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Here are some basics on herd immunity, and here is some more technical research if you’re interested in the details! 

Condensing all of our additional commentary!

From @palavra-valise

Herd immunity is even more important than that, actually. Those three people who are vaccinated when nobody else is could still get the disease (doesn’t necessarily work with protection against zombies themselves so I’m not going with the theme here) because with more unvaccinated people, there are more opportunities for bacteria or viruses to mutate, so the strain included in the vaccine would be too different from the circulating strain for it to offer much, if any, protection. That’s why each and every one of us has a responsibility to keep up our vaccines, for the good of EVERYONE in our society.

Basically, the unvaccinated people in the mostly vaccinated population are safer than the fully vaccinated people in the mostly unvaccinated population. That’s why, if anyone says “Why do you care? You/your kid are/is fully vaccinated,” you should punch that person in the face and then give them a 20-minute lecture about herd immunity and not being a self-absorbed twit and about our responsibility to society unless we choose to live on, idk, an island floating in space.

This is a really good point! 

I should also point out that vaccination is still important even for diseases that don’t show up in the human population a lot any more (or even just the local population), because often those diseases still exist in reservoir species that can transmit the disease, or in human reservoirs in other parts of the globe - which is how we’ve gotten the recent measles outbreaks in unvaccinated kids.

We should also point out (as other people have on this post - you guys are awesome!) that the vaccine-autism link has been repeatedly debunked by sound studiesand that the original paper it was based on has beendisavowed and was deeply scientifically and ethically unsound in the first place.

Also, @madeofpatterns brings up a good point - there’s variation in people’s responses to the flu vaccine in particular, according to the CDC, (just based on age, general health, etc, not the quality of the vaccine) which makes it even more important for a lot of people to get vaccinated, to build up that buffer to protect people who aren’t immune. 

Given that a lot of people are curious about vaccine safety and the vaccine testing process (and some of you have mentioned this - thanks to @randomguy319 !) we’ve got a bunch more information on the vaccine development process and their safety.

Here is a really good overview piece that explains the years of development that go in before a vaccine hits the market, and here and here are more from the CDC with lots of good links.

Both the CDC and the FDA have a TON of information on vaccine safety.

Bottom line: Every vaccine on the market or that will come onto the market goes through years and years of testing before even being tested in humans, and then goes through multiple rounds of testing in humans, before being approved by the FDA and continually checked for product quality and for any instance of side effects. Therefore, vaccines are really very safe. 

Once upon a time, a scientist named Dr. Andrew Wakefield published in the medical journal The Lancet that he had discovered a link between autism and vaccines. After years of controversy and making parents mistrust vaccines, along with collecting $674,000 from lawyers who would benefit from suing vaccine makers, it was discovered he had made the whole thing up. The Lancet publicly apologized and reported that further investigation led to the discovery that he had fabricated everything.

People are suffering and dying because it has become fashionable in the anti-science circles to deny the truth. The truth is that vaccinations save lives and reduce human misery. The truth is that the diseases our great-grandparents knew are still out there, and we should not be playing chicken with them. Don’t be afraid. Get vaccinated. We already know how to protect ourselves. We can stop the next outbreaks of scarlet fever, rubella, diphtheria and so many other miserable and deadly diseases before they even start. We just need to stop listening to people who don’t “believe” in science. Because the thing about science is that it’s real and true whether people want to believe it or not.

If this chart doesn’t scream “vaccinate your kids” nothing will 

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted an update to the ongoing measles outbreaks in the U.S. According to the CDC, there have been 592 measles cases since the beginning of the year — which means that with four months left to go, this year’s outbreaks are already the biggest since the disease was virtually eradicated in 2000.

Here’s how severe the situation is | Follow micdotcom

youtube

Perhaps the most enjoyable vaccination video I’ve ever seen. Have you seen a health care provider ever do this? I should add it to my repertoire. 

Life dumped a truckload of putrid, moldy lemons on Ted Slavin, and Ted Slavin turned right around and made them into a putrid, moldy lemonade empire. Slavin was a hemophiliac…and back in the ’50s — when Slavin was born — a hemophiliac wasn’t expected to live beyond 13. The way to treat the condition at the time was through constant blood transfusions…and it wasn’t until the ’70s that Slavin found out that the never-ending hypodermic gang-banging he’d been on the receiving end of had pumped him chock-full of hepatitis B.

It turns out, Slavin’s diagnosis came at precisely the right time — because by that point, his body had spent two decades producing ludicrous amounts of antibodies to fend off the pesky viral intruders, and the way to test someone for hepatitis B back then was to see how their blood reacted to the very antibodies that Slavin was pumping out in mass quantities. So he stuck a price tag on his blood (10 bucks a milliliter) and went into business with Big Pharma, selling them as much as 500 milliliters a pop — and demand was through the roof.

