Originally posted by Zahlanzi
Over the last years, the anti-vaxxer movement has grown in influence, despite no scientific evidence supporting any of their claims.
Whether for religious reasons or unfounded fears, the fact remains that unvaccinated children are at huge risk to contract threatening and maybe deadly diseases and pose a threat to the rest of the population.
I argue ...[text shortened]... hould be legally required to submit to vaccination and refusal should be considered child abuse.
Are the vaccines safe? The triple jab (measles, mumps, rubella) is given to very young children, after a scare it was found to be safe. Measles is fatal in about 5% of cases, the other two aren't really a problem unless contracted after puberty. Before the introduction of the triple jab, there were three separate vaccines. I got my rubella and mumps resistance the old fashioned way. Bear in mind that a new vaccine has to be trialled on children, and Phase I (safety) trials are on healthy adult volunteers. So the population is different and adverse effects can occur in children that you don't see in adults.
The other problem is that we become over-reliant on technical solutions to problems and forget basic disease control lessons which don't require vaccines. Half the problem is over-crowding and poor housing and sanitation methods. Typhus was known as gaol fever in the old days because that was where people were most at risk of contracting it, it's a bacterial disease so vaccines won't help. The biggest killer is probably malaria and that is a bacteria as well.
How serious should the diseases you vaccinate against be? TB for sure. You see there is a catch with all this, diseases with a high prevalence occupy niches which other bugs can also occupy. HIV binds to the same protein on helper T cells as smallpox, so the eradication of smallpox may have let HIV out of the bag - resistance to HIV piggy backs on resistance to smallpox. Given the choice HIV is probably the lesser evil as it is less transmissible. But the catch with eradicating one disease is that you open a niche for another.
I really don't think that labelling parents who are concerned about possible side effects as child abusers is the way forward.