February 2, 2015

"Welp, So Much for Young People," says Josh Marshall...

... observing that these kids today may be "more pro-gay rights, more racially inclusive and generally have more progressive political views on a host of issues," but he abandons his erstwhile hope for the new generation because "a lot of these youngs seem to be complete a complete disaster [sic] on vaccination."
As you can see [from this poll], for older Americans, support for mandatory immunizations is overwhelming. And it just got lower and lower and lower the younger you go - with what looks like a steep turning points somewhere in the mid-30s....

I think the reality is that society seems to has lost the historical memory of various horrific endemic childhood diseases.
Welp, my first question was how old is Josh Marshall. The internet says:



Welp, I'm a whole generation older than that, and the measles vaccination only goes back to 1963, 6 years before Josh was born and a dozen years after I was born. I don't know what Josh Marshall means by the "historical memory" of the "horrific endemic childhood disease" that is measles, but I remember when everyone got measles. It was part of childhood. We all got measles, and then we were all immune. I don't remember it being horrific. Marshall's memory is of getting a vaccination to prevent it, and that was completely the norm in his time, but in my time, we accepted measles, got sick, with spots, and then got better. It wasn't that big of a deal. I think people should get their kids vaccinated, and I got my sons vaccinated, but the question is whether parents who seriously believe they're saving their kids from something else that they think is horrific need to be forced by the government, rather than convinced by good science and benevolent persuasion, and Josh Marshall's hysteria isn't modeling rationality and sound persuasion. And his giving up on young people — because their idea of the good skews away from government force — isn't very pretty.

203 comments:

1 – 200 of 203   Newer›   Newest»
Dennis said...

While measles wasn't awful for everyone, it was (and is) for many. I'm in your generation, more or less, and had it when I was 8. I felt miserable for a few days, but only later did we discover the real damage, the loss of hearing in one ear. Others suffered far more serious harms.

Eleanor said...

I was so sick with the measles I was hospitalized. So not just a few itchy days. Fortunately, I had no lasting after effects.

Ann Althouse said...

It was as bad as it was. No more. No less. Let's be precise and scientific and not fight hysteria with hysteria.

Do you get a flu shot every year? I know people die of the flu, but I don't get flu shots, and I got a flu shot back in the Ford administration when the President made a big deal about preventing a big epidemic, but we weren't FORCED to, and I did it because the way the President asked us was convincing to me.

Ann Althouse said...

I think it's a good sign that young people aren't enamored of government force. I'd think that EVEN if I believed the vaccination should be mandatory.

(For the record: I don't have an opinion on the subject.)

Michael K said...

You are showing some ignorance here. I had measles and all the other "childhood diseases" and my parents kept me in a dark room for a week. I had scarlet fever and my father carried me up and down stairs for a month because they feared rheumatic fever. A classmate of mine prayed for her brother who had polio and after he recovered without paralysis she did not eat meat on Wednesday for years in thanks to God.

When I was a child, 10,000 children a year died of measles.

The actress Gene Tierney was entertaining troops in north Africa while pregnant when a fan sneaked out of a hospital where she was admitted with rubella to see her. She came up to Tierney after the show to thank her, Tierney caught rubella, presumably from that idiot fan, and her baby was born with severe rubella syndrome. Tierney had mental problems that ended her career early, possible as a result of that incident.

Michael K said...

"but I don't get flu shots"

You are old enough that you should. This year the vaccine was not effective but most years it is valuable.

Dennis said...

Re flu shots: a large part of one's conclusions about mandatory vaccination has to do with the seriousness and likelihood of the risks. I haven't looked into the stats, but I'd guess that measles has more bad outcomes and is highly communicable. I wouldn't insist on mandatory vaccination for, say, the common cold (if there were a vaccination), but I certainly would for smallpox or polio. If adults choosing not to be vaccinated were the only ones at risk, let them choose. But choosing for their children or putting those who can't get vaccinated at risk is another matter.

Original Mike said...

I tend to be pretty libertarian, but this isn't just about accepting risk to yourself (or your child). Not vaccinating harms others, some profoundly. In theory, I support mandatory vaccination, though in practice I don't know how you enforce it.

Ann Althouse said...

@Michael K, you say I'm showing ignorance, but you treat measles and German measles as interchangeable?!

Ann Althouse said...

Getting German measles during pregnancy was a very well recognized problem, and not at all what I am talking about.

Ann Althouse said...

"I tend to be pretty libertarian, but this isn't just about accepting risk to yourself (or your child). Not vaccinating harms others, some profoundly."

Only the others who are not vaccinated, which is why the argument for voluntariness has some weight.

Please note that I am not taking a position on getting the vaccination. I am responding to Marshall's attitude toward young people who are averse to govt compulsion.

Ann Althouse said...

If you think vaccination should be mandatory, why doesn't it bother you that flu shots aren't mandatory?

Ann Althouse said...

Also that Gene Tierney story is the very essence of reasoning by anecdote!

If the point is for people to think more clearly and scientifically, I don't know why you would choose that route.

Oh Yea said...

"We all got measles, and then we were all immune. I don't remember it being horrific."

Speaking of the very essence of reasoning by anecdote!

harrogate said...

Anti Vaccers are not so very far away from parents that refuse to take their kids to the doctor at all, but instead "pray over" their children, apply "natural herbal medicine," and other such examples of the fucking crazy.

You ask where's the line between arguing for flu shot mandates and arguing for vaccination mandates. Fair enough, as far as it goes. But going the other way, where is the line between "praying over" as medicine, and refusing to get vaccinated OR flu shots?

It's surely government force to prosecute parents for child abuse for witholding medical care. Yet this happens.

EDH said...

"I think the reality is that society seems to has lost the historical memory of various horrific endemic childhood diseases."

Althouse raises the interesting question whether Marshall is arguing that we should or shouldn't become...

Comfortably Numb?

When I was a child I had a fever
My hands felt just like two balloons
Now I've got that feeling once again
I can't explain, you would not understand
This is not how I am
I have become... comfortably numb

O.K.
Just a little pin prick
There'll be no more aaaaaaaah!
But you may feel a little sick

Can you stand up?
I do believe it's working, good
That'll keep you going through the show
Come on, it's time to go.

There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship smoke on the horizon
You are only coming through in waves
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying

When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown
The dream is gone

I have become comfortably numb.

Eleanor said...

There are a lot people who can't be immunized. They may be too young, allergic to the vaccine, or have a compromised immune system, like kids undergoing cancer treatments. They rely on the rest of us who can be to get immunized so their risk is reduced. While I don't think we should compel people to get their kids immunized, I do think we can refuse to allow their kids to attend public school. At least make them stay home during periods of outbreaks. We've essentially banned smoking from public places in the interest of public health. A child with the measles is a greater health risk to others than a little second hand smoke.

Original Mike said...

"Only the others who are not vaccinated [are at risk], which is why the argument for voluntariness has some weight."

Vaccines are not perfect; they may fail to protect on an individual basis. But if "everybody" is vaccinated, the disease does not appear in the population. The phenomenon is known as herd immunity. It helps to protect those who can't get vaccinated or those who have compromised immune systems (like me). Your attitude is "fuck 'em"?

"If you think vaccination should be mandatory, why doesn't it bother you that flu shots aren't mandatory?"

Maybe they should be.

Original Mike said...

I didn't flu shots until I watched my girlfriend (now wife) get the flu one year. I now realize how dangerous it is.

chuck said...

"It wasn't that big of a deal."

That depends. Measles wiped out the Polynesians in Hawaii, which is why Japanese were imported, and measles and smallpox wiped out the American Indians, numbers probably in the millions.

I had both chickenpox, and measles as a kid. In fact, IIRC, we were deliberately exposesd to chickenpox. At one point there were just four of us left in my kindergarten class.

Original Mike said...

"Please note that I am not taking a position on getting the vaccination. I am responding to Marshall's attitude toward young people who are averse to govt compulsion."

It may be a healthy attitude toward govt. compulsion. Or, more ominously, it may be scientific ignorance.

This would be a harder question if the "scientific" case against vaccination weren't utter bunk.

tim in vermont said...

My mind goes right to Polio. I knew kids who had it. I guess we can split hairs about the other stuff, but not getting a polio vaccine seems pretty irresponsible.

Hagar said...

I think the young today have lost confidence in the government(s) on any level, and with reason.

I do not get flu shots because when I do, I promtly get very sick and go out for 3 - 4 weeks.

As for measles, I never had it, but being an (legal) immigrant and with military service, I was repeatedly vaccinated against everything imaginable, so I do not expect to get it now.

Michael K said...

"you treat measles and German measles as interchangeable?!"

Jeez ! I didn't think you were THAT ignorant !

Rubeola kills children.'

Rubeola causes severe birth defects.

Can't you keep two ideas at the same time ?

FullMoon said...

Anti Vaccers are not so very far away from parents that refuse to take their kids to the doctor at all, but instead "pray over" their children, apply "natural herbal medicine," and other such examples of the fucking crazy.

See, right there. You are some kind of fucking asshole with limited imagination and empathy. You ever see an autistic kid? It ain't some kind of retard. I am a pro vaccine guy through and through, spent my childhood scared to death of polio. Every boomer went to school with a kid who walked with a limp or had a brace on their leg.
After I met some families with autistic kids I realized what a tough decision it is for pregnant women to make.
Too late for the parents I met. But they were not some voodoo believing pray for a miricle sort of people.

