Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Vaccinate your children!

In our society, virtually everyone has easy access to affordable (often free!) vaccinations against measles, mumps, and rubella. There's really no reason to see these diseases at all. They should have gone the way of smallpox. But they haven't.

There have been thousands of totally preventable cases of these diseases, mostly measles, because of some form of vaccine denial.

Now my own community is being threatened by an outbreak of mumps.

As thousands of children prepare to head back to school, the outbreak, which began in a religious community, has already spread westward into Metro Vancouver — as far as Burnaby.

There have been 116 confirmed cases of mumps and another 74 suspected cases since February, according to the Fraser Health Authority. On average, the region has only 10 cases a year.

Two people from Alberta carried the mumps to a religious community near Agassiz that has a low rate of vaccinations, said Dr. Elizabeth Brodkin of the Fraser Health Authority.

"My understanding is their interpretation of scripture is that to immunize would be to show a lack of faith in God's ability to protect them, and therefore they choose not to do that," said Brodkin.
Should religious people be forced to vaccinate their children against their will? No. I think it is vitally important to maintain individual autonomy when it comes to decisions about health and medical treatment. But should we therefore respect the poor decisions that individuals make regarding their health? No! This community should be ostracized and crucified (haha) in the media and by everyone for their ridiculous, idiotic, and dangerous decisions. The illogical choices made by this backwards community have not only put their own children at risk, but the entire surrounding community of millions of people.

Quiet religious families are not upstanding, though a little odd, members of the community. They are ticking time-bombs, liable to ignite a public health crisis, or worse, at any moment.

No comments: