Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Vaccine Denialism Is Dangerous

In an opinion piece for The Washington Post, columnist Michael Gerson takes a bold stand against the barrage of vaccine misinformation that has infected the Internet. He writes vaccines are responsible for preventing a host of deadly diseases, and choosing not to vaccinate yourself or your child is not only wrong, but also dangerous ― for yourself and others.
In most health matters, defying medical authority mainly has individual consequences. Those who believe that cancer can be treated with coffee enemas are only killing themselves. But communicable diseases are different. Some people can’t be immunized for medical reasons, or their protective response to a vaccine is weak. They depend on the immunity of others to avoid infection.
For herd immunity to work, 90 percent of the community must be immunized. The United States for the most part boasts high vaccination rates, but pockets of less immunized communities are popping up across the nation, making their residents vulnerable to disease outbreaks.

Vaccination for individuals without medical exemptions shouldn’t be a choice, says Gerson. Vaccination, he argues, is a social responsibility. Read the article at The Washington Post.

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