Michael K said...

"not at all what I am talking about."

So, you are unaware that there is a rubeola vaccine ?

Michael K said...

"If the point is for people to think more clearly and scientifically, I don't know why you would choose that route."

OK I have been warned not to make scientific arguments here. Thanks.

mishu said...

If you think vaccination should be mandatory, why doesn't it bother you that flu shots aren't mandatory?

Are you conflating the flu with measles, mumps, or rubella?

Michael K said...

"Rubeola kills children.'

Autocorrect got me again.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said..I think it's a good sign that young people aren't enamored of government force.

Me too, in the general sense. Just for fun, though, can you give some examples of cases where (in your opinion) government force is warranted and just? Maybe some examples of things you think others might disagree with would help us build a mental map of your ideas about the proper scope of gov. force (and picking common examples on which most people agree--gov. should prevent murder--won't help much).

Crunchy Frog said...

My boys (ages 20 and 16) have been immunized against everything, including HPV. It's stupid and selfish not to.

They didn't have the chicken pox vaccine when I was a kid (I'm 48), so I got it as a child like most everyone else.

No problem, right? Except I had to suffer through a case of shingles a couple months ago, on the bottom of my foot of all places. Put me on crutches for two weeks.

Michael K said...

"why doesn't it bother you that flu shots aren't mandatory?"

I don't think it is a big issue until you are over 65. Then most people runs significant risk. Remember how Obama was all for "preventive medicine?" Well vaccination is one of the very few preventive medicine things that actually work. Along with digging latrines.

Original Mike said...

"You ever see an autistic kid?"

There is no link between vaccination and autism. The original paper claiming there was turned out to be a hoax. Nonetheless, much study has gone into the question and it has come up negative.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

[Personally I'm a bad fit with big L Libertarians on the subjects of immigration and vaccination--I know there's a variety of opinions on both with the L's but those are two places where it seems to me the individualistic view leads one astray. Military & foreign policy questions have similar problems but those are mostly superable.]

Jim said...

Blogger Hagar said...
I think the young today have lost confidence in the government(s) on any level, and with reason.
Thats the point here, at least to me. The Greater Good argument is used, not only for vaccine use, but for seat belts, anti pollution laws, etc etc .
Just how far do you want to go to have government protect you? Its about giving up alot, to get 'safety'
But we no longer trust government- not just congress and executive, but all of it,IRS,NSA,FBI, the whole alphabet soup of it.
Common sense tells me that getting vaccinated is better for me, as well as for others. Measles, like polio, had gone missing for a generation.
If people won't or can't take responsibility, and we no longer trust our institutions to provide us with reliable information, what is the option?

Michael K said...

Mothers had chickenpox "parties" when their kids were 2 or 3 because chickenpox at age 25 kills. The mortality from chickenpox pneumonia is about 40%.

Shingles is probably the same virus but it is not clear why it comes back in adulthood. Maybe repeat vaccination is a possibility.

It is actually a herpes virus and can be treated with anti-viral drugs.

Amy said...

I had measles. There was no vaccine then. No long term effect.
But not in this heartbreaking case:
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/roald-dahls-heartbreaking-letter-about-measles-vaccine/

Maybe we forget the seriousness of the situation because it isn't discussed any more.
Also, I think there is a difference in not taking the flu shot for YOURSELF, and not immunizing YOUR CHILDREN.

I was told, before my daughter delivered my grandchild, to get and update on my DPT - the professionals said that someone bringing in whooping cough (pertussis) could infect and kill a baby (who would still be too young to be immunized at that time). I had gotten that shot for a work reason recently and was glad I did.

It seems to me that a lot of these immunizations are a societal contract and the elites are skirting around the edges of the deal.

Fritz said...

Back in the day, measles was something you got. I had 4 of the main 5 childhood diseases (measles, german measles, mumps, chicken pox, and maybe 5ths disease, which is mild enough to escape undetected) in the course of just a few years.

Chicken pox was annoying, mumps were a little discomforting, Rubella was a breeze.

Measles were a bitch, nearly two weeks of fever, light sensitivity and an itchy rash despite a gamma globulin shot that was supposed to lessen the effect. I had no long term effects but I still wouldn't wish it on any one.

Anti-vax parents are just wrong, and should be shamed and shunned.

MayBee said...

My kids were immunized before the whole autism scare.

First, I want to remind people that the Democrats excoriated Republicans at one time for "protecting" big Pharma from being sued by people for causing autism. The Dem position was they should be held responsible.

Second, signing the disclosure forms for my babies' vaccinations was the scariest thing I did as a young parent. There were so many dangerous side effects listed! And again, this was before the autism fakery. Everything has possible harmful side effects for someone, and when it might be your baby? That's scary stuff.

Dale Light said...

I'm a bit older than Ann and well remember the diseases of childhood. I had measles [both kinds] mumps, scarlet fever and many others. My neighbor got rheumatic fever, my cousin polio. We didn't think that much about it, diseases were part of a normal life experience. We didn't have air conditioning, we rode in dangerous cars, almost everyone had guns, and we spent much of our childhood in unsupervised play. That was a very different world from today's antiseptic environment and I can see how a young cub like Josh might find it terrifying to contemplate. But, as Ann says, it wasn't all that bad for those of us who lived through it. By the way, I also find much of what Josh writes and apparently believes to be very unlovely.

mishu said...



"The 1998 paper in The Lancet by British physician Andrew Wakefield that sparked the panic has long since been debunked and retracted, and Wakefield himself has been barred from practicing medicine and accused of fraud. But that hasn't stopped thousands of people from refusing to vaccinate their children out of fear that they could become autistic."

link

Fritz said...

And yes, I get the flu shot every year now. The sore arm for a day is worth it.

I did get a bad flu in the 1968 pandemic, the so-called Hong Kong flu.

Hagar said...

I think the reason flu shots make me sick is that I carry a chronic small cold or sinus infection that the doctors say is all in my head, meaning they don't know how to cure it. Most people do not have this problem.

Norway cleaned up tuberculosis after WWII by requiring the entire population to be tested and mandatory hospitalization if found to have active TB.
However, in this country? I do not know that I would want government here to have that authority, considering their behavior in other matters.

Original Mike said...

If there is a hell, Jenny McCarthy's ticket is already booked.

FullMoon said...

"You ever see an autistic kid?"

There is no link between vaccination and autism. The original paper claiming there was turned out to be a hoax. Nonetheless, much study has gone into the question and it has come up negative.
Contrary to seemingly popular opinion, I believe most people afraid of vaccine are un-educated parents, not the educated elites. Everybody reading this blog, including me knows the original study was a lie. It's been out there for quite awhile.

m stone said...

On this issue, I yield to Michael K, all anecdotes aside.

richard mcenroe said...

Measles can and does have lifetime complications for many victims. To assert othewise is simply ignorant.

Perhaps my immunized niece and nephews are not at risk from you* dragging your unimmunized little snot sniper around in public, but why are immunization opponents so cruel to unimmunized immigrant children and unimmunized infants?


"In my time we accepted polio, fired up the iron lung, and rolled on with our lives, and then rolled on."

*editorial, abstract "you"

richard mcenroe said...

Ann, the flu shot is different in nature from measles, smallpox or even polio. One single vaccine worked for each of those.

Flu is a constantly mutating virus and each year's flu shot is a crap shoot based on the powers that be betting which strains are likely to break out that year. It's harder to justify making something mandatory when you don't know whether it will work or not outside of taxation and economics.

richard mcenroe said...

Original Mike: And Rand Paul has the lava pit booked right beside hers.

Original Mike said...

"Also that Gene Tierney story is the very essence of reasoning by anecdote!

If the point is for people to think more clearly and scientifically, I don't know why you would choose that route."


In the same post, Michael K. also chose this route: "When I was a child, 10,000 children a year died of measles."

Anonymous said...

Re vaccinations the young are just voicing their sense of entitlement. Why should 'they' take the risks when the rest of the herd gives them immunity by being vaccinated.

Sort of like military service. It's what those 'other people' do.

Interesting link at Insty references the high correlation between the non-vaccinated and the presence of a Whole Foods in their neighborhood.

richard mcenroe said...

Full Mike, I strongly advise you never to try that line around my brother, who has raised two autistic sons. He will hurt you.

richard mcenroe said...

"Just for fun, though, can you give some examples of cases where (in your opinion) government force is warranted and just?"

Hey, if you won't bake a cake for my gay wedding, roll the MRAPs, bitch!

richard mcenroe said...

Hagar, we lost the entire upper floor of our Guard armory in NYC when they used it for a homeless shelter for the homeless one winter and it was contaminated with that resistant strain of Russian TB...

Bob R said...

Had measles in 1962. Not that bad for me. The big moral problem with vaccination is that it generally works by the herd effect. If you are one of a few getting vaccinated in a bunch of people who don't, you stand a good chance of infection. If you are one of a few not vaccinated in a bunch of people who are, you can free ride and probably not get the disease. It's not simply a matter of individual risk.

