Monday, June 2, 2014

What If The Vaccine Doesn't Work?

Kottke points to a rise in measles, and then blames people who choose not to vaccinate.
Now, if you are pro-vaccination, vaccinate your own kids and don't worry about it. Maybe you mention to your friends you think it is a good idea to vaccinate. Maybe you actually learn about risk/benefit analysis, tone down your hysteria, and push a few vaccines that have legit provenances rather than hyping the entire product line of our dystopian pharmaceutical companies that like to come out with a product that limits their potential liability.

But here is one thing Kottke, Mother Jones, and every other idiot who runs this sort of blame game is missing- what if the vaccine just doesn't work?
Are you checking for that? Oh wait, no, you are blaming people who didn't want the vaccine. What if the real story is that the vaccine isn't doing the job?
The companies don't get sued when people who got the vaccines get measles anyway- and this does happen at least occasionally.

Now we've got a clear rise. Hey, lets do actual reporting, or maybe even science, and check on how many of these new measles cases actually got the vaccine.
If they got the vaccine and still got the measles, then we've got a problem. If they chose to risk getting measles instead of the risk of getting a shot, we don't have a problem. That is the sort of basic free choice we need in this world.

I suppose a journalist could try and find out that no one is interested in actually verifying how many new measles cases are in people who got the vaccine. Modern healthcare practitioners are peculiarly uninterested in keeping track of their proficiency. But it would be good for the journalists to at least point this out as a possibility rather than continue to repeat propaganda.


The Anti-Gnostic said...

I wonder if vaccines are running the course of antibiotics. If we need a new flu vaccine every year, then I'd say it's pretty obvious we're at dimininishing returns.

August said...

They claim it is a different strain every year. They actually try to guess, and I don't think the risk/benefit analysis flies for flu shots. Recently we had one of these scares, either bird or swine flu (can't remember which). In this case there were a lot of vaccinations the first time, and then the next year or so when there was a resurgence, they were just saying we should get more of the same vaccine. It seems to me folks should have been asking why the initial inoculation didn't work.
My boss tells me there is a license you have to get for your dog in this city- in order to get the license you have to get the dog a rabies shot every year. That doesn't make any sense.