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The Uproar is Unjustified — Vaccination / Communicable Diseases are Not a Major Health Issue in the U.S.

OK, my last blog post on why we chose not to vaccinate baby Noor caused quite an uproar.

I think I should set the record straight:  I am not anti-vaccination.  In fact, I agree with everyone that vaccines are some of the greatest inventions in the history of mankind.  And, I know that vaccinations are largely responsible for reducing (effectively eliminating) many communicable diseases in the U.S.  So, I’m all for them as an invention.

That said,  I just think that the decision to vaccinate or not though needs to always be an ongoing cost benefit analysis. Right now, it makes no sense for my family, where I’m living (reasons here)… if I was moving to another country, or travelling through a infected area, or there was an epidemic in the U.S., I’d obviously re-evaluate.

So, that was my whole point with the previous post.  Now, the thing that I’m actually a little frightened by is that this simple blog-post on vaccination has gotten so much response… calls to tattoo my children, flack for me putting other children at risk, etc., which are all really unfounded given the vanishingly small rate of incidence. I mean, all these severe communicable diseases comprise just a handful of cases of infection (FORGET ABOUT DEATH) each per year in the whole U.S.


Numbers of people infected with each disease for the year 2012 according to CDC:

measles 54 people
mumps: 69 people
rubella: 8 people

diphtheria: 1 person (first case in 5 years)
tetnus: 36 people
pertussis: 8,718 people

polio: 0 people (for last 5 years no cases)

source: CDC Morbiity and Mortality Tables

Note that the above is the infection rate in the whole U.S.!  The serious complication / death rate would be a very small percentage (say 1%) of those… So, let’s say, 100 people max died of these diseases last year (almost all from complications related to pertussis, btw. Those complications too, it should be noted, are not uniformly distributed and vary with age, access to medical facilities, and other socio-demographic factors. So, you can’t just take them and apply them straight to yourself).

So, people are saying they are worried that my non-vaccinated child will expose their children to risk. Here’s the amazing part: My child has to first get one of these diseases, then has to infect one of the vaccinated children, then there have to be serious complications for this to be even a matter worth getting upset about. The chances here are super-super-super-unlikely that that is going to happen.

Now, the rub here is that, according to the same CDC, each year over 500,000 people (or >50X more than all these communicable diseases combined) were treated in emergency rooms for bicycle accidents alone last year, with over 700 deaths attributable to bikes. (source: CDC Home and Recreation Safetly Report)

Yet, would you worry about your child mixing with others who encourage him/her to ride a bike? No way. You know why? Because even those numbers aren’t that high. It’s just not very likely (although 50x more likely than by the above diseases) that your kid will end up in a hospital due to a bike accident.

Or worse: Everyone pretty much knows that, it’s sugar intake, food quantity / quality that are by many many orders of magnitude the real health issues in this country. Sugar intake, food quantity / quality are literally directly responsible for obesity and health issues in hundreds of millions of Americans, and millions of deaths per year as they directly contribute to our worst, most prevalent diseases (Cancer, Diabetes, Stroke, Heart Disease, etc.)

Yet, again, most parents are perfectly fine letting their kids associate with all these other kids / families who are making terrible diet and lifestyle choices known as the American Diet. Indeed, many themselves consume vast amounts of processed foods, sugars, etc. And our government / industry / healthcare system does little to systematically discourage this. Is it any wonder that 2/3rd of the population is overweight, with 1/3rd obese?

So, while everyone is up in arms here and arguing about vaccination and the compromise to “herd immunity” and their kids health by those crazies in the unvaccinated camp, my little unvaccinated, sugar free, organic child will have to contend with a sea of children with terrible diet / exercise habits when she enters school… You tell me who is putting who more at risk?

Yet nobody is saying to tattoo sedentary fat kids with a big health warning on their foreheads saying: “Do not eat like this child!” Right? That’d be absurd.

Anyhow… just trying to put things into perspective here.

The point of my original article was that vaccination may not be a rational choice for many in the U.S. right now. Whether you believe that or not, the amount of reaction to this article has led me to another conclusion:

If you care about health, stop worrying about vaccination / communicable diseases altogether. They are not in the set of major problems in the U.S anymore!

Instead put all your “healthy debate” time and effort into improving the diet, environmental inputs (household products, air, water) and exercise habits of your family and community. I say this, because I truly doubt that a blog post on sugar intake would get this type of response or attention (let alone 30,000x more response, which would indicate that people are making a proportionately rational expenditure of time and effort in pursuit of better health!)  

