The Health Minister of Ontario, Eric Hoskins, is trying to put through a bill regarding parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. If the parents of a child refuse to to have their child vaccinated, for religious or personal reasons, then they would be forced to take a course on vaccinations and herd immunity. Although the bill would allow people the choice of vaccinating their children, it would at least try and educate them on why their insistence to go against proven science is a mistake.
What is a vaccine, exactly? A measles vaccination shot is a small amount of the measles virus that is innocuous. The body uses these innocuous virus cells like target practice, so if they encounter the actual virus out in the wild, they are primed for it and are much more able to stave the virus off. There are other methods of vaccination, but this is the most common. Vaccinating people against viruses is the reason Polio, Small Pox and other deadly diseases don’t represent a problem for the population any longer.
Except some of them are making a comeback. A child died from measles in Berlin in 2015. There have been outbreaks of the Whooping cough in Michigan and Alberta. Diseases once thought eradicated are popping up in the Western world, and it’s due to parent refusing to have their children vaccinated. Why are some of these parents so inclined not to vaccinate their children?
There was a study published back in 1998, headed by a Dr. Andrew Wakefield, that linked vaccinations to autism. His study has since been retracted and he’s been stripped of his license to practice medicine. Unfortunately, the paper was latched onto by a number of celebrities, most notably Jenny McCarthy, who’s son has autism. For years, she was the guest on a number of talk shows and she was determined to get parents of young children to stop vaccinating their kids. And it worked. Since then, there have been a large number of people who are incredibly wary of vaccinations.
Now, before the finger pointing begins and we condemn Jenny to oblivion for going against medical science, she unfortunately has the right to be wary of vaccines. Not because they don’t work, mind you, but rather because of the source of the vaccines, which is the pharmaceutical industry in the United States. Unlike most other developed countries, and even with ObamaCare, the US is still a nation where health care is a personal expense. Doctors are told to regard their patients as clients. If you watch American television, you’ll be surprised to see how many of the commercials are pushing pharmaceutical medication, with the tagline “Ask your doctor about…”
There’s also the cult of celebrity culture. There is a lot of people who are taking the word of famous celebrities over trained professionals. We ask rock stars their opinions about politics, as if they were political scientists. We ask movie stars what they think of international affairs. And models are now the experts brought onto talk shows to talk about immunization.
The third piece of the puzzle is the growing movement to live healthier lifestyles. This is great, but what started off as a return to making your own dinner and drinking more water became ground zero for the war against the imaginary foe ‘Toxins’. This movement is against any kind of chemicals that happen to be in your food and water, not realizing that your food and water are made up of chemicals. Now there’s a variety of solutions on the market, all claiming to pull the nasty toxins from your body, but never specifying what those toxins happen to be. Even though it’s straight pseudo-science with little or no proof to back it up, it comes from a source other than the profiteering medical industry of the United States, and because of that some people are choosing to trust it.
We now have three elements preventing health science from succeeding; A for-profit industry that makes people uneasy, a simple solution that can be administered at home, and good looking, charismatic people to sell the solution to you. If you ever wondered how you could sell the anti-vaccination idea to people, there’s the answer. In the age of Do-It-Yourself, everyone with an internet connection can become an expert.
The bill to get parents to courses talking about the benefits of vaccination is a great idea, and I hope the bill passes. No parent should be forced to have anything pushed upon their children, whether I agree with it or not. But they should be forced to educate themselves properly. Not from someone who makes their living looking good, but rather with the proper background. A background in education and in science.
The Illustrious Mr. Charlton
p.s. Yes, there is some silver in many of the vaccines. It’s totally safe, as long as your child isn’t a werewolf.