I haven’t written any posts specifically about this subject, but it should come as a surprise to no one that I am pro-vaccine. This is a great post by Jennifer Raff from her blog Violent Metaphors that covers the basic arguments for why vaccines are safe, effective, and important. The article is chock-full of links for further reading, and if you have time, I recommend that you click through and read up on the multiple studies that have proved the safety and efficacy of vaccines. The recent outbreak of measles at Disneyland, which has caused infections in at least 20 people so far, brought this always-simmering issue back to immediate public attention. I think it is something that should be constantly reiterated because the consequences of people not vaccinating their children can be severe – and not just for the kids who aren’t vaccinated. Personal belief exemptions for vaccines are becoming more and more common at schools, and I think this is dangerous. If you know anybody who is on the fence about vaccines, please encourage them to think critically and do their research – and as the article says, not just from the anti-vaccine side. You can also encourage people to learn how to assess arguments from a scientific, critical perspective so they understand the difference between testable scientific hypotheses and untestable conspiracy theories. I know a good place to start: right here at Ranthropologist!
H/T to my friend Todd and IFLScience.com for bring this post to my attention.