A small, but rapidly growing, set of people are denying their children essential vaccines, citing the link between vaccines and autism. Some of them cite other reasons as well.
There is a lot of scaremongering in the anti vaxxer community, and by them. Several studies which have been published on the subject are being pointed out as sufficient reason for not vaccinating their children.
But here is what everyone is missing –
1. Reliable evidence from reasonably large data sets
2. What I call, the “Water Fallacy”
The article referred to in this post deals with the evidence (or rather lack of it)
The second (Water Fallacy) goes as follows –
1. Drinking 3 liters of water in a very short time (let’s say 30 minutes) will cause hyponatremia in about 25 percent of the people who are stupid enough to do that. Several of the people who get hyponatremia will become comatose, and a small number will die. This is not a hypothetical situation, as India alone has over 10 million cases of hyponatremia every year.
2. Therefore drinking water is potentially dangerous, as about 1 percent of all the people who drink water get hyponatremia at least once in the year, and as many as 4 percent get it once in their lifetime.
3. So please do not drink water.
The above would make sense, except for the simple fact that NOT drinking water will kill 100 percent of the people who choose to stop drinking water.
Vaccines for diseases that kill a lot of people is somewhat like the above.
Complications could arise in a small number of children who get vaccinated for the biggest killers of today or yesteryear like Smallpox, Polio, Measles, Pneumonia, and other diseases. However, not vaccinating a large enough percentage of the population risks the loss of herd immunity, and the return of these diseases to kill thousands, if not millions of people.
If the anti vaxxer issue escalates further, we will see a further acceleration in the incidences of some of these diseases. This will cause fear to increase in the public to a stage where the only real solution to protect the general population (and the anti vaxxers) will be to segregate or quarantine the families who refuse to get vaccinated.
I really hope that such a thing does not come to pass.
Read the article here: https://elemental.medium.com/an-economists-data-backed-case-for-vaccines-a414b4938885?