My children’s pediatrician practice refuses to see patients unless the parents commit to the full course of recommended vaccinations. Even so, despite full vaccinations, 3 of my children caught pertussis and I was lucky enough to get it from them as well. Failure to vaccinate harms not only the children not vaccinated, but the entire community, as it reduces herd immunity and makes all vaccinations much less effective overall.
I don’t think it is in anyone’s interest to evaluate any course of action by reference to a “herd”. Already there are too many who believe that herd management is the correct political model for human communities.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Herd immunity or herd effect, also called community immunity, describes a form of immunity that occurs when the vaccination of a significant portion of a population (or herd) provides a measure of protection for individuals who have not developed immunity. Herd immunity theory proposes that, in contagious diseases that are transmitted from individual to individual, chains of infection are likely to be disrupted when large numbers of a population are immune or less susceptible to the disease. The greater the proportion of individuals who are resistant, the smaller the probability that a susceptible individual will come into contact with an infectious individual.
Thanks, I knew what the concept of herd immunity is. My concern is not with the “immunity” part of that concept but with the “herd” part. Conceiving and managing people as a herd in order to optimize immunity from infectious disease sounds perfectly rational.
But then I look at the last part of the definition you provided: “The
greater the proportion of individuals who are resistant, the smaller the
probability that a susceptible individual will come into contact with an
infectious individual.” That logic appeals to many people today outside the realm of infectious disease. For instance, climate change. The greater the proportion of individuals who are resistant to “denialism,” because they have been intellectually vaccinated against it, the smaller the probability that a susceptible individual (most likely a child) will come into contact with an infected individual (a climate change “denier”). Given the terrible significance of this issue, far eclipsing in importance the return of pertussis, I would think that there are many who would urge the same herd management technique for both, don’t you?
So you don’t buy that ridiculous “germ theory” of disease. Yeah, I don’t blame you. It’s just a liberal plot to enforce the tyranny of vaccination. Give those liberal “doctors” an inch and they’ll set up a Stalinist state built on the lie that germs cause disease and that “vaccination” can prevent that. Phooey on “medical consensus” that’s just another word for “politically correct herd mentality.”
If that quoted doctor’s patients are “very savvy” and still take the position he says they do, then he doesn’t know the definition of “very savvy.”
That word, I do not think it means what he thinks it means.
Fortunately these hyper-educated fools will eliminate their own genes from the gene pool. It is very amusing that the savages in the bush understand their own best interests far better than the Western MBAs and lawyers and professors.
Quarantine them and their kids, until they are vaccinated. Don’t let them leave their houses. Whole Foods delivers.
A lower class women who leaves her 10 year old child to play in a park while she works a block away will be prosecuted for child abuse. These upper class parents who fail to vaccinate their children and thus run a substantial risk of killing or maimiming them or others who come into contact with them will face no legal sanction.
How about this: Woman of any class who leaves her 10 year old to play in a park: no prosecution. Parents of any class who don’t have their kids vaccinated: no prosecution. The common element here is, no prosecution. Western societies enjoy prosecuting people far too much.
Under what logic do we regulate where smokers can light up but not where unvaccinated people can congregate? People who do not vaccinate their children, thereby putting others in danger of communicable disease should be treated (at a minimum) the same way smokers are. They should not be allowed access to public areas where they will bring others into contact with the potentially life threatening illnesses. This is not theoretical – we once again have epidemics of diseases such as measles and pertussis. Schools in particularly should not admit students who have not had their shots. If you don’t want to vaccinate, homeschool.
What kind of logic, indeed. We have epidemics far worse than those of measles or second-hand smoke-induced-lung cancer. Our entire planet is at risk, entire countries stand to go the way of Atlantis, because certain people are permitted to spew their diseased opinions about climate change, denying what the consensus of the scientific community holds true, thereby infecting enough of the masses and their GOP stooges in Congress that the necessary actions can’t be legislated. Time is running out!
Apples and oranges much? See, this is why Libertarianism is completely untenable. When parents refuse to vaccinate their injured parties are not just the parents and the child(ren). The whole community is endangered. Prosecution is entirely warranted to protect the common good. Those parents are at the very least guilty of negligence that could result in the death or permanent damage of other people. The state has an interest in, indeed exists in large part for the purpose of, protecting the lives of its citizens. The unvaccinated children and the community surrounding them deserve that protection. The parents’ “choice” cannot be allowed to trump it.
