For those strongly opposed to the concept of vaccination, I implore you to consider what it would be like to 1) Actually live in an area where the threat of polio or dengue fever is actually real, and not just a historical notion and 2) not have the ability to control (through diet, exercise, hygiene) your own immunity to any of these basic viruses. How and why might these realities affect your decision to immunize your child? The reason we vaccinate ( and I mean we as public health advocates genuinely interested in population well-being and not financial or political gain) is because the entire world is the population to consider…not your state, town or even country. These are highly mobile viruses (think SARS - I am from the T.dot) which have the ability to take out large populations if the setting is right. We are so unimaginably lucky as Westerners, that the variables to consider in this vaccination ballgame are beyond the realm of our thinking. And we got here through major progress in hygiene and sanitation (plumbing, basic knowledge of ommunology, clean water [sort of]) AND through massive public health efforts, like vaccination. Other really important measures which must come WITH vaccination (for they are not a panacea) include screening, public education, prevention.
Seriously, if prevention were more a focus of our public health paradigm, then you all know damn well that we would each have far more raw friends who loved to exercise, challenge their minds and bodies and rested far more than your average joe these days.
In the end, we cannot demonize the other, for then we risk alienating them and moving farther away from objectivity and compassion in our evaluations of situations such as these.
faye7~ Thank you for touching on some of the complexities involved in this volitile issue. By being aware there are multiple fronts that need to be addressed, a solution that works can be created. You do your program proud! Applause! Applause! Applause!
Yes, we certainly can “demonize” Big Pharma. People are quite right to be frightened and to demand answers and to avoid many, if not most, drugs and vaccines if they can. Big Pharma has earned and deserves it’s reputation for greed and evil and anyone who denies it has simply been manipulated or bought off. The worst way to convince people to vaccinate their babies is to try to threaten them with death and disease.