Letter: Vaccines are essential for children's health

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  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 21, 2019 8:19 a.m.

    There are 2 main groups of people who tend to forgo vaccinations for their children.

    Far-Left/hippies, who feel vaccines are not organic enough to put in their bodies, they'll just eat a few herbs because their guru tells them that protects them better.

    Far-right/Libertarians, who don't like the government telling them what they must do, so they just won't do it. They'll just pray that their kids are protected.

    It usually gets started with research studies (by scientists) who make alarming correlations, and the media sees them and thinks their readers will find that shocking and interesting, so they run it. Note... the studies that show there isn't a correlation aren't shocking or interesting, so they don't run those, so the public thinks the bogus studies are all that's out there. All they get is what the media feeds them. The shocking/controversial/salacious scientific studies that cause alarm, not the normal studies (the vast majority of the studies) that show vaccines work and actually don't cause autism.

    It's caused by our 24 hour news seeking alarming things to broadcast. And our tendency to believe urban myths and conspiracy theories.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    March 21, 2019 6:06 a.m.

    The how and why that anti-vaxxers came to believe that vaccinations cause more problems than they solve seems more important to investigate than the arguing about the efficacy of vaccinations.

    What drives otherwise sensible people to believe that their child can not possibly have become afflicted with a medical/mental anomaly because he/she was going to get it anyway. That the vaccination caused it. The corollary being all vaccinations cause more anomalies than prevent them.

    IMHO, it is the propensity of otherwise rational people who look to irrational explanations to excuse their unprovable belief. Belief is not fact. It is bias, pure and simple.

  • Utefan60 , 00
    March 20, 2019 7:20 p.m.

    NoNamesAccepted - St. George, UT, in one sentance you claim that vaccinations are "not essential." Then you tell us that the small pox vacinne is not normally given.

    How did that eradication of small pox come to pass?

    Oh that's right vaccinations. All were vaccinated and all were required to enter school with vaccination certificates at that time.

    The anti vaxers are putting the rest of people at risk, let alone the damage that some of these diseases can do to children. Child abuse.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    March 20, 2019 5:32 p.m.

    Vaccines are not essential. Lots of people survived or avoided contracting diseases. Vaccines are demonstrably not essential.

    They are, however, a really good idea. They dramatically reduce the odds of contracting many diseases. I am generally in favor of vaccinations and due to some travel personally have a number of vaccines that most Americans do not routinely get.

    On the flip side, there are a couple of low-value vaccinations that I and my children have not received. And we modified the vaccine schedule for our children to avoid giving so many all at one time. Call it an over abundance of caution which is what others demand when it comes to firearms, ATVs, and kids playing unattended outside. Still met the full requirement before they started school.

    Because I've taken personal responsibility for myself and my family, I have no concerns at all about an unvaccinated person, and very few concerns even about someone who has measles, mumps, or other contagious disease. I don't need to force others to take medicines they may not want just to play the odds game. I had titers pulled and know I have immunity.

    Treat others as you'd want them to treat your favored groups.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 20, 2019 2:39 p.m.

    RE: "People who are not vaccinated do not put others at risk"...
    Not true.

    Google "What is herd immunity?"...
    ‘Herd immunity is a form of immunity that occurs when the vaccination of a significant portion of a population provides a measure of protection for individuals who have not developed immunity.’

    That's the theory I'm talking about.

    When you get to a certain percentage protected... the disease can't spread. Because there aren't enough receptive hosts to keep it alive and growing and spreading.

    "It arises when a high percentage of the population is protected through vaccination against a virus or bacteria, making it difficult for a disease to spread because there are so few susceptible people left to infect"...

    That's how we eradicated these diseases. Herd immunity.

    But when we drop below the percentage needed (as we reportedly have now)... it can grow and spread again and the whole community is now at higher risk.

    So it's not just the individual you put at risk when you decide to not vaccinate. The decision to not vaccinate puts the whole at risk (if enough people decide not to vaccinate).

