What is the risk of vaccination vs non-vaccination?
A few months ago a bunch of kids caught measles at Disneyland.  Scary. But, do you know what else is scary? In the aftermath of the outbreak, concerned citizens, health practitioners, government officials, the media, and mothers alike hurled insults at one another, accused one another of ignorance and deceit, and, in some cases, accused one another of murder.
It is not surprising, really. The stakes are high. We are talking about the health of society, the health of our children, the risks of tinkering with the human immune system, the risks of life-threatening diseases, and the risk of death.
Perhaps you believe there are no risks. Perhaps you believe vaccines are 100% safe, 100% effective, and those who believe otherwise are gullible victims of faulty science and/or disillusioned conspiracy theorists. Or, perhaps you believe the risk of an otherwise healthy individual contracting a life-threatening disease in the developed world is but fear mongering propaganda in the hands of corrupt pharmaceuticals. Either way, the data suggests otherwise.
Continue reading “Afraid of Numbers Part 1: Assessing the risk of vaccination and infectious disease in America”