Paul Offit is My Hero
Well, it's been almost a month since I blogged about Fall and two things that, for me, go with it: sweaters and the flu vaccine. (Read 'Tis the Season.) Despite what I thought was a harmless virtual "wink" to all the anti-vaccination folks out there, I unwittingly opened up some uncomfortable dialogue among family, friends, and myself.
It wasn't terrible, really, but I've found myself getting increasingly irritated over recent news of the swine flu vaccine, Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy's talking points on Larry King Live, and conversations with friends who disagree with my pro-vaccination beliefs. The thing that gets me the most is that a lot of people who don't want to vaccinate themselves or their children somehow think that because I would, I must not have done my research, like they have.
My roommate is an epidemiologist at the CDC, and she specializes in pandemic flu. We've had many a discussion on vaccines and the history of the anti-vaccination movement, and she's reminded me of a lot of biological facts I learned in college biology classes but somehow forgot over the years. Listening to her explain what she studies day in and day out is so fun for me -- but more than that, it makes me want to tell everyone what I know and believe about science.
So although I had initially decided against posting something about vaccines on my blog, I decided this afternoon that I would do it, anyway. It's my blog, afterall.
I won't tell you that you need to support vaccines, too. I won't tell you that I think you're an idiot if you don't support vaccines. (Because I don't think you are.) And I won't go on and on about why I think the way I do.
Instead I'll let Paul Offit do that. He's the co-inventor of a rotavirus vaccine, and he is featured in this month's Wired magazine. I wholeheartedly agree with his sentiments on all things vaccines. Also, Amy Wallace, the author of the article, is superb. Really, I can't stress how much I enjoyed reading this article.
The article is lengthy but, for me, riveting.
Read An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endangers Us All.
Thing I'm thankful for: party Fridays and Halloween Saturdays!