    That's the theory I'm talking about.

  • The Dark Knight Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2019 2:06 p.m.

    Even if there were any truth to the wild conspiracy theories (and the legitimate science shows there isn't) I would much rather my kids be on the Autism Spectrum than get sick and/or die of an easily preventable disease. I never even remotely considered not getting them vaccinated.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    March 20, 2019 1:33 p.m.

    1-The smallpox vaccine is not still given. It was stopped in 1972 in this nation thanks to the success in eradicating the disease.

    2-People who are not vaccinated do not put others at risk. They increase their own risk of contracting a disease. But it is only someone who has a communicable disease who puts others at risk. Once someone contracts a disease he is a risk. At that point it matters not whether he was vaccinated or not, nor what his reasons were for not being vaccinated.

    It is a real shame to see fear and personal "religious" values driving others to propose solutions they'd reject out of hand as the worst kind of bigotry if proposed by others in different situations.

    How would those demanding leper colonies react to a suggestion that any HIV or Hep-C positive person be quarantined? There is no vaccine for either Hep C or HIV. A sexually active person is likely to infect others. Even perfect condom use can only reduce that risk, not eliminate it.

    But those who would scream "religious bigotry" to any suggestion we quarantine sexually active persons with HIV or Hep C have the gall to demand quarantines of perfectly healthy people who simply don't get vaccinated?


  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    March 20, 2019 1:29 p.m.

    "But educating them on the risks... that sounds like a good idea to me."
    " Nobody's spreading death and disease throughout the populous."

    Well, most have already been "educated on the risks". They discount it a a conspiracy. Plus, they are spreading disease and death. Measles outbreaks and deaths are at an all time high in the past 50 years. We reacted (over reacted) to a few ebola cases. Now, we have an entire movement that doesn't care about spreading or carrying diseases, that we spent a century to eradicate.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 20, 2019 1:13 p.m.

    Are we going to have to get to the point where we force anti-vaxers and their families to live in separate colonies like they did with lepers centuries ago?"...
    I don't think you need to go that far. Seems a little extreme. But educating them on the risks... that sounds like a good idea to me.


    RE: "You don't have the right to spread disease and death throughout the populous"...
    I don't think it's that extreme either. Nobody's spreading death and disease throughout the populous. But they are putting people at risk. They need to know that. That's what education campaigns are for (like the ones they are running on TV now).

    Maybe we use education and working with people who have concerns about vaccinations. Educational stories in the news. Maybe individual counseling parents who don't vaccinate their kids at back to school night. Make sure they know they are putting the rest of the students at risk. Something like that. Not leper colonies or making their kids wear rags and walk the halls calling out "UnClean" so people don't get close... or extremes like that.

    Leper colonies. Death and destruction... Are extremes, Not reality.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    March 20, 2019 12:52 p.m.

    Are we going to have to get to the point where we force anti-vaxers and their families to live in separate colonies like they did with lepers centuries ago? You have a right to believe whatever you want to, even if it opposes medical science. You don't have the right to spread disease and death throughout the populous.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 20, 2019 11:50 a.m.

    RE: "Vaccines are essential for children's health"...
    Vaccines are not only essential for children's health, they are essential for Adult's health too.

    When children are not vaccinated... they are open to getting and bringing home these diseases to others in the family, including older siblings and their parents.

    Likewise... when adults are not vaccinated... they are susceptible to these communicable diseases and bring them home and expose their children.

    They are essential for everybody's health.


    The theory behind vaccines being effective isn't just that if YOU are vaccinated YOU will be protected. It's that if enough of us are vaccinated then we are ALL protected (even if a few aren't vaccinated). Because if enough of us are immune the virus won't be able to get enough traction in the population to become wide-spread and cause an epidemic.

    If enough people in the population aren't vaccinated... the virus can gain a foothold and spread. If enough people are vaccinated even if somebody gets it, the people around them are protected so it doesn't spread.

    If you leave yourself or your children unprotected... you put the whole community at higher risk.