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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Herd Immunity

Have you ever heard anyone say that they don't need to get a vaccination because they never get the disease and, even if they do, it's never very serious?

That's fine if the only person you care about is you. Maybe you live in a cave. Maybe you never visit old people in a retirement home. Maybe you are never near babies. Maybe you don't have a spouse or a partner. (I can't imagine why such a self-centered person would not have a partner.)

Or maybe you just don't understand the concept of herd immunity. Ignorance can be cured ....

[Hat Tip: Mike's Weekly Skeptic Rant]


  1. I think it should be a condition of employment in hospitals, retirement homes etc. that all staff should have to have annual flu shots unless they have had an adverse reaction to the shots in the past.

    1. I work on a medical campus and, yes, they do require this of all employees here.

    2. I in spite of what Konrad says, it has proven to be very, very, difficult to force medical workers to get vaccinated if they refuse to do so. There are many doctors who don't get flu shots.

      I heard of one interesting scheme where all medical workers in a hospital got to wear a special uniform if they had been vaccinated. Those who refused the vaccinations stood out like sore thumbs.

  2. But Larry, there seem to be hundreds of similar stories on the net by people who don't think vaccinations work and in fact cause autism and other horrible diseases.

    Your attempts to shoehorn society into a truncated form would likely end up as a Mao-sized failure.

    I realize it is sooooo important for you to invalidate all experiences that don't accord with your own, but just as a thought exercise, what is the harm in letting some people continue with woo based alternatives to vaccination they feel they are benefitting from, and/or what will be the great boon to mankind should woo based alternatives to vaccination be humiliated out of existence by you and your intrepid thought police?

    Such a society needs to acknowledge the many differences people have, some being more attuned to reason and science while others achieve happy lives that benefit others through other pursuits and predilections, including woo based alternatives to vaccination.

    Seemed like an opportune time to dust off the Babelatronic(TM).

    1. A frolicsome poster named steve,
      has the niftiest trick up his sleeve,
      with no arguments won
      he's yet good with a pun
      so that's all that he cares to achieve!

    2. No too bad andy !

      So do you think, as I do, that parody, ridicule, satire and irony are valid ways of criticizing ideas ?

    3. of course I agree, steve. And in the unlikely event that I should ever have an idea that merits parody, ridicule, satire and/or irony, have at it!


  3. I totally agree with your post. May I still ask for a correction of the title.

  4. Immuity is the sound of a cow falling over in a forest when nobody hears it.