I'm not for making vaccines mandatory, but I am in favor of making them a condition of sending kids to public school. (I think our system of funding public schools is completely screwed up, but I don't see any realistic way of doing away with it.)

Billy Oblivion said...

Dickhead wants to force people to do what's good for them, that's so common on the left as to be unremarkable.

But that's is orthagonal to (a) how bad the measles is, and (2) how we as a society should handle those who don't want to get their children vaccinated.

The first two things that must be acknowledged, because it's part of the science, is that vaccinations do not always "take", depending on the vaccine and the child and who knows what else, vaccines are only 70 to 90 percent effective and "we" rely on what is called the "herd effect" to keep populations safer. We also cannot vaccinate 100 percent of the population because some people are allergic to the vaccine base, or they already have a compromised immune system.

If you have a population of say, 1000 people and you vaccinate 990 of them, the 10 that are left, and the 10 or 20 that the vaccine didn't work on are protected to a degree by there being no one to pass the disease on to them.

This can also be though of as a "free rider" problem. As long as there are 85 pr 90 percent of the children vaccinated we don't have to sweat getting every last kid vaccinated to protect the ones who *did* get the vaccine, but it did not work on.

Measles is a serious illness, and can have even more serious complications. People who are against vaccinations in general are mucking forons and should be shunned in polite society. People who are only against the measles vaccine are twits.

Now, the question is what to do about the mucking forons, the twits and their children.

Simple, bar them from contact with *other* children in mass. They cannot attend public schools[1], they are to notify their church or other social groups that they do not vaccinate etc. If they don't want to be part of the herd (or pack) they are out.

They can make those choices.

[1] If you want to insist that public school is a "right" no matter what ftupid sucking choices a parent makes, then they get a titer for a half dozen of the common vaccines and if they truly haven't been vaccinated they get a voucher for any private school that will take them. However that private school has to announce that they are accepting unvaccinated children. Oh, and they get the titer is done annually.

CatherineM said...

Wow. Here I was 2 seconds ago so glad to see Obama say get your kids vaccinated and now you bummed me out. My sisters are the same age as you and they (who vaccinated their own) said measles was not a big deal. My mother, who care for them, felt differently. She thought it was horrible. Worse for some kids down the street, but something she was happy that when I came along it was gone.

My mother herself wa in the hospital for a month as a child. 106 fever she almost died. It can be a big deal, especially when you are too young or have immune issues (like my friend's kid who had a transplant) so herd immunity is important.

My grandmother lost 2 siblings 2 whooping cough (her 8 year old sisters death haunted her all her life), another adult sibling to ...damn, can't think of the the name..., but all preventable now, but coming back because me me me me me bullshit

It's also not just vaccines but the. schedule people are messing with because everyone is a google dr. I can't find the story, but the poor 6 year old who lost limbs from HiB due.

So disappointed in you Ann.

Revenant said...

but the question is whether parents who seriously believe they're saving their kids from something else that they think is horrific need to be forced by the government, rather than convinced by good science and benevolent persuasion

We could try that approach with, say, drunk driving. Don't put people in jail for it -- gently convince them that scientific research shows that their chances of getting in an accident are much higher when they are plastered.

Oh, wait. I remember now. We don't do that because drunk drivers put *other* peoples' lives at risk, not just their own.

And so it is with the anti-vaccination crowd. If they were just stupidly infecting themselves, that would be fine. Unfortunately their stupidity causes innocent children to become infected, and that isn't fine at all.

Bob R said...

Marshall probably cares a lot less about the science of vaccination and infectious diseases that he does about Millennial acceptance of the collectivist mentality. He wants all the kids corralled in mandatory government schools, given mandatory injections, taught mandatory lessons, fed mandatory soylent green from MO's recipe. Children of the elite will be exempt of course.

We'll see if the Millennials buy it. Never trust anybody over 44. Actually, never trust anybody. (My favorite RR quote is, "Trust, but verify." Translation: never trust.)

CatherineM said...

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/04/06/anti-vaccine-movement-is-giving-diseases-a-2nd-life/7007955/

The Dumb Money said...

The issue of voluntary or not is a case-by-case determination. There's a reason the flu shot is not mandatory. There's a reason polio vaccine is not mandatory in the US (vaccines eliminated it here). There's a reason small pox vaccines are not mandatory in the US (vaccines eliminated it throughout the whole world). There's a reason why measles vaccines should be mandatory, in part so we CAN eliminate it hopefully one day, and in part because it is more dangerous than you make it seem, and at a minimum herd immunity is required to protect the vulnerable who can't get the vaccine.

Nobody is suggesting we should mandate that people take smallpox vaccines again even though it doesn't exist outside of laboratories anymore. Nobody is suggesting we should make flu vaccines mandatory, because they have wildly varying effectiveness given how correctly the right strains are picked, and it evolves so much more rapidly than other diseases that we'd all have to get vaccines every year for our whole lives (or really, twice per year).

I don't respect the thought processes of statists. But I also just don't respect the thought processes of real libertarians (which shades into anarchy when it really gets extreme). Both philosophies have merits. Both are applicable in certain situations. Both can be carried to illogical extremes. Being against polio vaccination because it was "state coercion" would have been ludicrous. Being against mandatory flu vaccination as "state coercion" is quite reasonable.

Being against mandatory MMR vaccination is in between, but falls a lot closer to the polio line.

Boy and I glad we didn't have Dr. Wolfson and Phillis Schlafly and Jenny McCarthy running around spouting logical fallacies (argument-by-anecdote about their own families, or the genetic fallacy about how its "bad" because gobument/pharma advocates it -- take your pick) when the country was trying to get people to take polio vaccines. Those vaccines really did kill or injure statistically-measurable and verified numbers of people. If Jenny McCarthy had been around at the time and had had a son who she claimed was hurt by the smallpox vaccine, or even who was hurt, we probably never would have eliminated the disease at all.

Bob R said...

Just to clarify. My vaccinations are up to date, as are my kids. I think anyone who refuses is an idiot. I just don't think they should be put in jail.

Anonymous said...

It's weird how people lose their minds over this stuff. It's like they've watched too many movies or something.

The measles vaccine came in 1963. Michael K, a man I respect and who knows a lot says, "10,000 children a year died of measles" when he was a kid.

Really? Children?

http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/189/Supplement_1/S1.long

Michael K, just how old are you, anyway? I mean, in the 1950's, long before the vaccine came out, there were approximately 4 million people infected with measles each year and approximately 450 of those people died.

Compare that to the flu today. Is the flu a deadly disease where we lock up our children if they have it? The CDC estimates that 3000 to 49,000 people in the US die of the flu each year. That's compared to a big fat ZERO for the measles and before the vaccination, 450 a year.

Are we running around like chickens with our heads cut off because the flu kills 3000+ every year?

And where the hell did you get your 10,000 children (Not even people, but children! Save the children!) number from anyway?

I admit, I have no idea how old you are, perhaps you were a kid in 1915 when the measles was killing 5,300 deaths a year, which is just over half of 10,000 children, but that's people, not children.

I fall somewhere in the middle but seriously don't like the hysteria I hear from the vaccination crowd.

My children have all received most of their shots, but they received them on our schedule, not as quickly as the doctors wanted. My daughter who is now 14 will only get the STD shot if she wants it when she is an adult.

Not all vaccination shots should be treated equally. Some diseases, like polio, are more dangerous than others, like measles.

I completely understand a parents desire not to risk their child with getting a measles vaccine. When you hear that in 2000 we eradicated the disease, it's hard to say you should get the vaccination. When you hear that in the past 10 years, zero people in the USofA have died of measles, but 108 have died of the vaccine, it's tough to get your child that vaccine.

And I don't blame them. And the last thing I want is for the government to force it down our throats.

Calm down about the measles already. If you're going to go and live in Mexico, fine, freak out. But while you're living here in the United States, our medical care, medicines, and hospital staff are top notch. You're safe. Relax.

Original Mike said...

"And so it is with the anti-vaccination crowd. If they were just stupidly infecting themselves, that would be fine. Unfortunately their stupidity causes innocent children to become infected, and that isn't fine at all."

That's the crux of it. Althouse is just wrong when she claims anti-vacs harm only themselves.

Several here have suggested requiring vaccination for public school attendance. Sounds like a workable (and morally defensible) method.

K in Colorado said...

Hagar, "voluntary" and more onerous mandatory quarantine laws for TB are on the books in every state. This past summer a chest xray for something else showed some spots the doc though might be TB. So, home quarantine for 3 days until the radiologist report came back as all OK. (I had a known exposure several years ago, no active TB, still treated just in case, so I will always show positive on a TB test).

I looked up the Colorado laws, and if you have active TB you must self quarantine at home and a public health worker can legally show up every day and watch you take your TB meds If you are found breaking home quarantine or refuse to take your meds, so you can be forced into quarantine. Self quarantine ends when your docs determine you are no longer contagious.

As far as vaccinations go, there are enough 20 somethings around that have not been vaccinated, such that measles and chickenpox (and other "mild" childhood diseases) would be deadly. I'm 53, so no chickenpox vaccine back then, I came down with it when I was 18. I was extremely ill for 2 weeks, and it was 2 months before I fully recovered. You get the pox blisters everywhere, and I mean everywhere, including in your mouth and down your throat. Fortunately, I did not get them in my lungs, else, as someone else pointed out, 40% mortality rate at that point.

