The Boston Globe on vaccines and autism. “How an unlikely theory pushed the Hansens – and others – to reject many routine childhood vaccinations dramatizes the biggest dilemma in public health today. Most diseases prevented by vaccines, like polio, measles, and whooping cough, are now pretty uncommon, and many people like the Hansens believe the benefits of vaccines don’t outweigh the risks. To increase public acceptance of vaccines, then, should health authorities spin the facts to make the diseases seem deadlier and the shots seem safer? The surprising thing is that they already do. And whether we like it or not, it may be better that way.”

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  • Anonymous

    this is an argument between personal benefit and population benefit, right? for my child, the risks of measles vaccine might outweigh the benefits, mainly because ‘herd immunity’ will protect my unvaccinated child from measles.

    but if every parent thinks this way, there won’t be any herd immunity, and measles will regularly reappear in the community.

    another example of people putting themselves first, while counting on others not to think the same way? – i think the very same issue underlies the problems with medical malpractice lawsuits