So many times I have heard it said by the anti-vaxx/autism believers how they are ‘the mainstream voice’ – *the* autism community.
Today, they got a bit of a reality check.
The New York Times discussed an NYT article in which parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids say:
I refuse to sacrifice my children for the greater good,” said Sybil Carlson, whose 6-year-old son goes to school with several of the children hit by the measles outbreak here………….Ms. Carlson said she understood what was at stake. “I cannot deny that my child can put someone else at risk,” she said.
This piece was written in the wake of a measles outbreak in San Diego:
In a highly unusual outbreak of measles here last month, 12 children fell ill; nine of them had not been inoculated against the virus because their parents objected, and the other three were too young to receive vaccines.
These are the same people who claim that measles is a ‘nothing’ disease – that they had it as kids and it never did them any harm. An argument that reminds me of the one elderly smokers wheel out that they smoked every day of their lives and it never did them any harm as they cough what remains of their lungs up and continue infecting the air with second hand smoke.
Lets be honest here. What these people are doing is very much akin to selfish smokers. They’re wandering up to you and effectively pissing in your face.
Here’s an article from Jan last year in New Scientist.
Deaths have fallen from 873,000 during 1999 to 345,000 by the end of 2005,” said WHO director-general Margaret Chan, on Thursday. “This is a 60% reduction.” And the news is even better in Africa, Chan said. “Deaths there declined by 75%, so Africa is leading the way.”
Measles deaths in children under five fell from 791,000 to 311,000 over the same period, globally.
The new figures estimate that, altogether, measles vaccinations have prevented 7.5 million deaths between 1999 and 2005, and 2.3 million of these were attributable to the intensified programme.
In 2005, 345,000 people *died* from measles. This is down from 873,000 people who *died* from this ‘nothing’ disease that never does anybody any harm. Are people really so purposefully stupid?
And what helped achieve this 60% drop in *deaths* – was it Jenny McCarthy doing chat shows? Was it a whole bunch of people deliberately misrepresenting what happened to a nine year old girl?
No. It was *vaccines* .
In the NYT thread, several stalwart commenter’s from the Age of Autism blog have turned up trying to make their points. The replies to them/before them/after them quite nicely demonstrate how isolated from the mainstream they actually are and how well informed the average person on the street has become both about the need for vaccines and about these people in particular. I do worry that they might start seeing every parent of an autistic child as an anti-vaxx loon but on the positive side, it has shown up very, very publicly how small the autism/anti-vaxx group actually is numerically as well as how little the average person believes them.
By the way, I am well aware that there is another discussion going on in another US papers comments section but I will not link to that as it contains comments about an individual that I want to distance myself from totally and will deny any knowledge of or participation in. Please do not allude to, link to or name either this individual or the newspaper in question.