These are not just "mild" childhood diseases, they are very severe for adults, and also for a percentage of the children that get them.

Paulio said...

Ann said:

"Only the others who are not vaccinated, which is why the argument for voluntariness has some weight.

Please note that I am not taking a position on getting the vaccination. I am responding to Marshall's attitude toward young people who are averse to govt compulsion."

This is wrong. That's not how the science behind immunization works. Each vaccine has a certain efficacy rate, due to individual variations among immune systems. You can definitely get vaccinated and still be susceptible. This hasn't been a problem in the past for measles because the herd immunity level--the number of people who got the vaccine AND in whom it was effective--was above a certain threshold that prevented spread. This threshold is different for different infections and can be calculated quite precisely. It's related to the infectivity of a pathogen, which is conventionally called the "R0" or "R naught". It's basically the number of people that one infected person will infect (assuming everyone around you is susceptible). For flu--including the 1918 Spanish flu, which killed upwards of 50 million people--that number is 2. For measles it's 14. Which means the threshold for population protection is very high. This could be partially addressed as some people have noted by everyone getting their titers checked, but that is a very expensive add on.

tl;dr
Once again, Althouse has betrayed her ignorance of a scientific topic. She is often wrong when the question involves any kind of arithmetic.

CatherineM said...

Eric, it's not just the measles vaccine people are refusing. It's everything. We may just have to bring back polio (hey, what's the big deal? so you lose a year and may limp the rest of your life! Suck it up!) and have more kids dying of whooping cough until some people say hey, perhaps living like it's 1929 is not so awesome. If it were just measles that would be bad enough. It's not.

Big Mike said...

But Professor! It's so much gol-durn fun to employ government force to coerce people into doing the right thing! Why do you want to be a spoilsport?

MadisonMan said...

I had measles. Don't recall it. My kids had the vaccines -- all of them. (The HiB vaccine caused a big reaction in the daughter, twice). I agree that vaccines should be compulsory for public school attendance. What is the argument against it?

The Gene Tierney story -- that's a Miss Marple story as well (The Mirror Crack'd).

Original Mike said...

"Once again, Althouse has betrayed her ignorance of a scientific topic."

Well, Science is hard.

Anonymous said...

Blogger CatherineM said...
Eric, it's not just the measles vaccine people are refusing. It's everything. We may just have to bring back polio (hey, what's the big deal? so you lose a year and may limp the rest of your life! Suck it up!) and have more kids dying of whooping cough until some people say hey, perhaps living like it's 1929 is not so awesome. If it were just measles that would be bad enough. It's not.


I realize that, but people keep saying vaccines without being clear.

Do people even know how many vaccines there are today? Which ones do you want children to have?

This isn't the discussion though, because right now, the discussion is irrational. The discussion is centered around hyperbole and fear and overreaction to a measles outbreak.

Want to have a calm discussion about what children ought to be vaccinated against? Ok, I'm fine with that.

Someone said children should be vaccinated to go public school. Hey, I like this idea. Especially if it means less kids will go to public schools, which should probably be counted as child abuse these days anyway. But, forget all that. My biggest concern is they want us to give a large number of vaccine shots to our children when they are very young.

School doesn't start until about 5 years old. If you're going to mandate vaccines, at least give parents the option to spread them out over several years. This all at once nonsense is uncalled for.

wildswan said...

There is such a thing as a dangerous reaction to the vaccination and if millions get vaccinated then some will get these side effects- like seizures from DPT vaccinations 1 in 14,000; seizures caused by fever from MMRV in 1 in 1250 children. All vaccines can have major allergic reactions and many can cause brain damage though this only happens to 1 in a million. However one in a million doesn't mean never; it means 12 or 13 kids a year when its a common vaccination like measles. It's just that the threat from measles is greater; where measles is common there are thousands who suffer severe damage. And measles would be common if it were not for vaccinations.

Everyone I knew as child had it and nothing bad happened to anyone I knew but later I met several people who had severe cases in their family. So people should be vaccinated.

The ones that won't - well they are the ones who will get it if it starts here again. It can easily suddenly start to spread here especially if we let in hundreds of thousands of unvaccinated Central Americans as we are doing.

Anonymous said...

The ones that won't - well they are the ones who will get it if it starts here again. It can easily suddenly start to spread here especially if we let in hundreds of thousands of unvaccinated Central Americans as we are doing.

Does the CDC keep track of this?

The only unvaccinated category I saw on the CDC website were

1) People who had a moral, religious, or personal reason for not vaccinating (I didn't see a definition of this)
2) People who couldn't be vaccinated due to some medical condition.

Does #1 somehow encompass immigrants (Illegal and otherwise) who were never offered a vaccination shot?

Lem said...

Thin skin Josh Marshall is.

Hagar said...

I had tubercular pleurisy when I was a kid and spent 1½ years in sanatorium for it; the first half of that in a sanatorium for adults, since it was duing WWII, and someone was alwys dying down the hall. I take TB very seriously indeed, and I think that with the new anti-biotic resistant strains, we may possibly be back to the position we were in then, before anti-biotics, and the only treatment will again be rest, sunshine, and a good diet - at least until they come up with another miracle drug - if there is one.

However, Norway post-WWII was still a small country with a very homogenous population, and we pretty much understood each other. The United States is a very different country, and it can be a rough place at times. I would at least try to write the laws for mandatory treatments as tight as possible and try to keep the execution under as close control as possible.

Hagar said...

And my beautiful cousin Lajla died of polio.

Vaccinations are necessary, but I am also afraid of mindless bureaucracy and police powers.

Dale Light said...

Another difference between the middle decades of the Twentieth Century and today is the idea of parental consent. When I was in Junior High our school was chosen to take part in the national trials of the Salk vaccine. One day the teachers marched us down to the gymnasium where several local physicians were waiting. We lined up and were vaccinated. Sorta like in the military. There was no parental involvement at all. The State had decided to use us as guinea pigs and that was that.

wildswan said...

Well, perhaps I'm wrong about Central America. I looked up vaccinations in Central America on and WHO says they are vaccinated there for common childhood diseases. The CDC says travelers are supposed to get Hepatitis A and B, typhoid and rabies shots and carry malaria medicine. They assume you have had all the common vaccinations. TB wasn't discussed.

madAsHell said...

Autocorrect got me again.

We need a vaccine for auto-correct!!

I do not take flu shots. It's a crap shoot. They try to predict which virus will be active next year, and then produce the vaccine.

I'd rather have a placebo.

George said...

There's a fundamental contradiction in the modern Left: they want a government that does many things but they oppose a government that uses its power to accomplish those ends.

Titus said...

People should get vaccinations. It should not be required but it would help if some of those dumb ass mothers and doctors believed in vaccinations.

My mom had polio as a child. She did recover but some of her friends didn't and are in wheel chairs today.

Sad and tits!

New England won the Super Bowl.

Gahrie said...

The problem is, the mmr (Measles, mumps, rubella) actually only works 95% of the time. But since virtually everyone got the shot, it didn't matter because no one got sick. Now, significant numbers of people aren't getting their kids the shot, so more and more people can get sick, do get sick, and thus even people eho have had the shot get sick.

Plus there can be very severe damage from these diseases, especially adult onset.

Hagar said...

As close public control that is. Transparency!

Gahrie said...

If you think vaccination should be mandatory, why doesn't it bother you that flu shots aren't mandatory?

In a country that can force a child to deliberately dose herself with poison or radiation, mandating shots seems rather tame.

Gahrie said...

But, as Ann says, it wasn't all that bad for those of us who lived through it.

Things were significantly worse for those who didn't.

Gahrie said...

Several here have suggested requiring vaccination for public school attendance. Sounds like a workable (and morally defensible) method.

We already have such a law in California.

Bob Boyd said...

As a boy I had to walk 3 miles through a snow covered Measles colony every day to get to school and it was uphill both ways.

Rhythm and Balls said...

I don't remember it being horrific. Marshall's memory is of getting a vaccination to prevent it, and that was completely the norm in his time, but in my time, we accepted measles, got sick, with spots, and then got better. It wasn't that big of a deal.

More of Althouse's arguments from personal experience. If she didn't experience it, the 10 - 20 dead kids of every 100,000 exposed really don't matter all that much.

Sounds like Governor Christie's your man.

Gahrie said...

When you hear that in the past 10 years, zero people in the USofA have died of measles, but 108 have died of the vaccine, it's tough to get your child that vaccine.

But that is true only because the rest of us have been getting our shots. If we were all as selfish as you, everyone would still be getting sick all of the time.

Fritz said...

Perhaps kids whose parents denied them the vaccine and got sick as a result should sue their parents.

AJ Lynch said...

Michael K:

10,000 children a year died from measles in the USA ? Not sure from your comment of you meant worldwide or not. But no way was that the death rate in the USA.

From Inwood said...

Why the ‘Prius Driving, Composting’ Set Fears Vaccines.

http://news.sciencemag.org/2011/01/why-prius-driving-composting-set-fears-vaccines?ref=hp

I talked to a public health official and asked him what's the best way to anticipate where there might be higher than normal rates of vaccine noncompliance, and he said take a map and put a pin wherever there's a Whole Foods. I sort of laughed, and he said, "No, really, I'm not joking."