Good luck and health to all…

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56 thoughts on “The Uproar is Unjustified — Vaccination / Communicable Diseases are Not a Major Health Issue in the U.S.

  1. Ed says:

    Farhad jan, you’re awesome, great way of looking at this catastrophic family tragedy which billions of people are involved with. ….I still disagree with you that vaccines ever had a place in human history or geographical locations and it was purely started for economical gains. ….please ignore any insults as there are many of us out here who fully support you and your article will save lives and health of many defenseless kids…. hope you and your family visit my family in Arizona one day. …

  2. Kiwismommy says:

    Here is a point no one ever brings up. Most Americans today, if under the age of 50 have been vaccinated as children for most of the major vaccine preventable diseases out there. Measles, mumps, rubella, diptheria, pertussis, etc. We now know that these vaccines do not give life-long immunity, some wearing off in 5-10 years after the last booster shot that for most American adults today was at the age of 4 or 5. Adults getting vaccines today for common childhood ailments is very very low, probably less than 5%. So, we are talking hundreds of millions of adults that could easily catch and spread these diseases, yet we only hear from these people that our unimmunized children are a threat to their supposedly immune and vaccinated children. Your children’s teachers are potential measles carriers, your children’s sunday school teachers, the bus drivers, waiters, waitresses, doctors, nurses, day care providers all have no current immunity and did not have the natural disease. If these diseases were really a grave danger we would be in big trouble, yet we see no mass epidemics despite a huge portion of our population being susceptible. I think you need to vet your Uncle Fred and Aunt Loise before you worry about my perfectly healthy children being a danger to your vaccinated child and please stop drinking the Kool-Aid!

    • Martin says:

      You assertion of quickly waning immunity is not correct for the vast majority of diseases.

      The full mmr schedule confers 90% of people with immunity that last many decades. Only some vaccines require regular boosters.

      Secondly most transmission is from child to child for diseases like chicken pox and measles. That is children they meet in close contact are the most common source of the disease.

      • A recent study published in “Pediatrics” followed 7,600 children who received the varicella vaccine. After 14 years, 90% were still immune to chicken pox, and those that did contract the disease had a much milder version of the disease, which, at its worse, can cause blindness, pneumonia, flesh eating bacteria infection, systemic organ failure, and death.

        “Varicella vaccine is effective at preventing chicken pox, with no waning noted over a 14-year period,” the study’s authors concluded. “One dose provided excellent protection against moderate to severe disease, and most cases occurred shortly after the cohort was vaccinated.”

        http://tinyurl.com/c6whfp4

    • Martin says:

      Pertussis is the main one of concern for waning immunity.

      There is no evidence that older generations are providing a reservoir for measles or mumps. In fact measles cases until very recently were very rare, precisely because of vaccination.

      Measles cases were increasing before vaccination was introduced.

      If you have any actual evidence that the older generation is providing a reservoir for measles please provide it, because the actual evidence is that they don’t.

      • Twyla says:

        Martin, that’s the point. We are not seeing epidemics among adults who were vaccinated many years ago (if at all) and probably have waining immunity. So why are we so worried if less than 100% of kids are vaccinated?

        • We are not seeing epidemics because many, many vaccines confer long term to lifelong immunity, and as the reservoir of people susceptible decreases, the disease has trouble getting hold. There have never been 100% of kids vaccinated; there are always kids with medical problems that prevent vaccination and kids whose parents buy the misinformation spread by the anti-vaccine movement, which existed as long as vaccine existed (and spread pretty much exactly the same claims). But artificially promoting non-vaccination can reduce herd immunity beyond the level that is safe and bring back epidemics. We are already seeing this happening with measles, probably the most contagious, in Europe where vaccination rates dropped more than in the U.S., thank you, Mr. Wakefield. Why would we want epidemics of other diseases? While children like Mr. Farhad’s will be the first at risk, vaccines do not offer 100% protection, and if my son is in the 1% or less whom MMR fails to protect against measles, I will not be grateful to parents who brought the epidemic back.

        • Because children are the ones who actually die from these diseases. For example, the pertussis vaccine’s immunity wanes but it’s still over 90% effective for infants. They need the protection.

