Świetny artykuł o szczepionkach: o skuteczności, o efektach ubocznych, o strachu. A także o racjonalizmie, metodzie naukowej i złudnym poczuciu kontroli nad własnym życiem.
Kilka ciekawszych wyimków podaję poniżej, ale bardzo proszę kliknąć i przeczytać całość.
Artykuł ważny nie tylko w temacie szczepionek; każe mi się coraz więcej zastanawiać czy jednak Internet, oferujący na wyciągnięcie ręki niby wiedzę, ale często powierzchowną, często jej pozory, a często bezczelne kłamstwa i mętne urojenia na wiedzę ucharakteryzowane, pozwalający każdemu poczuć się ekspertem, nie wprowadzi naszej cywilizacji – w nowe wieki ciemne.
Wyimki (podkreślenia moje):
[Ruch przeciwszczepionkowy] is also, ironically, a product of the era of instant communication and easy access to information. The doubters and deniers are empowered by the Internet (online, nobody knows you’re not a doctor) and helped by the mainstream media, which has an interest in pumping up bad science to create a “debate” where there should be none.
In certain parts of the US, vaccination rates have dropped so low that occurrences of some children’s diseases are approaching pre-vaccine levels for the first time ever. […] In the June issue of the journal Pediatrics, Jason Glanz, an epidemiologist at Kaiser’s Institute for Health Research, revealed that the number of reported pertussis cases jumped from 1,000 in 1976 to 26,000 in 2004. A disease that vaccines made rare, in other words, is making a comeback.
The suggestion that pharmaceutical companies make vaccines hoping to pocket huge profits is ludicrous to Offit. Vaccines, after all, are given once or twice or three times in a lifetime. Diabetes drugs, neurological drugs, Lipitor, Viagra, even Rogaine — stuff that a large number of people use every day — that’s where the money is.
That’s not to say vaccines aren’t profitable: RotaTeq costs a little under $4 a dose to make, according to Offit. Merck has sold a total of more than 24 million doses in the US, most for $69.59 a pop — a 17-fold markup. Not bad, but pharmaceutical companies do sell a lot of vaccines at cost to the developing world and in some cases give them away. Merck committed $75 million in 2006 to vaccinate all children born in Nicaragua for three years. In 2008, Merck’s revenue from RotaTeq was $665 million. Meanwhile, a blockbuster drug like Pfizer’s Lipitor is a $12 billion-a-year business.
According to science journalist Michael Specter, author of the new book „Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet and Threatens Our Lives”, the controversy surrounding vaccine safety has made lack of expertise a requirement when choosing members of prominent advisory panels on the issue. “It’s shocking,” Specter says. “We live in a country where it’s actually a detriment to be an expert about something.” When expertise is diminished to such an extent, irrationality and fear can run amok.
[T]he study found that the risk of contracting the disease was lower if you were completely unvaccinated and living in a highly vaccinated community than if you were completely vaccinated and living in a relatively unvaccinated community. Why? Because vaccines don’t always take. What does that mean? You can’t minimize your individual risk unless your herd, your friends and neighbors, also buy in. Herd immunity!!!! – mdm