20080905

Immunize or damn us all



Immunize or damn us all.
I was reading an article off of msnbc.com, Vaccine war, and I realized that people will probably be the cause of our destruction. In the article there were a few towns mentioned that had parents that forbade their children from receiving the state's required vaccines. Think about this section of the article,
In the first seven months of this year, 131 cases of measles were reported to the CDC, compared to 42 cases in all of last year. Of that total, 112 were unvaccinated or had unknown vaccination status, the CDC said. Some were too young for vaccination, but in 63 of those cases the patient or their parents had refused the shots.

In addition to measles, recent outbreaks of pertussis have underscored the dangerous trend.

The article briefly covers the topic of herd immunity. Herd immunity is an epidemiological term that uses the herd as a metaphor. Disease is spread throughout a vulnerable herd very quickly because very few if any of the herd's members are immune to the disease, possibly nearly wiping out the herd's population. If a larger percentage of the herd was immune to the disease then the disease would have a much more difficult time infecting a larger portion of the herd. The disease would not be able to travel through the herd and reach those that are not immune. Definitely read the Wikipedia Herd Immunity page for more info.

Vaccines are important because they provide immunity to pathogens. Animmunization helps fortify the body against foreign agents making a person less likely to be seriously infected by that specific agent. Not everyone needs to vaccinated. Just a high enough percentage to keep the pathogen from spreading uncontrollably.

So enough of this holding out crap and get your kids immunized. Disease is bad and you need to take the appropriate steps to make sure we are all protected.

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