  3. You do realize, that you are in essence relying on herd immunity for the protection of your daughter – which is what you are saying: the reason the occurrence of these diseases are so low is because the majority of the population is vaccinated. If rates drop, the diseases will come back – and there goes your analysis. For example, drop in vaccination rates led to an epidemic of measles in Europe: the U.K. now has the same rate of measles as third world countries. Since you want to hide your daughter in the herd and rely on the rest of us – your daughter is welcome – publicizing this decision is not a very smart thing to do: other people might follow you, and there goes the herd protecting your daughter.

    • Farhad Mohit says:

      I’m not trying to hide my child (obviously). I’m trying to do what’s rational given the facts we have, and happy for everyone else to do the same. Because, if by others doing so, those facts change, we could all change our activity with them.

      But I have reason to believe that in many scenarios, these facts (low rate of infections, lower still mortality rate) might not go up at all.

      In fact, there are various reasons why “herd immunity” alone isn’t the only reason we should be less frightened of epidemics than were were in the mid-last century.

      And, several scenarios where certain diseases won’t make a comeback today regardless of the “herd’s immunity.”

      For instance, today in the U.S. we have better hygiene, better data / reporting (cdc weekly numbers), better modes of communication (internet), and better, more accessible treatment / care should someone get infected.

      Together, these might mean that even if nobody was vaccinated upfront, such epidemics might not happen or be nearly as devestating as 80 years ago, because either people don’t get exposed to the virus as much, or we could quickly respond and isolate / vaccinate the affected population to avoid spread.

      We have the vaccines, the data, and the ability to communicate and better care. Should we still be using the same crude techniques that they came up with 80 years ago and say that blanket vaccination is our best public health policy?

      The for-profit industry certainly hopes so. I don’t think we the people should so quickly agree.

      • Farhad, how does better hygiene, etc. prevent an airborne virus? Explain why Japan has had large measles outbreaks every year for the last decade (hint: they vaccinate later than we do). The US had flush toilets in the 1960s, and yet somehow a rubella outbreak in 1966 left about 20,000 newborns with life long brain damage. I’ve been to France many times. It’s a very modern, clean, hygienic country. And yet they had a measles outbreak in 2011. We’re talking thousands of cases.

        You seem like an intelligent, open minded fellow, so I am interested to see what you do with this new information.

      • Your argument, I am sorry, is wrong, and I urge you to at least consider this data. The low incidence of disease is because of a background of very high immunization rates – and here are the numbers, maybe those will help: http://apps.who.int/immunization_monitoring/en/globalsummary/timeseries/TSWUcoverageByCountry.cfm?country=USA. Without that vaccination, you would see the diseases again. The most contagious one – measles – is already coming back – Wales has already been described below. Good sanitation did not eradicate diseases. Think about the timeline. HiB was added in the 1980s; so was the pneumococcal vaccine. Chicken pox in 1996. Rotovirus in 2006. We did not have dramatic changes in sanitations in those times (not even in the 1960s, when the MMR was developed). Here is an article examining the drop in morbidity – incidence – and showing it’s the vaccine. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18000199. Good communication helps; when we had the H1N1 outbreak, good communications helped create a rapid vaccine, which limited the deaths worldwide to 500,000. That’s 500,000 dead people. Because we were lucky and acted fast. This year, in the U.S., over 126 children died from the flu (and thousands were hospitalized); over 90% were unvaccinated. You are leaving your daughter unprotected, and you are leaving her as a potential disease carrier who may infect others. She will get some protection from herd immunity, and I do not begrudge it to children whose parents make this error; but she herself is decreasing it.

      • Martin says:

        You are not being rational, not even slightly.

        You are being extremely irrational. You are exaggerating the risks of vaccines and down playing the risks of the disease.

        You say measles is rare. It is rare because of vaccination. The numbers of vaccinated people only has to fall another 10% or so and the disease will become common once again.

        When it does 1 in 1000 children will suffer encephalitis from measles. Some will die, some will die slow horrible deaths years later from SSPE. The risk of encephalitis from the vaccine is 1 in 1000000. that is the vaccine makes that particular condition 1000 times more rare.

        before the vaccine every child got measles. now few do.

        These are the facts.

        To stop that happening we need high vaccination rates.

      • Martin says:

        Measles did not decrease because of better hygiene, water etc. measles was in fact increasing in incidence right up to the introduction of the vaccination.

        The chicken pox vaccination is a recent one. It has seen a massive decrease in cases.

