This was bound to happen, and unfortunately, proponents of science based medicine have come to a very clear, “See, I told you so.” moment. The anti-vaccination movement has gone too far for too long. For years, the general public didn’t seem to care or notice what they were doing… but now, with measles outbreaks at Disneyland and spreading across North America, people are starting to take notice.
It’s time to stop the debate. There is no debate. It’s time to stop giving “fair time” to anti-vaccine people in the media and it’s time to ignore Jenny McCarthy and her fear mongering.
Amy Wallace, from Wired Magazine, has this to say:
Fewer youngsters worldwide are dying of childhood diseases now than at any other time in history. About 80% of children today are vaccinated against such deadly illnesses as measles and polio, compared with 20% in the early 1980s.
There were an estimated 30 to 40 million cases of measles in 2000, causing some 777,000 deaths.
…immunization can be credited with saving approximately 9 million lives a year worldwide. A further 16 million deaths a year could be prevented if effective vaccines were deployed against all potentially vaccine-preventable diseases.
“Health officials say aggressive efforts to vaccinate young children against measles have resulted in a 74 percent global decline in the number of deaths due to the illness [between 2000 and 2007]. Experts say the biggest decline, 90 percent, occurred in the Eastern Mediterranean region.”
In England and Wales, measles cases increased 36% in 2008. Measles cases more than doubled from the year before during the first half of 2008 in the United States.
“Before smallpox was eradicated with a vaccine, it killed an estimated 500 million people. And just 60 years ago, polio paralyzed 16,000 Americans every year, while rubella caused birth defects and mental retardation in as many as 20,000 newborns. Measles infected 4 million children, killing 3,000 annually, and a bacterium called Haemophilus influenzae type b caused Hib meningitis in more than 15,000 children, leaving many with permanent brain damage. Infant mortality and abbreviated life spans — now regarded as a third world problem — were a first world reality.” Amy Wallace
Maki Naro has produced an outstanding comic to explain how and why the anti-vaccination movement is so dangerous. Share it – you might just end up convincing someone who’s on the fence about vaccinating their child to change their mind.