Cynicus said...

1. I agree with Ann that viciously mocking people who are scared no matter how irrational is not persuasive and is likely to make them dig in their heels.
2. All my kids have their shots.
3. It seems counterintuitive that you need the shot to protect others who maybe got an ineffective shot. Also it's not really my responsibility to not get sick so you don't get sick. That's mean and selfish but still true.
4. If you read literature more than 75 years old people are routinely dying young from random things like consumption or being crippled by illness. No one who's learned in that way could not support vaccines.
5. Freedom means the freedom to be stupid. When did we start believing we owned other peoples kids.

Anonymous said...

I read this and I hear the government saying repeatedly,

"The science is settled!"

http://sharylattkisson.com/cdc-possibility-that-vaccines-rarely-trigger-autism/

Anonymous said...

Blogger Gahrie said...
When you hear that in the past 10 years, zero people in the USofA have died of measles, but 108 have died of the vaccine, it's tough to get your child that vaccine.

But that is true only because the rest of us have been getting our shots. If we were all as selfish as you, everyone would still be getting sick all of the time.


Selfish as me?

Where the hell did that come from?

pm317 said...

So Obama is telling the voters who voted for him to follow the science! Wouldn't they find that insulting? Government for you, not for me. Hypocrites.

Revenant said...

When you hear that in the past 10 years, zero people in the USofA have died of measles, but 108 have died of the vaccine, it's tough to get your child that vaccine.

... which is why it needs to be mandatory.

The core services of governments are ones which provide a *net* benefit to human rights and liberty but which cannot reliably be left to private individuals because of free-rider problems.

Take the military, for example. Not only does the USA face no existential military threats -- the country is big enough that no individual's share of taxes contributes measurably to maintaining our armed forces. It is, as you put it, "tough" to sign that tax check to the IRS each year. Which is why the IRS helps you out with motivation, by making it a felony to intentionally evade your taxes.

Rhythm and Balls said...

108 people didn't "die" from the vaccine and even if they did, that would have been lower than the rate dying from measles. Revvie has the luxury of the no-alternative comparison.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Annie seems to be open to the Jenny McCarthy model of disease prevention. That's the blonde leading the blonde.

In The Economist they captioned her picture with: Playmate, Actress, Epidemiologist.

Althouse has so many fucking blonde moments nowadays that she should just give up anything that involves writing.

Beldar said...

I question the timing.

Why is this issue coming up now -- why the pandemic of non-vaccinations now -- after fully a half-century of national acceptance, with effectively no public controversy?

The effects of the vaccine haven't radically changed. There have always been some number of bad reactions, some number of failures. Those costs have nevertheless been accepted across American society as being justified by the obvious benefits.

The obvious impetus for the anti-vaccination hysteria was junk science now universally acknowledged to have been deliberately fraudulent, not just mistaken. Yet there's no other credible new information, scientific or otherwise, to justify overturning that half-century of social consensus.

Someone's gaining some advantage by hyping this now. The stupid segment of the population on which they're preying, for such success as they're having (considerable, frighteningly so!), has always been around. So why are they being ginned up about this particular bit of suicidally stupid nonsense now, instead of, say, ten years ago?

Rhythm and Balls said...

The "pandemic" was the outbreak, beldar - not the practice. One lagged behind the other, as predicted.

Beldar said...

I'll amend that. I ought not have called this anti-vaccine frenzy "suicidally stupid." That's inaccurate.

It's genocidally stupid.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Rhythm and Balls said...
108 people didn't "die" from the vaccine and even if they did, that would have been lower than the rate dying from measles.


Wrong and wrong.

According to the CDC website, in the past 10 years in the USofA, 108 people have died of measles vaccination and zero have died of measles.

Anonymous said...

The obvious impetus for the anti-vaccination hysteria was junk science now universally acknowledged to have been deliberately fraudulent, not just mistaken.

I said, the science is settled people! Shut up!

http://sharylattkisson.com/cdc-possibility-that-vaccines-rarely-trigger-autism/

Shut up Sharyl!!

SHUT UP!

Beldar said...

Last point, for this is something about which I have little patience:

The answer to the "it's hard to give the vaccine when no one died in the U.S." logic is to put that statistic into context: "In 2013, there were 145,700 measles deaths globally — about 400 deaths every day or 16 deaths every hour."

Obviously if you want to go to other places where you have the "freedom" from vaccines, your damn mileage may vary. Why do you think that's the statistic in the U.S., and not for the whole world?

Sheesh. We can't give a veto over domestic health policy and law to people so easily suckered.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Ann's proud of what she doesn't know. Those scientists are wrong because they neglected to confirm the results by checking them against her own personal recollection.

Anonymous said...

Beldar,

It's because those places of the world they have lousy healthcare.

Here in the United States, prior to 1963, IE: Before the vaccine, we had an average of 450 deaths per year.

If you want to put that in perspective, last year the CDC estimates we had 3,000 to 49,000 (They don't count but give a range) deaths from the Flu.

Why isn't everyone going crazy about the Flu?

Rhythm and Balls said...

Hey "eric! You new here? Listen blondie, I said lower than the rate would have been if all those vaccinated had instead had measles.

Undye your hair right now. There are enough Jenny McCarthy's running amok.

Anonymous said...

Beldar, from your link....

Measles is still common in many developing countries – particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. The overwhelming majority (more than 95%) of measles deaths occur in countries with low per capita incomes and weak health infrastructures.

Rhythm and Balls said...

There are people here who prove the folly of requiring a license to drive, but not to procreate.

Revenant said...

I said, the science is settled people!

Yes, it is. Anti-vaxxers are about as bright as people who think Martians killed Kennedy.

Shut up!

Oh, what a beautiful dream.

Incidentally, if you actually read the link you posted you'd see that the CDC still maintains that vaccines don't cause autism.

Anonymous said...

Hey "eric! You new here? Listen blondie, I said lower than the rate would have been if all those vaccinated had instead had measles.

I quoted you word for word, that's not what you said.

But now that you've changed what you've said, you're correct.

Rhythm and Balls said...

eric:

Stop boldfacing your texts in entire sentences. We know you're new to the Blogger and HTML thing. Still, it's annoying. Use boldface for emphasizing a word or two. Other than that, use italics to quote. It's almost as bad as SCREAMING CAPS LOCK. Hey, I just boldfaced that, too. Cool.

Anonymous said...

Incidentally, if you actually read the link you posted you'd see that the CDC still maintains that vaccines don't cause autism.

So what?

Here's the relative portion you might have skipped:

Attkisson: What about not “causal,” but “as a result of” vaccines, as in the Poling case? The medical expert found, you know, as a result of the damages she had from the vaccines, she ended up with autism. And the distinction was made in the medical expert, ‘well, that’s not ‘causal’, it’s sort of a ‘but for’ but it’s not a ‘causal.’

DeStefano: Yeah, I mean, I mean in that case, you know, she had a, I mean, you know, she had an underlying uh biological illness that uh either vaccination, or it could’ve been an infection that that would trigger some physiological stress in her, uh, seems to have, you know, could’ve, could’ve caused uh, um, manifestations that, characteristics of autism which, you, you know, appears to be what happened in her case.

Attkisson: But I mean doesn’t that, is—isn’t that a “link”? It’s not a “causal” link, but isn’t that a potential link between vaccination and autism if certain children with a “underyling biological illness” can have a “trigger” through vaccination?

DeStefano: [Unintell] as you call it, a secondary link if you wanna call it that way, w– in certain children, I mean ri—I mean, I, maybe that, but, you know, then I guess, that, that is a possibility.

Attkisson: Do you think that’s an important area of study so we could figure out which kids might have that predisposition?

DeStefano: uh, [phone noise] Yeah, I mean, I think um…You know, I think it’s something that, uh, well I mean, you know, in terms of uh… I mean, It’s hard, it’s hard to say, you know, I mean it’s like, um…I mean how how important that is. I mean, it’s a theoretical possibility, I guess the, the Poling case maybe suggested it could happen. Uh, but [unintell] cause it’s hard to predict who those children might be, but certainly, um individual cases, uh, can be studied to try to, uh, to look at those, uh, those possibilities.


Stick to your talking points. No causal link!

Rhythm and Balls said...

Oh brilliant. So Ann also didn't realize that flu's seasonal nature changes the vaccination schedule and form of flu against which to vaccinate in a way that the others do not? Looks like it's two blonde moments. All in one post. Can anyone find out if she went for three? Dig deeper, people. Deeper. There's always some fascinating ignorance to discover if you scratch far enough below the sensationalistic blog-rage.

Beldar said...

I'm not telling anyone "Shut up." Blather all you want.

I'm saying anti-vaccine enthusiasts are suckers. Some of the are entirely well-meaning suckers, but they simply don't understand or appreciate the basic principles of public health law as practiced in civilized modern nations.

Recall that it was from French peasants' observations of cowpox and its immunizing effect that the whole of immunization science developed. How sad, but how revealing, that today's anti-immunization zealots can't grasp what those peasants learned through observation so very long ago.

