Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, March 02, 2015

When will this idiocy end?

Sorry for the light posting, been busy. Anyway, a new survey of pediatricians finds that 93% of them say at least one parent asks not to adhere to the recommended schedule of vaccines in a typical month, and 21% say more than 10% of parents make this request. The ostensible point of the published article is that most pediatricians say they accede to this, but I find that baffling. I mean, they have to -- they can't go ahead and inject the kid without the parents' consent.

But obviously, resistance to vaccination is very widespread in the U.S., and I am going to give you the 4-1-1: it is nonsensical. There is no evidence whatsoever, not even suggestive evidence, that giving kids "too many" shots in too short a time is harmful or dangerous in any way. Nor that any given vaccine creates any substantial risk of anything serious for healthy children. This is not controversial, it is not an issue, it is not anything at all other than a mass delusion.

But I find it quite mysterious. There are wackos out there making all sorts of ridiculous claims, but most of them are generally ignored or ridiculed. There are people who claim that cancer is caused by radio waves, but almost nobody declines to use cell phones, even though the assertion got a lot of publicity for a while. Why is this particular version of idiocy so hard to kill?


Don Quixote said...

We need a vaccination that protects us from fear of vaccinations!

mojrim said...

It persists because, much like daily multivitamins, it is cheap and easy to carry out while giving the person a sense of intellectual and moral accomplishment. Eschewing cell phones, on the other hand, would carry prohibitive convenience costs. I suspect a great deal of quackery and superstition is like this.

roger said...

the drug companies that faked or fixed drug trials don't make it easy to trust them about vaccinations.

Cervantes said...

That's true Roger but vaccines aren't very profitable, and the safety record of vaccines currently in use is impeccable. But I agree, distrust of drug companies does have something to do with it.