        HIB disease is now so rare very few newly graduated doctors have even seen cases of epiglottis. This vaccine was introduced just over a decade ago.

        There has been no massive difference in hygiene or clean water in the last decade. It is the vaccines that accounts for the reduction if these diseases.

        This idea that the diseases disappeared because of better hygiene, or that if they made a return would not present a problem is completely wrong.

        In the recent outbreak of measles in the USA (yes an outbreak of the very disease you think is rare) about 30% of cases required hospitalisation, and there were numerous serious complications.

        • Jourdahn Dāvid says:

          There were various studies done within the last few decades that provide ample evidence that the majority of clinically confirmed measles diagnoses were incorrect. Depending on which you believe, the figure is somewhere between 67% and 97.5%. And that’s recently. Imagine how many incorrect yet clinically confirmed measles diagnoses were done back in the fifties, when the vaccine was introduced? Polio, similar story. Hib disease, yes, Hib disease seems to have disappeared. However, death rates from diseases associated with Hib were largely unaffected by the introduction of the vaccine. Meningitis,pneumonia, septicaemia… Considering that Hib was considered to be a huge contributor to these diseases, it seems odd that death rates of related diseases would be unaffected when it was removed, no?

          To proponents of herd immunity, I see your arguments and raise you one pertussis which, despite the highest vaccination levels we’ve ever had, has returned to pre-vaccine levels.

          And all of this is still many orders of magnitude less impressive than the numbers of car related deaths on our roads each year.

          To the OP, thanks for making the point I’ve been trying to make for months. We unvaccinated are not the boogeymen others make us out to be.

  4. As to your unvaccinated child not being a risk – well, we have a wave of pertussis; unvaccinated children get it at much higher rates; if your daughter gets it, aside from the real risk to her, she may pass it to another baby too young to be vaccinated – for whom the disease would be very dangerous. How lovely. Here is the data on rates: A 2009 US study shows that children whose parents won’t let them be vaccinated are 23 times more likely to get pertussis compared to children who are fully immunized.
    “Children of parents who refuse pertussis immunizations are at high risk for pertussis infection relative to vaccinated children.”
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/123/6/1446.full
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/151443.php

    CDC states that unvaccinated children are at 8 times higher risk of getting pertussis compared to children fully vaccinated (in a Californian study).
    http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2012/t0719_pertussis_epidemic.html

    NSW Health figures (Australia) show there are 300% more cases of whooping cough in areas with low vaccination rates.
    http://www.perthnow.com.au/deadly-parenting-choices-in-vaccination-debate/story-fn6mhct1-1226066560917

    On the Australian NSW North Coast communities with low vaccination rates have had more than 8 times the rate of disease seen in those areas with the highest vaccination rates.
    http://www.ncahs.nsw.gov.au/news/fullstory.php?storyid=606&siteid=142

    • Farhad Mohit says:

      when she travels, and if she becomes a missionary in Africa, we will certainly re-evaluate and vaccinate accordingly. That’s the whole premise. 🙂

      • Martin says:

        If everyone had your premise then 1 in 1000 children would suffer encephalitis from measles complications.

        Thankfully most people are not so unreasonable.

        • Jourdahn Dāvid says:

          1 in 1000? Yes, that is the official figure for people developing encephalitis from contracting measles. The death rate is 2 in 1000 measles cases. And yet, the UK has had tens of thousands of cases of measles within the last decade and no deaths from recent outbreaks.

          The risk of complications arising from these diseases is heavily influenced by the person’s overall health, the quality of their food and water and the cleanliness of their surroundings.

          • Can you provide some evidence for this claim: “the UK has had tens of thousands of cases of measles within the last decade and no deaths from recent outbreaks.”? And as for the risk of complications – yes, if you have a health condition you are more at risk; but healthy people can have complications too, and you really cannot know in advance. For example, if you go to the CDC’s influenza weekly report and follow the link to pediatric mortality, over 40% of the 150 children that died from flu this year had no prior health condition. The vast majority of them were unvaccinated.

  5. ChrisKid says:

    Let me get this straight. One of your lessons for your child is that she should allow others to take responsibilities that she isn’t willing to shoulder. Will you be happy if she extends that lesson to other areas of life, such as group projects in school? How about when she’s old enough to drive? Do you plan to tell her that it doesn’t matter if she’s careful because most other people drive defensively? Or maybe you’d like her to take that lesson into her relationships with boys. Somehow I think not.
    The only reason your child is relatively safe where she is right now is that the vast majority of people around her aren’t as careless and self-centered as you are. If you keep publicly recommending this choice of yours, others might decide to follow your example. Then who will protect your daughter, since you choose not to?