MisterBuddwing said...

Meanwhile, over at The Washington Post, there's a story that makes it sound like only Republicans are anti-vaxxers - and a comment thread filled to overflowing with people more than happy to embrace that concept. If you're anti-vaccine, you're anti-science, ergo... Republican.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/chris-christie-remarks-show-vaccines-potency-in-political-debate/2015/02/02/f1c49a6e-aaff-11e4-abe8-e1ef60ca26de_story.html

Rhythm and Balls said...

Sounds like eric's trying to uncover the difference between incidental correlation and causation.

Beldar said...

If you believe that cholera is caused by angels, that's okay with me.

I still won't let you poop in the town well.

Rhythm and Balls said...

For the non-anti-knowledge crowd, NYT has a great video overview on all this (look it up if you want… 12 mins long). The funniest parts are at the end where they talk about LA having a lower MMR vaccination rate than South Sudan and being able to predict new outbreaks based on drawing circles on maps around each area Whole Foods.

Fun stuff. Here's one where the loony left and the retarded right can really agree. And get that fat fuck Chris Christie to throw in his 2 cents (and 400 extra pounds) in on it, as well.

MisterBuddwing said...

OK, maybe not exclusively Republican - there's a reference to "both sides of the aisle" - but I can't for the life of me find the words "Democrat" or "Democratic" in this article.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Seriously, guys. Presidential material, right HERE!

http://gawker.com/imagine-chris-christie-falling-out-of-a-chair-forever-1683091667

This is also the jackass who told parents with kids afflicted with constant seizures that he wouldn't allow them to get their "gateway drug" medicine.

Anonymous said...

Beldar said:

I'm saying anti-vaccine enthusiasts are suckers. Some of the are entirely well-meaning suckers, but they simply don't understand or appreciate the basic principles of public health law as practiced in civilized modern nations.

This is true.

But is telling them they are anti-science truthers helpful?

Instead, it looks like a conspiracy to cover up the truth, which makes them dig in their heels and fight back harder.

Instead, we shouldn't be afraid to admit that there are repercussions to vaccinations. But that the risk is worth it, because we get rid of dangerous diseases.

Sadly, it seems like our culture of sue first, ask questions later, leads to a sort of cover up in areas like this. Vaccine companies don't want to admit that there could possibly be any harm from vaccination.

We should be open and honest and willing to deal with the issues, rather than say the science is settled and anyone who disagrees with me is a truther.

Because it's likely that someday a link will come out (For Revenant, not a causal link) and then that'll just add fuel to the barbarian fire.

Xmas said...

Eric, from your link, the 89 to 91 measles outbreak in the US resulted in 55,000 cases. 1 in 5 required hospitalization, and 1 in 500 resulted in death. I expect an outbreak in the US now would have better results, but not much better.

Ann, in 1949, there were 39,000 cases of measles in Wisconsin. Any deaths from the disease would have most likely affected children under the 5. The measles mortality rates in 1949 were 7.8 per 100k population under 1 and 2.6 per 100k
between 1 and 4 (not kids who got sick, but out of the whole US population in those age brackets).

Anonymous said...

Xmas,

It depends on what you mean by outbreak.

Last year we had almost 600 cases of measles. Zero deaths.

Maybe that's not an outbreak?

Revenant said...

You know what? There's no point in trying to reason eric out of a belief he didn't reason himself into. Thankfully he's got no young kids, so his opinions don't matter.

Rhythm and Balls said...

~260 deaths per year prior to vaccine and ~750 cases of permanent retardation per year. Now prevented. Now being reconsidered.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3931045

Since our population's doubled since 1960 you can multiply those numbers by about two.

Again, this is not scientific and just an estimate, but gives you an idea.

Beldar said...

I misremembered the nationality and other specifics of the peasants whose cowpox observations Edward Jenner relied upon. They were British, not French, and they were more specifically milkmaids. (Neat bit of medical history, do they still teach it in grade school? Not in California, apparently.)

furious_a said...

We didn't think that much about it, diseases were part of a normal life experience

So were smallpox and bubonic plague just a few years before you were born. And smoking with your children in the car and working uprotected around asbsetos not long after. the Good Ol' Days.

Ann' personal recollection

I personally recollect my best friend's mother telling us about a girlhood spent in an iron lung and braces thanks to polio. I recollect how she lived her adult life in constant pain and got about with a cane, her own iron will, and, unbelievably, a std-transmission Audi.

richard mcenroe said...

And sometimes they don't get on with their lives...

"Then one morning, when she was well on the road to recovery, I was sitting on her bed showing her how to fashion little animals out of coloured pipe-cleaners, and when it came to her turn to make one herself, I noticed that her fingers and her mind were not working together and she couldn't do anything.

"Are you feeling all right?" I asked her.

"I feel all sleepy," she said.

In an hour, she was unconscious. In twelve hours she was dead..."

http://www.roalddahlfans.com/articles/meas.php

Really, Ann, this is not one of your better thought-out positions.

furious_a said...

Thank you, Beldar.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Revenant said...
You know what? There's no point in trying to reason eric out of a belief he didn't reason himself into. Thankfully he's got no young kids, so his opinions don't matter.


I've got four.

Cue evil music.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Californians are liable to believe Jenner was an industrial pharmaceutical entrepreneur, beldar.

Interestingly, most of this bullshit dates back to Andrew Wakefield's fraudulently reported 1998 data correlating bowel symptoms and a novel "GI autism" with MMR. The fact that Wakefield claimed, in Trump-like fashion, that the 3 agents supplied in the vaccine were excessive is rarely mentioned against the backdrop of his financial stake at the time in a single disease vaccine.

What a fuckin charlatan. I can't remember where this was ranked, but came up as one of the most damaging (medical?) hoaxes of all time.

furious_a said...

"it's hard to give the vaccine when no one died in the U.S."

It's hard to get new water treatment systems built when no one's dying from Cholera and Dysentery.

richard mcenroe said...

Blogger CatherineM -- Or we could take the John Ringo route in The Last Centurion as people too smart, hip, or self-destructive refuse to get the vaccine... and then we could rage at the innocents they take with them.

Xmas said...

How many hospitalizations out of that 600? The CDC is aggressively monitoring measles in the US and widely informing the potentially infected, like with the Disneyland infections. Its easy to say there have been no deaths yet when the number of cases is so low and there are enough resources to contact potentially sick and aggressively monitor the ill.

But at the same time, you have schools in California were 75% of the incoming kindergarten class isn't vaccinated. The virus hitting one school like this in California may not be overwhelming, but 10...20...100. People will die, at some point soon. It will tragic because it was so preventable.

Before the vaccine, most of the people who died from the measles were children under the age of 1, but measles was less deadly than whooping cough and other diseases. We really do not suffer from that same level early childhood death.

Anonymous said...

Before the vaccine, most of the people who died from the measles were children under the age of 1, but measles was less deadly than whooping cough and other diseases. We really do not suffer from that same level early childhood death.

Weird, most abortions are children under the age of one too.

Millions of those are dying each year but no one is screaming and shouting about that.

My thing is, I agree that we should be vaccinated. Where I disagree is that it should be mandatory, or that we shouldn't be looking into the possible harm/side effects because the science is supposedly settled.

Gahrie said...

Why isn't everyone going crazy about the Flu?

1)They are. there are ads ecverywhere for flu shots, and experts advising us to get them all over the media.

2)There is no 90% effective immunization possible for the flu. There is for diseases like measles.

Rhythm and Balls said...

eric

If rates aren't high you lose "herd immunity" and the not-yet-vaccinated start getting enough disease to make the entire effort a worthless sham.

Drago said...

R&B: " The fact that Wakefield claimed, in Trump-like fashion, that the 3 agents supplied in the vaccine were excessive is rarely mentioned against the backdrop of his financial stake at the time in a single disease vaccine."

The fact that Wakefield claimed, in GORE-like fashion, that the 3 agents supplied in the vaccine were excessive is rarely mentioned against the backdrop of his financial stake at the time in a single disease vaccine.

You're welcome.

Drago said...

eric: "My thing is, I agree that we should be vaccinated. Where I disagree is that it should be mandatory, or that we shouldn't be looking into the possible harm/side effects because the science is supposedly settled."

Not to quibble too much, but given the ubiquitous nature of these "standard" vaccinations, I'd say we certainly have sufficient data points to identify the low level of risk to individuals while demonstrating the true societal benefit of such a wide-ranging program.

And yes, if your child is the one in a million who suffers a tragic outcome due to the vaccination then, of course, no discussion of larger benefits really matter to you.

Completely understood.

And I speak as one who has lost a child.

Rhythm and Balls said...

No Drago, that actually did nothing to advance the conversation or fill in any other relevant details, just like everything else that you post.

Drago said...

Rhythm and Balls: "No Drago, that actually did nothing to advance the conversation or fill in any other relevant details, just like everything else that you post."

You may file this latest missive of yours in your own waste basket per your own rules.

Again, you're welcome.

Anonymous said...

Drago;

And yes, if your child is the one in a million who suffers a tragic outcome due to the vaccination then, of course, no discussion of larger benefits really matter to you.

Yeah. It's weird when you have children. Suddenly you're life isn't quite so important anymore. I could trade my life in a second for my children. Sacrifice myself so that they would live. I don't even have to think about it.