I’m asking on what basis do you limit the concept? Not just when parents refuse to vaccinate, but when parents, or anyone, does or omits to do certain things, the whole community is injured or put at risk. I tried to give a current example of such a non-microbial concern.
My point has not been to question vaccination, but to question whether we really want to start legally compelling individuals to take certain actions on the basis that we are a herd and ought to be managed as such.
Here’s another example. In recent years articles have begun to appear asserting that obesity is an infectious disease, that your obesity increases the risk of my becoming obese, with all of the poor health outcomes that entails. So are you saying we should adopt a herd perspective and force every person to eat only a specified diet, and that every one who doesn’t lowers the herd immunity to obesity? Why should you have a choice what to eat when your choice puts me at risk?
funny you talking about consensus when it comes to climate but disregard them when it comes to immunity.
The climate “consensus” is a fake consensus based on no evidence except discredited computer models.
Vaccination is the real world; it’s no computer model, but many, many experiments of the real item.
The difference is profound.
that was my point
“Our entire planet is at risk, entire countries stand to go the way of Atlantis, because certain people are permitted to spew their diseased opinions about climate change,”
Bogus meter just went off the dial! Typical language abuse by the very trendy ignoramuses I referred to above. Thanks for providing such a quick example
Corlyss I thought you of all people would detect my sarcasm. Nice to know I could pass the idelogical Turing test. My emtire point is that the very people for whom my send-up is gospel truth will happily ruin our lives by dint of herd immunity logic.
I’m red-faced, qet. My most profound apologies for not getting it. I will do better in the future.
“Under what logic do we regulate where smokers can light up but not where unvaccinated people can congregate?”
Well, you know, back in the “bad ol’ days” when we were a bunch of racist bigots simply oozing hostility to minorities, we had enough unquestioning cultural pride and self-confidence, to enforce common behaviors and standards. Their kids simply wouldn’t get into schools and the parents could deal with the law via truancy laws.
But now we’re filled with multiculti tolerance and admirably humble in our national guilt about everything we or our ancestors ever did to anybody, so when people claim vaccination violates their religious rights or their cultural norms, we let them slide. And that thin entering wedge created an opening for the scientifically ignorant trendy intellectual idiot identified by their “Save the Whales” bumper stickers and their memberships in Sierra Club and their commitment to ineffectual boutique energies to fight AGW. They know if the religious folk can get away with deploying (completely bogus) religious claims, they will certainly get away with deploying pseudo-science and junk science rationales for not vaccinating. And I’m sure the ACLU stands ready to defend their right to infect the rest of us.
Decades ago when TB was resurging in the US mostly among drug addicts, I believe 60 Minutes ran a story on how the only city that was successfully battling the disease as it ran rampant through those communities around the nation was Boston. Why was very blue very liberal Boston successful? Because they had neglected to repeal a 19th century statute that allowed their public health people to incarcerate, that’s right, jail, people diagnosed with TB in order to ensure that they took their meds thru the entire course of treatment, thereby ensuring that the victim would leave the facility cured or at least not dangerous to the public. Boy, those were indeed the bad ol’ days. Aren’t we all glad the state can’t do THAT any more . . . . !
So, the American upper-class worldview is self-limiting. And they think the rest of us are superstitious.
The latest wave of illegals is bringing in a lot of diseases we had, if not eradicated, at least made very rare. TB is the one that concerns me the most, the US doesn’t even innocculate against it any more. The standard vaccine is only about 50% effective. This is a disease that once was pandemic in our cities.
Welcome back to the end of the ninetenth-century.
Did anyone see the most recent NOVA earlier in the week? A very cogent analysis of the situation. http://video.pbs.org/video/2365322027/ The scene of the little boy turning blue with whooping cough while the nurse stood there with the oxygen mask waiting for . . . what I don’t know was pretty affecting. And I say that as a woman with no oxytocin, at least for kids.
As Bill Cosby once said…
“Let the beatings….commence!”