Everything is political

And I mean everything.  Currently, a debate rages about vaccination.  But why?  The “settled science”, since almost forever (at least since vaccination was discovered), has been one of the 20th century’s most dramatic public health achievements.

It eradicated smallpox.

In the developed world, it has made polio a far distant memory.  In the developing world, the disease is making a comeback.

Back when I was a kid, measles happened occasionally.  Then it all but disappeared.  But now, in 2015, it is making a very strong comeback.


Why is this even debatable?

I guess when life gives you lemons, you find some crazy theory to rationalize that someone/something had to cause it.  Even better if it is an evil industry.  Damn the science, because my science is more powerful than your science.

The problem is that people have been getting vaccinated for years with no link to autism.  Then some person learns that a common preservative has mercury, and since we all know that mercury is a poison that affects the central nervous system, then it must be the reason for the increase in the incidence of autism.

So some quack gets a pile of money and does a flawed study which “proves” the link, and an urban legend is born.  Then it is trumpeted by some has-been/never-was celebrity who has been visited by this tragedy. And a whole cadre of true believers keeps on repeating the same pseudo-science.  Which can never be refuted because you hate children/are in the pay of the evil pharmaceutical companies/you really need to believe.

The problem is that back in the day, autism was poorly understood and rarely diagnosed.  Now we are acutely aware of autism and have even broken it into subcategories.  So now it seems to be a popular diagnosis.

Well, lack of vaccinations because of this foolishness have resulted in a resurgence of Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and more damning Polio (which we came this close to eradicating).