But if someone asked me to kill my child or risk my child? I've never been faced with that, but I can imagine I'd rather see whole nations burn to the ground than harm come to even one of my children.

And this is what we're dealing with in the anti-vaccination crowd.

Demonizing them, mocking them, forcing them to comply?

None of those seem like good idea to me.

My children are fully vaccinated. I'm not worried about them playing with or interacting with non-vaccinated children. We are a homeschool family and I wouldn't be surprised if many of the families at their cooperative school they attend on Wednesdays are not vaccinated against the measles.

But I'm not worried at all. We are vaccinated and even if we do get sick, it's the measles. It's not polio or ebola or something.

Alex said...

My boys (ages 20 and 16) have been immunized against everything, including HPV. It's stupid and selfish not to.

HPV is only transmitted through promiscuous sex. There is no reason to get the vaccine other than to force the children of religious parents to do something against their beliefs.

Drago said...

eric: "But if someone asked me to kill my child or risk my child? I've never been faced with that, but I can imagine I'd rather see whole nations burn to the ground than harm come to even one of my children"

Every single action in life presents risks.

Sending your kids to school on a bus? Even driving them yourselves? Eat much chinese takeout?

In the course of the day it's very likely that the risks you encounter every single day, voluntarily, represent risks that are orders of magnitude greater than the risks due to vaccinations.

So, the -asking people to do something that carries risks is wrong!!- angle is not an effective way to make the anti-vaccination case. Maybe there isn't one.

Alex said...

Demonizing them, mocking them, forcing them to comply?

None of those seem like good idea to me.


That's exactly how the left believes it should be. done.

Shaming, mocking, humiliating. It's all in a day's work for a liberal.

Drago said...

Alex: "That's exactly how the left believes it should be. done"

And don't even think about getting the lefty "reality-based" community started on GMO's.

Or the use of DDT.

Or the use of nuclear power.

The "Party of Science" is quite the no show in those and other areas as well.

chickelit said...

Whelp, there's a lot of bitchiness here.

Gabriel said...

@Ann:Only the others who are not vaccinated, which is why the argument for voluntariness has some weight.

This is why we should allow people to dump sewage into the community water supply. The only people who might be harmed would be those who don't boil their water long enough, or add enough bleach, or who are particularly vulnerable, such as children or infants.

This is why we should allow people to drive drunk. Sober drivers should have no problem staying out of their way, and sober passengers will know better than to ride with drunks, so drunk drivers will only harm themselves.

Anonymous said...

So, the -asking people to do something that carries risks is wrong!!- angle is not an effective way to make the anti-vaccination case. Maybe there isn't one.

Well, there are always those people who cannot be reasoned with. Those who believe we never landed on the moon, or that airplanes are poisoning us on purpose with those chemtrails.

But it seems to me that we're saying it's a much larger percentage of people who are "Anti-Vaxxers".

Therefore, I assume that they can be reasoned with.

For example, not everyone agrees in giving their children 49 shots before the age of 6. I have no problem with that. Let parents take it nice and slow. Seems like a reasonable request to me. Or what about the HPV vaccination? Not a lot of kids having promiscuous sexual intercourse.

On the one end you have those who insist, all vaccines are good vaccines and no one should ever say no to any vaccine. On the other end you have those who say all vaccines are bad.

Most of us can probably meet somewhere in the middle.

Michael K said...

Plenty of misinformation about measles. Here is a link to incidence and deaths in the US and UK.

Deaths were about 700 per year in 1950 when I was 12. Cases were around 300 thousand. That was the US.

In the UK deaths were about 450 per year. That's 1200 or so total in two countries.

Europe and the rest of the world is harder to get numbers for.

I don't think 10,000 is very far off. The US and UK were 1200 deaths per year, You don't think it was higher elsewhere ?

Anonymous said...


I don't think 10,000 is very far off. The US and UK were 1200 deaths per year, You don't think it was higher elsewhere ?


Seeing as how the rest of the world, in 2013, had a death rate of about 140,000, 10,000 seems a bit small.

Freeman Hunt said...

Eric, your 450 number is not accurate. Those are only deaths in reported cases at a time when the disease was ubiquitous and usually not reported.

Freeman Hunt said...

If you take it slow with vaccines, you end up with an outbreak like the 1989-1991 one.

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm not for government force. I am, however, in favor of anyone harmed by these diseases suing the parents who forego vaccinations (without medical cause) into the ground. Little societal nudge.

eddie willers said...

Those are only deaths in reported cases at a time when the disease was ubiquitous and usually not reported.

People didn't report deaths?

Freeman Hunt said...

Often not as measles.

cubanbob said...

People have a right to be stupid and with that right comes the obligation to be held accountable for the results of their stupidity. I'm in agreement that schools and other public places should be allowed to refuse entrance to willfull potential disease carriers.



Achilles said...

Employers should be able to require vaccination. Schools should be able to require vaccination. States can as well.

If the federal government is involved it will result in fewer people being vaccinated. If you want something to work that is the wrong way to do it.

People here are missing eric's point. There are always 2 sides. Our goal should be to get as many people vaccinated as possible. Calling everyone who points out that more people died from the vaccination than the disease stupid and making it some moral issue in order to get the government to force people to get vaccinated will backfire. One obvious outcome is doctors who will get you all the certificates for your kid without the shot.

The point is you need the large majority of people motivated to participate willingly. Strange to come from a guy who thinks the government should take our stuff without due process Though.

Freeman Hunt said...

It is moronic to argue that a vaccination is bad because more people died from the vaccination than the disease when the only reason no one died of the disease is its having been eliminated by the vaccine.

CatherineM said...

Freeman Hunt for President. Oe

CatherineM said...

Ann - your "hysteria" remark?

Where have you been? It is not hysteria. It has slowly built over the last 15 years or so.

By the way, as much as I would like Jenny McCarthy put in front of a Congressional Hearing for fraud (for just $250 and the cost of her books and other wares for the cure for autism), I would like the same for Oprah for giving Jenny a platform and her website to encourage "following your mommy instinct" as a way of encouraging non-vaccination.

If the world followed mommy instincts that meant no smallpox vaccine, etc, where would we be?

Donald Douglas said...

Josh Marshall's a bleeding idiot. Shoot, I'm surprised you even threw that loser a link, Althouse. You made up for it with that smackdown, though. All is forgiven, heh.

Cajsa Lilliehook said...

Althouse is very blithe about condemning those who cannot be vaccinated because of allergies, cancer treatment or being to young to the risk of measles spread by parental choice.

There seems to be a certain amount of elitism involved in the whole anti-vaccine fraud. As though vaccines are for the common people and for "starving children in Africa" but not for their precious spawn. However, gated communities do not keep out viruses and eating all organic won't stop your children from getting measles.

Achilles said...

Freeman Hunt said...
"It is moronic to argue that a vaccination is bad because more people died from the vaccination than the disease when the only reason no one died of the disease is its having been eliminated by the vaccine."

And yet a rational person who values their kids above all else can selfishly justify not vaccinating their special ones who will probably be fine. The whole foods comment by R&B above is particularly salient here as there is nothing more selfish than a progressive whole foods hippie.

But as said above if you use government force and dubious moral shaming they will just shut you out and they will find a way to save their precious snot factories. Have employers require it. Have schools, of which you can choose which one to attend, require it. Buy homeschooling supplies for parents who home school and get their kids vaccinated. Bribing people will be cheaper than sending the police out to force someone to do something they don't want to do. The bigger the entity you use the less effective it will be.

Brando said...

Anyone refusing to vaccinate their child without medical reasons is no different from the parents who neglect feeding their child or withhold medical treatment when their child is sick. It's a type of child abuse to intentionally keep your child vulnerable to a deadly disease that could be easily prevented with a vaccine.

But it's worse than that, because in doing so these parents are dismantling herd immunity and threatening the lives of others who either may not have been vaccinated yet (the very young) or may not have taken an effective form of the vaccine (in some cases it doesn't take) or who for medical reasons cannot be vaccinated. Such parents are basically saying that their own ignorance should trump the lives of others.

And the sad part is that these parents are generally not isolated hermits with no educations or access to such medicines. They really have no excuse.

Laslo Spatula said...

You mean they INJECT small children with DISEASE? On purpose? What kind of sick f**ks rule this country?

I am Laslo, and I am disgusted.

Michael said...

If your child is immunized then you really shouldn't give a shit if her classmates arent. She cannot get measles. And that is the point.

We somehow won two world wars and sent men to the moon with not one should immunized against this disease.

Get your kids the shots and let the lefties get all the diseases that crave.

MaxedOutMama said...

Measles rarely (but consistently) causes death for some and severe long term effects for more.

Even if vaccines caused severe long-term effects for a few, it would be a far better risk proposition.

The equation may have briefly improved for non-vaccination due to very wide coverage of vaccination and thus a very low chance of contracting measles. That doesn't mean it can't shift back, and it has.

In addition there's the reality that most kids nowadays go to day care quite young, and therefore will be exposed to measles earlier with consequent problems.

