religious belief that prohibits vaccines. I cannot fathom this argument. Holding oneself to the tenants of their faith is one thing, but forcing that faith onto an infant is quite another.

I'm not sure what else I can say about this. I just wish that scientists got the respect that they once did. I don't think people should blindly follow them, but they shouldn't refuse their advice as "elitist" or anything of that sort.

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