Tuesday, January 29, 2019

A Few Words on Vaccines

The state of Washington is in the midst of a public health emergency all because some parents, who themselves are probably vaccinated, decided not to vaccinate their kids.  For the vast majority of people, vaccines are a good thing.  Vaccines have been used since about 1800 and they have been responsible for eradicating smallpox with polio probably soon to follow.  Vaccines have also made huge strides in getting rid of measles...until some idiot parents decided they don't care if their children get a severe, sometimes fatal, but wholly preventable disease.  Obviously I am not an anti-vaxxer.

While there are some specific reasons not to get vaccinated, for most people, vaccines can mean the difference between severe illness, possible permanent disfigurement, and lasting health issues, and good health.  Vaccines do not cause autism, they aren't part of a government conspiracy, and aside from a couple of questionable vaccines in recent memory (don't even get me started on the anthrax vaccine), vaccines protect far more people than the small number of people who have adverse reactions to them. 

Personally I keep up-to-date on my vaccine schedule (during a SHTF situation, the last thing I want to do is try to hunt down a tetanus shot if I inadvertently cut myself), stay home when I am ill so I don't spread whatever virus I have contracted, and try to avoid contracting illnesses from others (washing hands often, keeping "coughing distance" from people, etc).  Note that with highly virulent diseases such as measles, good hygiene often isn't enough (thus the possible outbreak officials fear may happen in Hawaii due to people who were infected in Washington and flew to the islands).

The bottom line is that being vaccinated is the best way to prevent many common--and uncommon-diseases and is just one more way to prepare for whatever the future may hold.

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