  6. Farhad Mohit says:

    I don’t think you got it straight at all. I’m just looking at the actual data at hand and making a rational choice. I’m then sharing that with others so they can do the same. I hope that is how my child will behave as well.

    As I’ve said elsewhere in this thread:
    I’m not trying to hide my child (obviously). I’m trying to do what’s rational given the facts we have, and happy for everyone else to do the same. Because, if by others doing so, those facts change, we could all change our activity with them.

    But I have reason to believe that in many scenarios, these facts (low rate of infections, lower still mortality rate) might not go up at all.

    In fact, there are various reasons why “herd immunity” alone isn’t the only reason we should be less frightened of epidemics than were were in the mid-last century.

    And, several scenarios where certain diseases won’t make a comeback today regardless of the “herd’s immunity.”

    For instance, today in the U.S. we have better hygiene, better data / reporting (cdc weekly numbers), better modes of communication (internet), and better, more accessible treatment / care should someone get infected.

    Together, these might mean that even if nobody was vaccinated upfront, such epidemics might not happen or be nearly as devestating as 80 years ago, because either people don’t get exposed to the virus as much, or we could quickly respond and isolate / vaccinate the affected population to avoid spread.

    We have the vaccines, the data, and the ability to communicate and better care. Should we still be using the same crude techniques that they came up with 80 years ago and say that blanket vaccination is our best public health policy?

    The for-profit industry certainly hopes so. I don’t think we the people should so quickly agree.

    • ChrisKid says:

      “today in the U.S. we have better hygiene, better data / reporting (cdc weekly numbers), better modes of communication (internet), and better, more accessible treatment / care should someone get infected.”

      Today in Wales they have all those same advantages. Have you checked the news lately? Did any of that protect the seventy or more people who ended up in the hospital? The nearly 800 people who have suffered through a nasty disease? The thousands who are expected to catch it in the near future?
      You’re explaining your choice so others can make the same choice. You’d be smarter to hope they don’t.
      The people who have the training and years of experience in the relevant fields are telling you that your reasoning is wrong. Yet you persist in claiming that you know better than they do. What do you have to back any of that up, beside your wishful thinking and the good luck to surrounded by people more responsible than you are?

    • Farhad, an educated person is willing to change his beliefs and assumptions when presented with new evidence. Do you think you have all the data you need to form an opinion about vaccines? Because much of what you present as evidence is demonstrably false.

  7. andrea says:

    right on! my unvaccinated, sugar-free organic daughter is right there with yours! Thanks for being a sane voice in such a tempest of emotion. Vaccination is such a heated topic. Crazy, really. Climate change is such a bigger issue….

    • Alex says:

      Debating with anti-vaccination folk is actually quite like debating with climate change sceptics. In the face of all the scientific evidence and all the peer-reviewed papers on both subjects, people like to think that they know better than the doctors and scientists, to the detriment of the rest of society.

      • Twyla says:

        What scientific evidence and peer reviewed papers? You folk love to make really really vague references to science.

        • Alex says:

          Erm are you talking about climate change or vaccines? Because there are literally thousands of conclusive studies on both of them. You’ll find a handful of doctors in the whole world who don’t believe in vaccinating. Here in the UK we had one doctor who got a lot of press for a while until it turned out he was being paid to argue against vaccines by a clinical negligence firm in the US and that he had patented his own alternative vaccine. He was struck off and is no longer a doctor. You could start with:

          Bloch AB, Orenstein WA, Stetler HC et al. (1985). “Health impact of measles vaccination in the United States”. Pediatrics 76 (4): 524–32. PMID 3931045

          Now if any of you anti-vaccination advocates could produce a peer reviewed study by doctors / scientists in respected science journals that backs up your argument I would love to see it. And by doctors I mean professional, years of training doctors, not homeopaths, spiritualists, faith healers, shamen etc etc

          I love that you say it is us making the vague references to science. That’s made my day…

  8. I am happy to see good discourse about vaccines in public. This is a subject that we need to talk about and investigate. Below is a link from The Greater Good – a recent documentary that addresses the issue. They gathered peer reviewed scientific studies.

