This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How Is It Possible For Parents to Deny the Value of Vaccines?

A few days ago the US Centers for Disease Control announced that measles in this country had hit a 20 year high. Unbelievable! In a world where vaccinations would eliminate the disease from the world, parents--whose own lives were potentially saved by vaccinations--have decided for some idiotic reason to put their own children at risk. As reported in USA Today, the CDC attributes the rise to the fact that we have unvaccinated children in this country who are exposed to travelers from places like the Philippines, where the disease has not been eliminated.
"This is not the kind of record we want to break, but should be a wake-up call for travelers and for parents to make sure vaccination records are up to date," said Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases. Schuchat, who spoke during a telephone news conference, said this year's outbreaks are occurring among unvaccinated clusters of people exposed to travelers bringing the measles virus back from other countries — most notably the Philippines, where a large outbreak began in October 2013.
If this sounds a bit like the Spanish arriving in the New World and spreading measles (and death), well, it is a very similar scenario, except in this case the parents in question seem to be disproportionately white, middle class idiots, rather than innocent indigenous peoples. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart did a wonderfully cogent piece on this last night, which you have to watch. That says it all. Yes, some toxins may be bad for us, but vaccinations are not toxins--they are life-savers. Let's stop being stupid about this. Just stop it!

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