Anti-vax = anti-life

I was dismayed to read last week that Pauline Hanson had endorsed the myth that vaccinations could lead to autism.

However a few days later, I was surprised to learn that she had admitted her error on this issue.

We now wait to see if she will recant her support for Vladimir Putin.

But seriously if anyone has any doubt about the abject fallacy of the anti-vaxxer position, I recommend the excellent article by Tony Wright in last Saturday’s Fairfax press entitled “Proof of life and love in the time of measles”.

Take note of the following bullets from Wright

  • in the 1950s there were 495 deaths from measles at a time when Australia’s population was half what it is now.
  • sometimes measles was accompanied by pneumonia which could also kill you
  • 1 in 1000 suffering measles developed encephalitis – inflammation of the brain
  • more than 10 percent with encephalitis died
  • up to 40 per cent of the remainder developed permanent brain damage
  • pregnant women infected with rubella often had babies who were born blind and deaf
  • Wright recalls “the blind concerts”, musicians, jugglers, singers and comics who held regular concerts in towns everywhere to raise money for the blind.
  • in the 1950s poliomyelitis was prevalent and most Australian schoolyards had children supported by calipers and crutches who had been touched by the disease.
  • between 1946 and 1955, 1013 died from polio (in Australia)
  • smallpox killed between 300–500 million worldwide, in the 1900s
  • in the decade 1926–1935, 4,073 children died from diphtheria. Children dying from respiratory diphtheria had their throats close over until they choked
  • in the same decade whooping cough killed 2,808 Australian children
  • in the 1920s a vaccine was developed for diphtheria. A vaccine for whooping cough arrived 10 years later.
  • by the mid-50s deaths from diphtheria had dropped to 44
  • by the mid-50s this statistic dropped to 58 for whooping cough
  • over the last ten years deaths from whooping cough are less than 10. Deaths from diphtheria are unheard of.
  • in 2015 there were less than 100 cases of polio in the entire world
  • part of the current scepticism arises from a 1998 paper by Andrew Wakefield and others, published in The Lancet, that suggested a link between autism and the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.
  • the paper was proven to be false, Whitefield was struck off the medical register for professional misconduct and all his articles in The Lancet were retracted.
  • since then, millions have been spent on this issue and no link has been established between vaccines and autism
  • in 1928, 12 Queensland children died after being injected with the diphtheria vaccine.
  • a subsequent Royal Commission established that the treating doctor had allowed his bottle of vaccine to become contaminated in the tropical heat.
  • Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Martin Luther King Jr.

  • The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.

Daniel J. Boorstin

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