    This compilation does not contain all the science on vaccines but rather the science that suggests cause for concern. Readers should understand that the research cited here does not prove all the conditions mentioned are caused by vaccines. Rather, this research demonstrates that vaccine safety concerns are valid and warrant further investigation to fully evaluate the true long-term impact of vaccination.
    http://www.greatergoodmovie.org/learn-more/science/

  9. Kiwismommy says:

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO) vaccine immunity on average is as follows…..
    Measles – 11 years
    Polio – unknown
    Rubella 3 to 5 years
    Mumps – 12 year
    Tetanus – 10 years
    Hep B – 10 years
    HIB – unknown but genrally only a issue in young children so waning immunity not an issue.
    So according to WHO, I was quite right in assuming that hundreds of millions of Americans are no longer immune to these diseases, because they did not have the natural disease and vaccine immunity wanes over time and they are not getting boosters as adults. Yet the herd immunity myth persists. WHO also stated that there are individuals who tend to hold vaccine immunity for a long time and others that lose it quickly, hence the reason for averages. I know several young nursing students who said in a recent class they did titers tests and vaccinations as part of a class, and even the teacher was shocked that about 80% of the class under 25 years of age no longer showed immunity to measles, mumps, rubella, or Hep B.
    The fact that most transmissions occur child to child is because that is how it was before vaccines. Most people caught the diseases as children and obtained lifelong immunity. Infections in teens and adults were quite rare because of this but that is no longer the case. Through vaccination we have left teens, young adults, and now older adults vulnerable to these diseases in a time when they are much more dangerous. Herd immunity requirements are listed on official sites in varying amounts depending on which disease. But no matter if a disease requires 75% vaccination rates, the number of adults without immunity proves this is a myth. They are only counting the percentage of children vaccinated while totally ignoring the fact that 90% of adults today under 50 have absolutely no immunity and based on herd immunity beliefs we should be ripe for mass epidemics sweeping across the country. Yet it is not happening, most are in isolated pockets and the majority of the patients are fully vaccinated.

    I salute you Farhad for your intelligent approach to the health of your child using logic, self-study and research and simple common sense. I fear too many place far too much emphasis on contagious diseases which are short lived and confer lifelong immunity, while completely ignoring the new raging epidemics of Autism, ADD/ADHD, asthma, insulin dependent diabetes, obesity, childhood cancers and much more. We have the sickest generation of children in history and the only answer we get is more chemicals and more drugs. These are diseases and disorders which stick with their victims for life, alter the ability for a normal life, and way too often shorten those lives considerably. I would love to see as much emphasis put on solving these problems by finding the causes, not throwing more drugs at them, than this ridiculous and riligious-like zealotry over vaccines.

      • Kiwismommy has not bother to add a link to her source for the WHO numbers, which is especially problematic since looking up her data, the WHO has different numbers. For Hepatitis B she says it’s 10 years. Here is what WHO actually says: “Protection lasts at least 20 years and is possibly lifelong.” http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs204/en/. For mumps she says 12 years; here is what WHO actually says: “Natural infection with mumps virus is thought to confer lifelong protection.” http://www.who.int/ith/diseases/mumps/en/. For Polio she says unknown; the WHO directs you to the Polio Eradication site, which says “Polio vaccine, given multiple times, almost always protects a child for life.” http://www.polioeradication.org/Polioandprevention.aspx. So her source is either wrong or out of date. And many vaccines confer long term to lifelong immunity. So there is not a reservoir of unvaccinated adults that can spread infection: check your sources on this, Farhad; vaccines confer long term protection, and the reason we do not have widespread epidemics is that most adults were vaccinated are children and are protected. Keep spreading the word and you are undermining the herd immunity your daughter, thanks to your decision, will have to rely on.

      • Mike: The book is soon to become a major motion picture, with me playing the role of Germanicus Kent. (We’re looking to sign Angelina Jolie to play the lovely Mrs. Kent.) By the way, I had nothing to do with writing the stuff in the back of the book about “The 100 People of the Ce2r2ty.&#8nu1;

    • I believe that Farhad knows more about vaccine and immunology now than he did two days ago. An educated person is willing to change his beliefs and assumptions when presented with new evidence. Did Farhad really believe, two days ago, that he had all the data he needed to form an opinion about vaccines? Or is it more likely that he’s having second thoughts now, that he realizes many of his assumptions about vaccines were wrong?

      • Farhad Mohit says:

        Ken, the more I’ve learned, the more it has reinforced my doubts that the vaccination schedule in the U.S. is designed and reinforced with solely the public’s health in mind. Nothing has pointed away from that, and everything tells me that communicable diseases are NOT the main health issue in the U.S.

        • Since the people commenting here have provided you with a range of other data, maybe you should consider it with an open mind and see whether your conclusion holds in light of it.

  10. U says:

    This is a really interesting discussion and I for one am pleased that there seems to be some rational debate going on and a minimum of name calling:)

    In response to some of the responses regarding Wales, it would seem that generally MMR coverage of Wales was pretty high- a summary of coverage regarding ALL of Wales for MMRII in Oct-Dec 2012.

    http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/page.cfm?orgid=457&pid=54144

    and incase you would be interested this is where Swansea is located

    A significant increase in MMR uptake shown,
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22277186

    A bit more data to be looked at.
    http://www.who.int/immunization_monitoring/diseases/measlesreportedcasesbycountry.pdf

    Here is to openness and honesty.

  11. Farhad Mohit says:

    More food for thought, and a bit of support to some of the arguements being made above: Here is a recent article from JAMA with the author is claiming “Time to rethink” the standard policy on on Flu vaccinations, citing, hygeine, better health care, information assymetry (i.e. health company propoganda) as reasons that we should not vaccinate against this largely innocuous disease. https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3shp7t0TIUrNDNfOTZJZ0I1VkE/edit?usp=sharing

    enjoy! Farhad.

    • “5. Scopie’s Law
      States: “In any discussion involving science or medicine, citing Whale.to as a credible source loses the argument immediately, and gets you laughed out of the room.” First formulated by Rich Scopie on the badscience.net forum.
      This law makes little sense without a background knowledge of Whale.to, a conspiracy theory site which includes such items as the complete text of the anti-Semitic hoax Protocols of the Elders of Zion, as well as claims that Aids is caused by vaccination programmes, and that Auschwitz never happened.
      It has been expanded by posters on rationalwiki.com to include any use of Answers in Genesis in an argument about creationism and evolution.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/6408927/Internet-rules-and-laws-the-top-10-from-Godwin-to-Poe.html

      • read it and you tell me, i have talked to many medical professionals and patients with meningitis, have you? they never know what was the actual cause.. read it, it makes sense.. unless of course you have actually spent time interviewing both patients and medical staff who have been inflicted with this illness which is still common… please enlighten me..

        • I also want you to know I have both vaccinated and unvaccinated children.. the later ones I had were unvaccinated and I feel the horrid guilt every time I look at them.. the allergies, the constant illness.. not even to bring up the immediate reactions.. was it worth it, NO! kudos to anyone who has the brains to avoid vaccinating their first children and not learning the hard way…

          • That is a tragic confirmation of the consequences of failure to vaccinate:

            “I want you to know I have both vaccinated and unvaccinated children.. the later ones I had were unvaccinated and I feel the horrid guilt every time I look at them.. the allergies, the constant illness..”

            I cannot imagine a more eloquent endorsement for the benefits of childhood vaccination.

            No mother should feel “horrid guilt”, every time she looks at her children, due to her decisions about their care.

  12. Fredrick W Briscoe says:

    The war finished.1945.they closed all the concentration camps.at the cost of 40 million lives. We all Should be on guard.if big pama get their way.the whole Planet will be one very soon.if it is not so already.so now is the moment to lobby your MP. Or your leaders.if there are Any left.what was war about.but to Stop all this.:'(

  13. I am an entrepreneur currently seeking to create a Nepal Hydro focused clean energy seed fund (for a modest sum of 20K), and I dropped by the Angel List and your name popped up at the top for a clean energy angel. And I started digging around. You have a really cheerful, eye catching profile picture. It is kind of out of the box. A lot of people have internalized that it is improper to be oh so cheerful. Well, one thing leads to another. I went from your Angel List page, to your Twitter page, to your blog. That is how I am here.

    I read the blog post and all the comments.

    I would not make your choice, but I am not alarmed you have. Tells me you are an out of the box thinker. I’d love to carry that lesson into the workspace.

    People should literally be a million times more concerned about obesity in America and malnutrition in India and Africa than they seem to be about your child not getting vaccinated. Tackling obesity is a multi-trillion dollar issue, not to make light of all the associated pain and suffering. The scales don’t even compare. And then road safety issue to lead to driverless cars.

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