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

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Why Do We Have to Keep Fact-Checking Vaccination Stories?

The Republican presidential candidate's debate last night brought us back to the subject of vaccinations. People love conspiracies, I guess, and some people just cannot accept facts. So, one more time, we needed a responsible person to remind the world that vaccinations save lives! That's what they do! And they don't cause autism. Aaron Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Illinois filled the role of explainer-in-chief on today's NYTimes' Upshot blog. 
Questions about vaccines and autism were asked not only of Donald Trump, but also of the two physicians taking part: Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon, and Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist. The doctors, at least, should know better.
Here are the facts:
Vaccines aren’t linked to autism.
The number of vaccines children receive is not more concerning than it used to be.
Delaying their administration provides no benefit, while leaving children at risk.
All the childhood vaccines are important.
Carroll laments the fact that the subject of vaccinations has to keep coming up for discussion because every time it does it undoubtedly cements the idea in various believing brains that some of this bologna is really true. 

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