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Thread: Anti-Vaccination Movements and the Measles Outbreak: Personal Choice vs Public Health

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    a fool on a journey pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
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    Anti-Vaccination Movements and the Measles Outbreak: Personal Choice vs Public Health

    So, I'd heard of people being against vaccinations before, but it wasn't until reading some articles recently that I was surprised by how common it is. Here's a decent article summarizing the rise in recent years of the anti-vaccination movement after a (now thoroughly and publicly discredited) paper was published linking autism to the MMR(Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine. Measles was declared eliminated back in 2000. There have been fewer than 100 cases each year since - except for this last year, when the number skyrocketed to over 600. Recently there was an outbreak spreading to 14 states that apparently started at Disneyland. And the vast majority of those cases were people who were unvaccinated due to claiming either religious or "philosophical" exemptions.

    It seems pretty clear that the research supporting the effectiveness of vaccines is overwhelming. It also seems obvious that large numbers of unvaccinated people are a danger not only to themselves but to their communities. But I don't know if that necessarily answers the question of whether it would be right to force people to get vaccinated, eliminating these religious and philosophical exemptions, either by threat of fine or imprisonment or excluding them from public life. More and more doctor's offices are apparently refusing to take patients who choose not to vaccinate, and in the wake of the measles outbreak some schools are sending unvaccinated students home for various amounts of time. There are calls for the schools to ban unvaccinated students completely. Others worry that measures like this are too great of an infringement on personal freedom.

    What do you guys think?

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    a cantori Perdix's Avatar
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    When I tell people they're fucking insane for refusing vaccinations I come off as an intrusive asshole. I'm tempted to say it shouldn't be your decision, but I'm more in favor of doctors turning them away until they fix their shit.

    Child welfare is another matter, I consider not vaccinating your children child abuse, just as I would refusing them medication.

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    Your Huckleberry lethe's Avatar
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    I think it's a real health threat to the community. Vaccines require participation to work. In my mind, it's not much different from requiring restaurants and employees to follow health codes.

    For example, if you work at a restaurant/food service and connect certain food born illnesses, your heath card is taken away, you are restricted from working or visiting day cares and gyms until you test clean again.

    I see no problem requiring children in school to have immunizations. You are not free to spread disease.
    Don't remember changing this.

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    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    My recent involvement with the medical marijuana community led me to a guy who was treating a kid who ended up in some kind of waking coma + persistent seizures after a vaccine (he's been in that state for years now). I had never met anyone against vaccines before I met this guy, but his position is apparently more widespread than I thought among that community. I wonder what research there is to back up the claim that this kind of thing actually can be a result of vaccination. It was kind of terrifying, but then I'm especially paranoid about these things.
    Everything under heaven is in utter chaos; the situation is excellent. - Mao

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    a cantori Perdix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrigal View Post
    My recent involvement with the medical marijuana community led me to a guy who was treating a kid who ended up in some kind of waking coma + persistent seizures after a vaccine (he's been in that state for years now). I had never met anyone against vaccines before I met this guy, but his position is apparently more widespread than I thought among that community. I wonder what research there is to back up the claim that this kind of thing actually can be a result of vaccination.
    Well, it's a matter of statistics. People don't like considering that several people may die (or develop disabling side effects) from a vaccine so the rest of us may live. The risk is immensely small and the benefit is extremely large. Measles kill 2.6 million people per year, and I can't readily find data on measles vaccine deaths, so I'm assuming the number is small.

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    dormant jigglypuff's Avatar
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    i'm glad i didn't end up going to disneyland around that time. children are always spreading illnesses amongst each other and their families and friends, it freaks me out.

    vaccinate your kids plz.

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    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prometheus View Post
    Well, it's a matter of statistics. People don't like considering that several people may die (or develop disabling side effects) from a vaccine so the rest of us may live. The risk is immensely small and the benefit is extremely large. Measles kill 2.6 million people per year, and I can't readily find data on measles vaccine deaths, so I'm assuming the number is small.
    I'm sure that a child is at much more risk of death and disease if they are not vaccinated (not to mention the threat to other people), but I'm curious about the truth behind some of the claims.
    Everything under heaven is in utter chaos; the situation is excellent. - Mao

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    Member HilbertSpace's Avatar
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    One of the things that I'm interested in is what happens when groups of people who interact all share this kind of behavior. Picture a social network in which people who refuse vaccination are more likely to be connected to people who also refuse vaccination. You'd have the potential for brushfire outbreaks.

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    Tawaci ki a Gnaska ki Osito Polar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrigal View Post
    I wonder what research there is to back up the claim that this kind of thing actually can be a result of vaccination.
    There's not really research to back it up, per se. There's the fact that if you perform basically ANY medical procedure on a large group of people, it's going to have negative effects on SOME of them. But with vaccinations, the thing you compare the risk to is if you do nothing. In this case, dying or being crippled by the disease that vaccinations prevent is a greater risk than the tiny percent of people who develop problems from receiving the vaccine.

    I believe one of the more severe bad reactions to vaccines are people who have allergic reactions to them.

    Edit: yeah, there are some others too such as the seizures you mentioned
    http://www.historyofvaccines.org/con...adverse-events
    "I don't have psychological problems." --Madrigal

    "When you write about shooting Polemarch in the head, that's more like a first-person view, like you're there looking down the sight of the gun." --Utisz

    David Wong, regarding Chicago
    Six centuries ago, the pre-Colombian natives who settled here named this region with a word which in their language means "the Mouth of Shadow". Later, the Iroquois who showed up and inexplicably slaughtered every man, woman and child renamed it "Seriously, Fuck that Place". When French explorer Jacques Marquette passed through the area he marked his map with a drawing of a brownish blob emerging from between the Devil's buttocks.

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    Member Thoth's Avatar
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    Every time the inane idea of anti-vaccination rears it's head I'm reminded of an ex girlfriend who blamed a day of violent vomiting on "bad cream" in her 5am coffee, not the three cosmos and five shots that proceeded it.

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