Beacon Citizen Network (BCN): a place for neighbors to get the word out, be heard and stay informed in all matters concerning Beacon, NY.



Beacon City School District

Beacon High School 98.0%

Glenham Elementary School 98.2%

J V Forrestal Elementary School 96.3%

Rombout Middle School 98.6%

Sargent Elementary School 98.0%

South Avenue Elementary School 99.4%

There is no value in not vaccinating your children. You are only increasing their risk of maiming and death. All concerns about vaccines are worries and fears that reflect a lack of understanding of the facts. 

You are also risking the lives of people around you. Infants, elderly, immune compromised, and those who can't have vaccines for valid medical reasons. There's also a few people who get vaccinated, but the vaccine doesn't work for various reasons.

All of these people depend on herd immunity to protect them. Herd immunity means if enough people are vaccinated, the disease can't find any attack vectors to get at vulnerable people. But if not enough get vaccinated, the disease can find and infect vulnerable people. Possibly maiming or killing them, never mind making them horribly sick.

So to choose not to vaccinate, based on faulty reasoning, is to put lives at risk for no good reason.

Is it about freedom? Isn't the freedom to live most important?

Am I allowed to speed on the highway because of my freedom and your respect for my personal choice? Are we so timid that we disregard the lives of the poor saps who have to share the road with me and the threat my speeding represents to them in order to respect my "freedom" to act irresponsibly? When did we start respecting life-threatening irresponsibility out of timidity and/ or political pandering?

It's not about your freedom if your choices hurt other people.

Let’s call this out as the nonsense it is. If we’re going to denounce the Taliban for blocking polio vaccinations, we should be just as quick to stand up to health illiteracy in our midst.

First, a word on vaccines: They have revolutionized public health.

Can you name the discoverer of the smallpox vaccine? Probably not: Edward Jenner is little known today. He lived roughly when Napoleon did, and (by my back-of-envelope calculations) he managed before he died to save many millions more lives than Napoleon cost in his wars over the same period.

All told, up to the present, Jenner’s vaccine appears to have saved more than half a billion lives since 1800, notes Dr. D.A. Henderson, who led the effort to eradicate smallpox. Jenner should be counted as one of the great heroes of the modern world, yet he is forgotten while everybody knows of Napoleon. That’s emblematic of the way vaccines get short shrift.

In reporting on poverty worldwide, I’ve seen how much vaccines improve human well-being. I understand how troglodytes in the Taliban or Boko Haram can be suspicious of vaccines, but politicians here in affluent, well-educated America? Moms and dads in Santa Monica?

Tags: measles, vaccination

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