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:

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Vaccinate Your Kids!

"Are vaccinations dangerous? Yes, if you don't get them?" That was the introduction to last night's Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. He has taken over the spot on the Comedy Channel held by Steven Colbert for many years (with Colbert now set to take over the late show on CBS). Anyway, Wilmore devotes each night to one topic and last night's topic was measles vaccinations, building on the recent outbreak in California emanating from Disneyland. This may be the Comedy Channel, but just as Jon Stewart on the Daily Show has done for years, and Steven Colbert did for years on the Colbert Report, Larry Wilmore keeps it "100%" --which I guess is even better than "keeping it real." One of his guests is even a mother who refused to vaccinate her children. I think she's an idiot, but you can judge for yourself...

1 comment:

  1. I think as scientists we always "hope" that the Internet will bring a greater truth to the world. In principle, this would be true if people went to the RIGHT SOURCES for their information! But unfortunately, what the Internet really show is that people are very prone to making decisions based on half-baked information. Humanity has been plagued by "snake oil salesmen" for centuries ... lies are a very effective way to make a profit. The Internet has given a whole new energy to many people who wish to promote lies for the sake of greed, or simply spout off an opinion and pass it as the truth. What's worse, there is very much a general tendency amongst people to FAIL to do the necessary research on a topic, and to buy into the "old wives tales".

    Case in point .. vaccinations. The vast majority of the vaccinations are perfectly safe - they boost antibodies based on dead viruses .. viruses that have been made inactive. There are very few "live virus" vaccinations. Some vaccinations pose a risk because of allergies, because they are based on egg products (or things like that). But doctors are VERY clear before they give such vaccinations.

    It is bizarre that the world has rid itself of terrible illnesses like smallpox and polio. But now we are actually going BACKWARDS because people are refusing the vaccinations. The Internet Age is not the "breakthrough in understanding" that we hoped it would be.

    Pete, Redondo Beach