Monday, April 29, 2013

To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate - To Dr. Saul Hymes There's No Question

Let me start out by saying that my children are vaccinated. When they were born, it wasn't a question for me. Vaccines save lives. They prevent humans from contracting dangerous conditions which are sometimes fatal.

My friend and pediatric infectious disease doctor, Saul Hymes, would agree with me on this. 

In fact, he feels so strongly about children getting vaccinated, that he wrote an article about his thoughts on the anti-vaccine movement as well as what can happen when parents refuse vaccines for their children in a publication called The Magazine. The article is called: Give it Your Best Shot 

The Magazine is an iOS based magazine founded by Marco Arment, creator and developer of Instapaper and lead developer of Tumblr. 

The anti-vaccine movement has been an axe to grind for Saul ever since he was in medical school. The fact that it seemed to him to coincide with the Bush administration and a trend of anti-intellectualism didn't help much. 

As Saul learned about the anti-vaccine movement, there were celebrity activists who were vocal in their stance against vaccines including centerfold and model Jenny McCarthy, who he calls out in his article for being ill informed with regard to the potential "dangers" of vaccines.

Saul's article is a in depth look into the history of vaccinations and attempts to debunk some common anti-vaccines theories out there.


  1. I'm decidedly pro vaccination (or rather, I'm pro-science, logic, and reason), and although I can understand the parents in the gray area and the choices they have to make because of obvious health concerns, the ones that do not vaccinate because of alarmist fears based on pseudo-science and quackery (not to mention a frightening lack of basic science comprehension) makes me see red like nothing else. I can understand a healthy dose of skepticism, hell I recommend it! But the flat out deniers really need to be rounded up and stuck in a biology and human health class (maybe even a bio-chem primer?) until they just. Fucking. Get it!! There is no excuse for this amount of bullshit in this day and age, and they are not only playing around with their family's lives but everyone else around theirs. Unacceptable, and we shouldn't have to pay the price for their deliberate ignorance.

    Also, I should add as a child I had seen firsthand some of the effects of these diseases to children that did not have the luxury of access to vaccinations while visiting family in my mother's home country of Ecuador. The side effects of vaccines (not including serious allergic reactions to vaccine components however) are SO trivial in comparison, it's hard not to be floored when parents cite them as reason enough to not vaccinate. It absolutely blows my mind. I just can't comprehend how (largely unfounded) fears like that can be taken seriously when there are the parents of now deformed, weakened, or dead children in the world that would have given all they had and more to acquire the protection too many in this country are now taking for granted.

  2. And one last thing, concerning the actual article. I wholeheartedly agree that this frustrating trend seems to absolutely coincide with the anti-intellectualism borne of the Bush era that's run rampant in our society. I also agree with Dr. Hymes that the best way to combat this is to appeal to the emotional side of parents. But I find in debates both offline and on, this is the best approach to nearly any subject, which goes to show how many people in our society are largely knee-jerk reactive, and not as objective, cool, or level-headed as we like to believe ourselves to be (we are not our movie heroes after all!). There's just an alarming amount of cognitive dissonance all o'er the damn place!!


What do you think? Feel free to agree or disagree, but hateful comments will be deleted.