Thursday, February 14, 2008

Vaccines? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Vaccines.

Actually, we do. This particular debate was driven home rather forcefully of late when James (my youngest) came home with a series of scabby spots all over him. Uh oh. Looks like the Chicken Pox, says…well…everyone. However, three years ago his mother and I shelled out for the Chicken Pox Vaccine. So…WTF? Granted, it was a mild case, 23 spots in all, but it still caused us to quiz the doctor who shrugged and told us that 20% of recipients are immune to the vaccine and poor James just happened to be one of them. Of course, upon hearing the news everyone within earshot of the situations pulled pin and lobbed their opinions at us; a full spectrum of, “Vaccines are necessary,” to “See, vaccines don’t do anything,” right down to “They’re evil, I tell ya!. Eeeeviiillll!”

So, what’s a dad to do? Simple, trust in logic. Try and block out those helpful individuals who always seem to “know a guy who knows a guy who had a kid who…” That’s hardly scientific evidence. Also try and avoid the new age group who sneers at medical procedures that have been practiced for centuries and have raised life expectancy to unprecedented highs. Most vaccines these days aren’t given as accessories. These things are deemed necessary for a reason. You want your kid to go to school? Vaccinate. Daycare? Vaccinate. Community programs? Same goes. Sure these things might not work for some individuals. My son was certainly one of them and, whereas I was irked, I still understand why these things were created in the first place. Most vaccines given under the age of three were designed not just to help the individual but also to help the population at large. In event of an outbreak it helps to have vast segments of your population who might be immune, not just for their own benefit but also for those who might not be immune who live in proximity. The logic goes something like this. If people in town (a) are infected and not vaccinated and people in town (b) are vaccinated then there ‘s a good chance that might block the spread of said virus to town (c) who might also not be vaccinated. In short, more of your population has a better chance of living longer. Ah well, that’s my rant for today. I should probably cut things short with it being Valentines Day and all.

Oh, on a side note, “Enough with the snow already!” Some of these drifts are getting taller than I am. Another Valentines day in the trenches…..sigh.

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