Now, you’re probably thinking that Slavin was just a savvy businessman who simply took financial advantage of a horrible situation, but bear with us, because this next part is what elevates his story into the realm of true awesomeness: Slavin looked up Baruch Blumberg, the Nobel Prize-winning researcher who had first discovered the hepatitis B antigen and created the test used to detect the disease. Slavin offered Blumberg all the blood he could possibly need for the hefty fee of zero dollars, just so long as it was used for creating a vaccine. A few years later, the first hepatitis B vaccine went into production … all thanks to Slavin’s putrid, moldy lemonade.

5 People Who Overcame the F#@% Out of Awful Disabilities

The Effect of Non-Vaccination.

This year the United States is experiencing a record number of measles cases. From January 1 to August 29, there have been 592 confirmed measles cases reported to CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). This is the highest number of cases since measles elimination was documented in the U.S. in 2000.

  • The majority of the people who got measles are unvaccinated.
  • Measles is still common in many parts of the world including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa, travelers with measles continue to bring the disease into the U.S.
  • Measles can spread when it reaches a community in the U.S. where groups of people are unvaccinated.

“The President is a lizard!” is funny. Other conspiracy theories? Not so much.

5 Ways Every Conspiracy Theory Makes the World Worse

#4. People Are Dying

So when 99 percent of scientists agree that, for example, the benefits of vaccines far outweigh the risks, it becomes boring background noise. But when, in 1998, medical journal The Lancet published a single solitary study that showed a possible link between the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine and autism, it created a worldwide panic that’s still raging 16 years later. … So, as a result of parents not vaccinating children against diseases, we’re seeing increased numbers of diseases such as whooping cough and measles. In 2012, the U.S. suffered its worst outbreak of whooping cough in 70 years; in Washington state, there were over 2,520 cases of the disease, a 1,300 percent increase over the previous year, all because the state has the highest rates of parents refusing vaccination.

Read More

Today in “vaccinate your children or I will throw you into a fire” news:

Measles cases are the highest they’ve been since the disease was eradicated from the US in 2000. So why are parents choosing not to vaccinate? Find out the facts in NOVA's “Vaccines - Calling the Shots”, airing on PBS tonight (10 September) at 9pm ET. It's one of the best explanations we've seen of the science behind vaccines.

from ScienceAlert

So there’s this thing called mumps. Maybe you’ve heard of it, but only because we live in a world where mumps outbreaks are suddenly a thing again, even though pretty much everyone in my generation grew up blissfully mumps free because it wasn’t a problem back then and we could frolic with our classmates and the worst illness we could get from them was chickenpox. Mumps wasn’t even in my vocabulary until about five years ago and I’ve got a pretty good vocabulary. I even know words like ‘deleterious’ and ‘effervescent’ and how to use them (correctly) in a sentence. Even as a kid, I had a good vocabulary, to the point I was accused of plagiarism by a teacher in the fifth grade. That’s about all I remember about him – he owned rescue greyhounds, accused me of plagiarism, and threatened to take away everyone’s Tamagotchis and lock them in the closet until they starved to death. Haven’t a clue what he taught.

So Tamagotchis failed to make a comeback, much like hammer pants, but mumps, however, has.

I bring this up because I happen to be sick right now.

With mumps.

Let me be clear on this. I got the vaccine as a kid. I got two doses, even. My mother has always been very stringent on our vaccine dates (I happen to have a note here by my desk of the dates I received each dose of MMR, as well as meningitis and something called a t-dap, just in case the doctor asks, she said). However, the CDC states that the MMR is only 88% effective at preventing mumps, which is why we also rely on something called herd immunity.

What is herd immunity? Well…

The CDC also describes the symptoms of mumps, but let me tell what it’s really like.

Imagine being punched in the face. If you’ve never been punched in the face before, go watch a season of Supernatural, it’s bound to happen a dozen times or so. Now imagine Dean’s fist connecting with your face.

Mmmmm. Dean.

Ahem. Still not vivid enough? Look, I’ve been punched in the face – well – it wasn’t actually a punch, it was actually part of a medieval reenactment event so I was actually stabbed in the face with a rattan spear while wearing full armor – but still – it’s not an experience I’m keen to repeat. Imagine this dull pain, like an anaconda has wrapped itself around your wrist and is slowly squeezing it to death and you swear you can hear your bones grinding against each other.

Now imagine that inside your face.

Inside. Your face.

Somewhere where the jaw meets the neck. And imagine that every time you try to eat something or even open your jaw too wide, that anaconda vomits a hamster into your face and that hamster starts chewing away at the muscles and tendons inside.

Add in some body aches, exhaustion, fever, and dry mouth and you’ve got mumps.

Let me make this perfectly clear.  The reason mumps and all these other childhood illnesses are coming back is because some parents aren’t vaccinating their crotch-spawn, turning them into walking bags of plague and then releasing them into public society like a worshiper of Chaos summoning a flock of nurglings.

