25 April 2013


The small town where August lives is in many ways a nice place. It is notorious, however, for having absurdly large numbers of kids who have not been immunized (some not fully, some not at all) against common childhood diseases. Indeed, the school his mom decided he should attend (with no consultation whatsoever from me) is apparently a magnet for families who are vaccine skeptics of one or another sort. Many of the parents seem not to care that common worries about putative links between immunizations and autism disorders are known to be totally bogus. They also seem oblivious to the fact that vaccines work effectively only when levels of immunized children reach a critical mass. (So their own decisions are putting other people's kids at risk too!) Today, a world summit aimed at insuring all kids can get the benefits of vaccines was convened in Abu Dhabi. Here is a testimonial from Desmond Tutu and here is another by Dr. Seth Berkley on why this is crucially important not just for communities but for individual children. And, of course, this is true not just in exotic 'developing' nations but, as this report and the marginal links make clear, in rich capitalist countries too!

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Blogger Tom Pietrasik said...

As you know, the current crisis in south Wales has seen 942 (and counting) cases of confirmed measles: the legacy of distrust of the MMR vaccine. I've seen vaccination efforts undermined in India by bogus rumours of an “American-campaign” of forced-sterilisation. The WHO, Indian government and other parties take these rumours very seriously. The counter-strategy there is to employ those with influence including religious leaders and academics to advise communities of vaccine-safety. Not sure who might perform that role in your son's neighbourhood.

26 April, 2013 04:25  

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