Monday, October 06, 2008

Vaccinations

How effective are they!?! Are they worth the risk!?!

4 comments:

SaltedSlug said...

Very and Yes.

And both those links are barking mad.

(Unless of course my irony-meter is broken, in which case ignore me)

Snafu said...

What's wrong with the links? Why are they barking mad? Are the graphs incorrect? Are there no side effects!?!

What's happened to Plague and ebola virus!?! Why have there been no pandemics given the lack of appropriate vaccinations?

thesaltedslug said...

The ebola virus has occasional breakouts and is kept alive in it's natural host, thought to be fruit bats (which aren't harmed by it). It is exceptionally contagious and kills the vast majority of victims and it does so very quickly, so that the disease doesn't normally have a chance to spread far before it runs out of hosts. No effective vaccine really exists, but then it doesn't happen that often.

Vaccinations are only needed for viruses. Bubonic plague, scarlet fever and typhus are bacterial and are treated with antibiotics. The fact that these last two are included in the Vaclib graphs (and whale.to's diatribe) means that the person either doesn't know what they are talking about or that they are actively trying to deceive.

Also the person does not cite their sources and the graphs are misleading; they tell us the death rate but not the actual number of cases, which is what we actually want to know, bearing in mind that as hospitals gradually got better a person afflicted with a disease was much less likely to die.

Vaccines partly suffer from their own success. Parents today never had to live through polio or small pox epidemics. Smallpox is extinct and polio should be if it wasn't for the interference of religious extremists in North Africa.

Yes vaccines can have side effects, but the are almost always minor and definitely preferable tothe symptoms of the diseases they protect against.

For a weigh-up of common side-effects against benefits, check this out (bottom of the page):
MMR Info

Oh and as for whale.to, read the 'Hidden Hand' part of his page before anything else; it's very illuminating.

wildgoose said...

Smallpox is officially extinct but probably still exists in one or more government weapons laboratories.

There is a book with the same name, but ignore that, just read the following article:

The Demon in the Freezer.