Monday, February 2, 2015

The holes in the armor

Because as far as germs and viruses are concerned, mostly dead is still slightly alive.

Over 80 percent of kindergarteners at some Oakland schools entered this year without all of their state-required vaccinations. At some Los Angeles Unified schools, more than 90 percent are under-vaccinated, meaning only 10 percent of kids — or far fewer — are fully up to date on their immunizations. . . .

We have a conditional-entrant problem here,” insisted Pine. “They’re not immunized. They’re not protected.”

The national measles outbreak has now spread to Marin County, where the Department of Health and Human Services confirms that two children have come down with the disease. As of this afternoon, the total number of confirmed cases in California stands at 92, with one being an adult coach of a high school baseball team, and one being an infant at a daycare center, where it was in care with 23 other infants and toddlers who are likely not vaccinated due to their ages.

It's difficult for me to put this sentence together, but perhaps Mississippi got it right on this one. A strict law mandating vaccinations and the lack of loopholes for exceptions have left Mississippi nearly impervious to Measles, Mumps and Rubella, and one suspects to whooping cough as well. As for the 0.3% (yes, that's three-tenths of one percent) of the population in Mississippi who remain unvaccinated because of age or medical condition, the herd really will protect them, creating a immune-based shield that will stop the advance of the virus in its tracks. This is what vaccinations are for.

We need to seriously consider, as a society, the limits of personal choice on the public welfare. In Mississippi, public health unquestionably trumps personal choice. I understand that this is the United States of America, and that we were forged in the crucible of rugged individuality and independence that was the American Frontier. I get it. But there is no reason to compromise the health of an entire population when we could so easily stop it. MMR vaccinations are cheap, readily available, and have few if any complications.
"The science is pretty indisputable," the President told NBC.

“You should get your kids vaccinated — it’s good for them,” Obama said. “We should be able to get back to the point where measles effectively is not existing in this country.”