To the editor,
I am puzzled by people on a regular basis. One of the things that has me scratching my head lately is the vaccine controversy. We all want to keep our children safe. When one becomes a parent, life changes in so many ways, but one of the ways is how our need to keep our children safe replaces our own self-preservation to some extent. I get that. I also get that most vaccine-preventable diseases are uncommon. The reason they are uncommon is that we have most of our children vaccinated.
The science behind vaccinations has developed since 1774 when an English farmer inoculated his wife and children with cowpox to protect them from the smallpox epidemic in Dorset Village. Since then the scientific community has proven that vaccinations prevent many diseases and the idea of herd immunity has protected those in our communities that are unable to get vaccines due to underlying illness. (The concept of herd immunity is that the more individuals in a community that have been vaccinated, the less available hosts are who can develop the infection, therefore protecting the entire community.)
The science is sound. It is airtight. Vaccines prevent disease, period. The whole idea about MMR (Measles Mumps and Rubella) vaccine causing Autism has been soundly disproven. The bonehead researcher who originally proposed a link was found to have been taking money from lawyers who were hoping to gain financially through lawsuits and was banned from practicing medicine in England.
I have proposed that those who do not vaccinate should admit that they don’t believe in science. They should abandon all products, ideas and inventions that came out of “science.” Therefore, they need to go live in a cave, and hunt and forage for food.
Cars are designed by engineers who use science. Cloth is woven by machines developed by engineers. All medicine that does us any good to cure and prevent disease was developed by scientific methods. If you give up the science behind vaccines, you really should abandon all science.
So, I get the idea of questioning authority and not believing everything one is told, but when science has proven something, we need to believe it.
Vaccinate your children to protect them. When a loved one of yours develops cancer and is on chemotherapy that blunts their immune system, you will be glad you did.
Terry A Johnson, MD