This rant is dedicated to those parents.  Yes, the anti-vaccers.  The parents that think their parental responsibilities also include forging themselves an imaginary medical degree so they can conjure their own special fantasyland where their children are magically exempt from vaccinations because they heard some parent say there was some badly designed Geocities reject of a website that once claimed that vaccinations cause autism because vaccines have a lot of scary words in them that are hard to pronounce.

To those parents I say: fuck you.

I suppose I could spend a lot of time here linking statistics and science and all that crap.  But here’s the thing.  I’m in a leadership class right now at my prestigious business school where I’m getting my MBA and we just spent about two weeks covering how people will ignore facts and evidence, no matter how well presented it is or how absolutely correct it is.  In fact, the professor delivered a lovely dialogue on this using the anti-vaccers as an example of the mind-boggling stupidity that otherwise rational people will engage in.  Arguing with them isn’t worth the time.  This isn’t about them being right.  It’s about them feeling right and feeling like they know something no one else does, because God knows how miserable and unfulfilled they are now that they’ve found they’ve got everything they wanted and still aren’t happy.

They’re not scared of vaccines.  They’re scared of being insignificant.

So I resort to ridicule, because if they’re going to be a drain on society, I might at least get SOMETHING out of it and right now, sick as I am, I need a new punching bag.

But but but how can you claim vaccines don’t cause autism without evidence!?  Okay, fine.  Have some evidence.

What?  That not good enough?  Okay.  Let me put it this way.  I could link statistics and studies until my pain meds kick in and I’m too dizzy to sit up straight and it wouldn’t do a damn bit of difference.  You see, anti-vaccers aren’t stupid.  They are willfully ignorant and that is a very different beast.  It means that they’ve seen the evidence, the mountains of it, and then deliberately chosen to reject it.  They’re the special snowflakes of the internet generation, not content with their herbal supplements and have branched out into the kitsch territory of conspiracy theories.  Don’t try to reason with them.  They’ve got it all figured out and only they are so perceptive, so enlightened, to see through all the evil evil words the scientists are flinging out (some of those words have five syllables) and realize that in order to protect their precious darling, they must shun all evils of modern medicine and keep them from getting poked with needles (scary!) and injected with what might be DEAD VIRUSES AND OTHER SCARY CHEMICALS THEY TOTALLY UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR FOUR-YEAR COLLEGE DEGREE IN A COMPLETELY UNRELATED FIELD.  

They’re also full of more crap than an organic juice-cleansing binge-drinker just shit out into the toilet.

Of course, they completely fuck over the rest of us and their own children in the process.  The true hilarity of this is that whenever there’s an outbreak of whooping cough or mumps in the area, there’s a veritable stampede of these parents dragging their nurglings into the doctor to get caught up on the vaccination schedule that ‘slipped their mind.’

Yep.  Slipped right through their mind while they were filling out the bogus paperwork about their sincerely held conspiracy theory beliefs to get their sentient sacks of meat and disease admitted to the public school system.

In case I have not made this clear, I say to the anti-vaccers: fuck you.

Fuck you.

Fuck you.

You’re not special.  You haven’t figured out something no one else has.  You’re a delusional maggot feeding on the putrid underbelly of our society, siphoning off information you barely understand and gargling on outright lies, then vomiting it back up coated with a bile of self-righteousness.

You aren’t doing what’s best for your children.  You’re augmenting your own sense of self-confidence by pretending to know more than the experts, at the expense of not only their health and well-being, but that of everyone else in society as well.

Because yes, mumps is bad.  So are all the other diseases that are making a comeback, especially for those of us with compromised immune systems.  Like the seriously ill or the infants too young to be vaccinated.  And that could be life-threatening.

I wish you nothing but ill will.  If I could, I’d show up at your front door and lick your face all over.  Because hey, mumps isn’t THAT bad, right?  C’mere.  I got a big slobbery viral-ridden kiss for you.  And I’m sure we could find some petri dishes for you to lick as well to prove your point.  We’ll load them with something like smallpox.  You don’t need vaccines, right?  Here’s a straw.  Suck it in, fucker.

But seriously, I hope you someday have to face the consequences of your actions.

And I hope those consequences are that your children grow up and learn of what a dumbfuck you are and grow to be embarrassed of your decisions.

And I hope they elect to get vaccinated as adults.

Sincerely,

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Unsure about vaccines? The last time there was this much measles in America was ’94 

new report in the New England Journal of Medicine contains alarming news: There have been more reported cases of measles this year in America than in any year in the past two decades. 

In 2014, there have already been almost 600 cases of measles. The closest we came to that number since 1994 was in 1996, when there were a little over 500 cases; from 1997 to 2013, the number broke 200 only once. Despite the fact that the disease was declared “eliminated” in the U.S. in 2000, we’re seeing a dramatic increase in the number of cases.   

This is because of 2 things | Follow micdotcom