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It would be disingenuous to imply that non-vaccination might not lead to an increased incidence in vaccine-preventable illness. It would be equally disingenuous to state that this possibility poses a great threat to America's children.

Dr. Jay Gordon, quoted at Respectful Insolence

It would be…disingenuous to state that this possibility poses a great threat to America’s children.

Never mind polio, which killed or crippled thousands of children every year before it was eradicated by vaccines, the fear of which ruled some people’s childhoods.

Never mind smallpox, an epidemic disease with an average fatality rate of 30%, also eradicated by vaccines.

Never mind Hemophilus influenza type b (HiB), a disease now nearly forgotten in pediatric wards thanks to vaccination, but which used to cause disease in one of every 200 children under the age of 5—whereof ½–⅔ developed meningitis, with a mortality rate of 5% and rate of permanent brain damage of 30%.

No—none of these, nor any of the other among the dozens of vaccine-preventable diseases now eradicated or dramatically reduced, pose a great threat; thus, because there’s no great threat, we should cautiously withhold vaccination just in case we ever find evidence that they cause any harm. We have no such evidence, but why jump the gun? It’s not like they prevent any great threat.


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Petter Häggholm

April 2016

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