"If the right to vote were expanded to seven year olds ... its policies would most definitely reflect the ‘legitimate concerns’ of children to have ‘adequate’ and ‘equal’ access to ‘free’ french fries, lemonade and videos." ~ Hans-Hermann Hoppe
Do We Need a Vaccine for Hubris?
Column by D. Saul Weiner.
Exclusive to STR
There are a lot of heated exchanges going on right now in social media related to vaccination. Many people have become convinced that parents who do not vaccinate are jeopardizing the health of others and that vaccines for children should be mandated. Politicians who are expected to run for president in 2016 are starting to weigh in on the topic and some of them are coming out in favor of mandatory vaccination.
Given what we know about vaccines, this situation should not come as a surprise. After all, we have been told that vaccines have saved millions of lives and wiped out deadly and debilitating diseases. They have dramatically increased life expectancy and only rarely cause serious harm (only 1 in a million cases). Without vaccines, we might see the high infant and child mortality rates seen today in Third World countries. With that understanding, for most people the decision about whether or not to vaccinate their kids is a no-brainer. Why would any rational person turn their back on vaccination?
But arguments rest upon their premises. If we start with faulty premises, then we are likely to come to the wrong conclusion, no matter how logical and rational we may be. So if it turns out that our premises overstate the potential benefits of vaccination and understate the risks, then we will hold a more favorable view of vaccination than we would if we held a more accurate assessment of the risks and benefits. With that in mind, let’s reexamine many of these premises and see if they hold water or if there is more to the story than what we have been told. What if we have been misled?
Potential Benefits of Vaccination
- What if the marked decline in mortality from infectious diseases was NOT due to vaccination, but was a result of other factors, such as improvements in sanitation, hygiene, nutrition, and working conditions?
- What if the mortality from infectious diseases was in steep decline before the introduction of vaccines?
- What if previously deadly diseases which were not vaccinated for (such as typhoid fever and scarlet fever) died out along with the ones which were vaccinated for?
- What if the smallpox vaccine did NOT wipe out that disease?
- What if many of the diseases we still have today, were actually diagnosed as polio prior to the vaccine?
- What if we are currently vaccinating against diseases which are generally mild and, when contracted naturally, confer a lifetime of immunity and strengthen our immune system?
- What if vaccines only confer immunity for a limited period of time and, as a result, many adults today have little or no immunity to diseases they were vaccinated against while growing up?
- What if it were possible to prevent serious harm from occurring if one were to contract a disease such as polio or measles, by using high doses of certain nutrients?
Risks of Vaccination
- What if vaccines are much riskier than the public health bodies contend?
- What if those who receive vaccines containing live viruses shed them and can infect others?
- What if Congress passed a law which made vaccine manufacturers and doctors immune from lawsuits in cases where vaccines caused harm? What if this act reduced the incentives of suppliers to minimize the risks posed by vaccines?
- What if infant mortality, in developed countries, is highest in the ones that give the most vaccines in the first year of life?
- What if the vaccination process actually impairs the immune system and makes it far more likely that the vaccinated will develop asthma, allergies, and neurological issues?
- What if Dr. Andrew Wakefield was correct and there is a link between the measles virus from the MMR vaccine found in the gut of autistic kids and their condition?
- What if modern medicine is rediscovering what the ancients believed, that gut health is critical for overall mental and physical health?
- What if the CDC fraudulently covered up information showing a link between MMR and autism in its own studies, which has only recently come to light due to whistleblower scientist William Thompson?
The Vaccine Skepticism Movement
- What if skepticism about the advisability of vaccination is not a new phenomenon and has, in fact, been around as long as vaccines have?
- What if there have always been doctors, scientists, parents, and other educated people who believed that vaccines were more harmful than helpful?
- What if many of the maligned so-called “anti-vaccine” people started out with conventional views and only changed their minds after their child was severely injured or killed by a vaccine?
- What if those who promote caution and skepticism in regard to vaccination are not a threat to public health and are, in fact, providing a valuable service to society by challenging others to become better informed about the risks and benefits of vaccination?
What if the chances are one in a million that what we have been taught about vaccines is correct?
Friedrich Hayek made the following statement:
“The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design. To the naive mind that can conceive of order only as the product of deliberate arrangement, it may seem absurd that in complex conditions order, and adaptation to the unknown, can be achieved more effectively by decentralizing decisions and that a division of authority will actually extend the possibility of overall order. Yet that decentralization actually leads to more information being taken into account.” ~ The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism (1988), p. 76
What if health care decisions cannot be centrally planned and are best made by individuals and parents?