October 21, 2009

On Immunization

Since I set off a firestorm on my facebook page this afternoon regarding the notion of immunization, I figured I'd come over here and at least string together a couple of links with my thoughts on the subject.

Here are the two Wired articles that got the whole thing started:

An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endangers Us All
How to Win an Argument About Vaccines

Some more digging around found me a slightly more even-handed article in Newsweek featuring an interview with Paul Offit (mentioned in one of the Wired articles):

Stomping Through A Medical Minefield

In going through this, there was a tangent in the conversation that went towards flu vaccines with an interesting analysis of how the numbers that justify them seem slightly inflated. This article is good stuff but is really tangentially-related at best to the discussion of infant immunizations:

Does The Vaccine Matter?

Let me just say, to those who are on the other side of this issue, I would really like to see some cogent and well-documented, well-researched argumentation. The problem is that I can't find it. I'm not sure if it's not there because the research is expensive and hasn't been done yet or simply because my Google-fu can't slice through 70,000 autism/anti-vaccination conspiracy whacko websites (and, make no bones about it, Jenny McCarthy is a freaking whacko), but if anyone can find me any well-researched argumentation, I'm all-ears.

In the mean-time, I'll toss you this fascinating Wikipedia article in closing. Of particular interest are the half-dozen cases in the last 150 or so years since widespread vaccination where isolated communities stopped vaccinating and the results. And before you start mouthing about Wikipedia, note that all of this article's really interesting and salient points are well-documented with outside reference materials. In fact, I encourage you to look over this article's reference section... it's a real treasure-trove of myth-debunking links.

Vaccine Controversy*

*note: I hard-linked to the Wikipedia entry as posted at time of my posting this so that you don't get there to see "penis" scrawled all over the page and question my sanity. This is STILL Wikipedia after all.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at October 21, 2009 11:37 PM | TrackBack