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Vaccinations are matters of life and death, not philosophy or arcane legalism

Posted by John Reed on

Nearly everyone in the U.S. got measles before there was a vaccine, and hundreds died from it each year. Today, most doctors have never seen a case of measles. [I got measles in the 1950s.]

More than 15,000 Americans died from diphtheria in 1921, before there was a vaccine. Only one case of diphtheria has been reported to CDC since 2004.

An epidemic of rubella (German measles) in 1964-65 infected 12½ million Americans, killed 2,000 babies, and caused 11,000 miscarriages. In 2012, 9 cases of rubella were reported to CDC.

Approximately 24,000 people die a year from the flu. If 100% got the vaccine, the death rate would, I believe I read, fall 90%. That means 21,600 people die a year from not getting the flu vaccine. And why do they refuse to get it? They are afraid of getting partial flu symptoms!!!

Again, 21,600 people a year DIE. They means they stop breathing, rigor mortis sets in. A funeral is held. They are buried or cremated. DEAD!

The decision to get vaccinated or require others to get vaccinated is not mere philosophy or some arcane, abstract legal point. It is a life-or-death decision.

It needs to be made on the big picture net number of deaths from the disease in question and from the vaccine, if any. The decision must be the one that minimizes that net number. And the decision that minimizes the number of deaths of all varieties related to the disease and vaccine complications is for almost all to get vaccinated.

I read in the local San Francisco paper once of a young mother with a toddler who lived in anti-vaccine Marin County (north of San Francisco). At the urging of her “friends,” the mother refused to let her daughter get vaccinated for pertussis. The common name of pertussis is “whooping cough.” It is aptly named.

Here is what Wikipedia says about Pertussis:

“Initially, symptoms are usually similar to those of the common cold with a runny nose, fever, and mild cough. This is then followed by weeks of severe coughing fits. Following a fit of coughing, a high-pitched whoop sound or gasp may occur as the person breathes in. The coughing may last for 10 or more weeks, hence the phrase "100-day cough". A person may cough so hard that they vomit, break ribs, or become very tired from the effort. Children less than one year old may have little or no cough and instead have periods where they do not breathe.”

Guess what? That unvaccinated little girl contracted whooping cough. Watching her little girl suffer the above-described symptoms terrified and horrified the mother beyond words. The little girl ultimately survived. I do not know if the “friends” who persuaded the mom to let that happened survived her wrath, or deserved to.

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