Further, measles now is a more serious disease for the very young than it used to be, because mothers who never got measles don't pass on the antibodies to their children very well.
http://www.medpagetoday.com/Pediatrics/Vaccines/20171

This is a nasty recipe for severely impacted kids, and unless you are raising them at home you need to get them vaccinated. Even very low levels of antibodies do seem to provide some protection against more serious cases.

Global mortality (death) from measles was estimated to be three-quarters of a million in 2000. So "rare" is a relative term, and long-term serious impacts probably outnumber deaths.

To understand how effective measles vaccinations are, follow this link which reviews the impact of an enhanced measles vaccination program in Africa:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5302a2.htm

I am politely and respectfully pointing out that your stated opinion that the measles is not a serious childhood disease is overtly and dangerously wrong.

To understand HOW wrong your assertion is, one need only consider that HIV deaths in 2000 were about 1.7 million globally. The total of measles deaths would be much higher globally than that if it were not for relatively good vaccine coverage globally. The expected total would be well over 2 million a year, and perhaps over 3 million a year. Mostly young kids. The rate of hearing loss from measles is pretty high - somewhere around 1-2 per hundred cases. About 1 in 1000 develop encephalitis, and though not all die, those who survive have a high rate of neurological damage.

Rethink! The government mandates all sorts of protections for children from much lesser dangers, including car seats. On this one, you're just factually wrong.

Brando said...

"If your child is immunized then you really shouldn't give a shit if her classmates arent. She cannot get measles. And that is the point."

I'm not sure it's that simple--in some cases the vaccine doesn't take, though if practically everyone gets the vaccine the overall effect of herd immunity will protect those for whom the vaccine wasn't effective. Also, there are some people who for medical reasons are unable to take the vaccine, or very young people who haven't taken it yet, or very old people for whom the immunity may have worn off (I understand chicken pox can come back after several decades). So the anti-vaxxers are not just harming other anti-vaxxers--they can potentially kill a lot of others needlessly.

Mark said...

Michael, my best friends kid had cancer as a child, could not get immunized for many years.

Maybe you dont give a shit about your friends kids, but I do.

I bet my own child would gain more sharing a classroom with a childhood cancer survivor than an unvaccinated kid. Schools should require a medical excuse or vaccinations.

Laslo Spatula said...

I was immunized as a child and my brain is perfectly fine perfectly fine perfectly fine perfectly fine.

I am Laslo.

Original Mike said...

"If your child is immunized then you really shouldn't give a shit if her classmates arent. She cannot get measles. And that is the point."

You haven't read this thread, have you?

jr565 said...

Measles is a lot worse for adults than it is for kids.

jr565 said...

"Do you get a flu shot every year? I know people die of the flu, but I don't get flu shots, and I got a flu shot back in the Ford administration when the President made a big deal about preventing a big epidemic, but we weren't FORCED to, and I did it because the way the President asked us was convincing to me."


The flu shot actually perfectly encapsulates the dilemna of mandating getting vaccinations.

A lot of people die of the flu. A lot of people don't get the flu shot. Are we going to mandate the flu shot and hold people legally or morally culpable if they go to work with the flu and never got a flu shot?
I haven't gotten a flu shot in years. But I have been vaccinated.

jr565 said...

Michael K wrote:
The actress Gene Tierney was entertaining troops in north Africa while pregnant when a fan sneaked out of a hospital where she was admitted with rubella to see her. She came up to Tierney after the show to thank her, Tierney caught rubella, presumably from that idiot fan, and her baby was born with severe rubella syndrome. Tierney had mental problems that ended her career early, possible as a result of that incident.

That was the plotline for The Mirror Cracked

Herb said...

I think he means older generation in terms of polio and other diseases. Not just measles.

jr565 said...

I can't locate the article now, but I read one where a girl who wasn't vaccinated in her life now believes in vaccination. Her argument was that the argument against vaccinations, are that your natural immune system needs to fight a lot of these diseases and will be strengthened by fighting them. And that a lot vaccines contain various harmful things, like viruses. Her point then was that if that is so then your immune system would similarly fight the negative things that came with the immunization.
But at least you wouldn't get the various diseases she had in her life.

MadisonMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HoodlumDoodlum said...

Your gov can force you to purchase health "insurance" that covers things you don't want/need on the theory that it's your responsibility to buy things that may help keep others healthy since their good health benefits you (or keeping them healthy prevents a greater cost to you). Does Prof A have a problem with that logic? It seems awfully similar to the argument for mandatory vaccination.
I wouldn't force every individual to be vaccinated but I'm honestly shocked that public schools allow a personal exemption (for non-medical reasons)--I remember trying to sign up for a summer college course at a local school once and being told I had to find my immunization record, despite the fact that I was already enrolled in a different university where I had to prove I'd had my shots before I could be admitted just a year earlier.
I might be wrong but the idea of bodily integrity seems to loom large in the Prof's discussions of what is and is not acceptable gov/State power. Personally I think imposing financial duties (to pay fees/fines, to pay costs to care for children that might not be yours, to work extra in order to pay taxes) can be burdensome in a similar way, but the impression I get is that many think as long as we're talking about "just money" and not something that directly affects one's body then the State should have fewer restraints.

Michael said...

Original Mike

Why, yes, I have read the thread. If you think I fail to agree with you then you are correct.

The world does not spin around your compromised immunity any more than it spins around the poor child with cancer.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I for one am glad public schools ban peanuts and pop tarts nibbled into a "gun" shape--those things could really be dangerous for vulnerable young kids.

Original Mike said...

Michael, if you read it then you learned that your immunization shot might well not work. But if close to everyone is vaccinated, then you're still protected.

But I think we came to a satisfactory outcome. Your kids not vaccinated? Then he's not allowed to attend school, social functions, etc. I also like the idea of you being personally liable for disease your kid passes onto the community.

chillblaine said...

I am all for personal civil liberty. If an anti-vaxxer is able to opt-out, then I should have the ability and freedom to keep them out of my business.

Michael said...

Original Mike

While I read the thread you did not bother to read the last sentence of my original post.

Are you just stupid? Really that stupid?

Original Mike said...

"While I read the thread you did not bother to read the last sentence of my original post."

I read it. It's based on a factually incorrect premise. You getting your shots is not sufficient to protect you.

Original Mike said...

Blogger Billy Oblivion said: "The first two things that must be acknowledged, because it's part of the science, is that vaccinations do not always "take", depending on the vaccine and the child and who knows what else, vaccines are only 70 to 90 percent effective and "we" rely on what is called the "herd effect" to keep populations safer."

Shanna said...

The flu shot actually perfectly encapsulates the dilemna of mandating getting vaccinations.

Conflating the flu shot with the MMR vaccinations is stupid. The doctor doesn't even recommend flu shots for everyone, only if you are in the right risk levels.

It would be totally different if we were in the midst of a 1918 type strain. Then it could and probably would be mandated. Most strains kill the old and the sick, so if you are in those categories you should get it. And if you work in a hospital it generally either required or highly recommended.

damikesc said...

So, will these parents support allowing kids to bring peanut products to school?

Michael said...

Original Mike

So you want to sue someone who gets their kid vaccinated but which kid nonetheless gets measles and gives them to another kid because the vaccination did not work?

Is it confusing to be you?

Original Mike said...

"So you want to sue someone who gets their kid vaccinated but which kid nonetheless gets measles and gives them to another kid because the vaccination did not work?"

No.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Following up on what Michael K said, Rubella, measles, is the classic disease which established the around 90 day mark of pregnancy as a critical time for major malformations of the foetus. There are significant externalities to the disease beyond the fact that IIRC, 1 in 1000 infected will have an encephalitis.

Michael said...

Original Mike

Ah, but if you read what you have written you do: "I also like the idea of you being personally liable for disease your kid passes onto the community.."


Original Mike said...

Michael, you read this entire thread but still did not understand that your own vaccination is necessary but not sufficient to protect yourself ("Get your kids the shots and let the lefties get all the diseases that crave."). I don't know why you feel entitled to be such a jerk.

Michael said...

Original Mike

"Michael, you read this entire thread but still did not understand that your own vaccination is necessary but not sufficient to protect yourself"

So, to summarize. It is necessary to be vaccinated but vaccination is not sufficient to protect yourself from what you are being immunized against.

Is that your point? Is that what you believe to be the thesis of this thread?

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

It's quite odd when selective exclusion and denigration of individual dignity (e.g. "diversity") could be qualified as positive progress. I suppose that different religions (i.e. moral philosophies) will engender reaching different conclusions.

As for vaccines, they are part of a risk management protocol. They are not magic. People need to discuss their utility and value. They will vary with antigen, formula, individual, and time. The risk will also vary and the side-effects, including toxicity, inflammation, etc., need to be studied to understand vulnerable classes.

Crunchy Frog said...

HPV is only transmitted through promiscuous sex. There is no reason to get the vaccine other than to force the children of religious parents to do something against their beliefs.

Define "promiscuous".

I look at it as insurance, not just against anyone they might have sex with, but with anyone that their partners might have has sex with in the past, etc.

I'm plenty religious, but I also live in the real world, and I realize that teenagers in general (and a metric buttload of adults as well) have poor impulse control.

I also make sure they have condoms available. I can't force them to use them (I highly doubt that I'd be in the same room at the time) but it's the least I can do.

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