In Ashland, nearly 30 percent of kindergartners have been issued exemptions for some or all of the vaccines required by state law, a rate seven times the rest of the state and about 12 times the rest of the nation.
Why does it seem that people who should know better put their faith in anecdotal evidence and superstition when hard data and science is available.
Skeptical of government mandates and leery of feared links to disordersWhile there is an acknowledged risk with almost any vaccine, the statistics show that it is far less than that of contracting these diseases. This generation of parents simply doesn't know what it is like to have a toddler contract whooping cough... one of the leading causes of vaccine preventable deaths world-wide.
from asthma to autism, parents say they’re exercising their rights to
protect their kids from risk. But health officials say there’s no
question that the risk of vaccination is far outweighed by the benefits
of inoculation, and that those who don’t immunize endanger not only
their own kids, but also the collective resistance that keeps everyone
else safe, too.
“When more than 10 percent of a community opts out of vaccinations, it
leaves the entire community at risk because germs have a greater chance
of causing an epidemic,” said Dr. Ari Brown, an Austin, Texas,
pediatrician who represents the American Academy of Pediatrics.
With lower vaccination levels some of these nearly eradicated diseases seem to be making a comeback...
In South Whidbey Island, Wash., this summer,Some people must simply learn hard lessons by seeing for themselves... Given all the progress mankind has made on the medical front, it would seem obvious to trust the science. But because science hasn't given us all of the answers (e.g. - why is my child autistic??) people grasp at the anecdotal (e.g. - it must be that vaccine...). Its a trait we all share as humans: we need reasons... we look for patterns even where the correlation is weak. We need some reason -- even a bad one. (Hence religion!)
Little League teams were eliminated from the regional All-Star
Tournament after an outbreak of pertussis. Overall, 88 people were
sickened in the Northwest community where one to two cases a year is
the norm. Health officer Dr. Roger Case demanded that the teams be
pulled, fearing they'd spark an epidemic among players across a wide
region. Low community vaccination levels likely were to blame for the outbreak, Case said.
Most of the time it's harmless, but in this case we could be subjecting a new generation of children to scourges that we figured out how to lick more than 50 years ago...