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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Imagine

I noticed this little gem among the comments at Science Based Medicine: "Imagine how many unnecessary deaths could be prevented by parents acting responsibly and vaccinating their children."

Imagine... just imagine. It's certainly interesting how pro-vaccine propagandists, who claim that their position is based in science, rely on nothing more than an appeal to imagination in their rhetoric. But there is no need to imagine how many "unnecessary deaths" could be prevented by 100 percent vaccine compliance since deaths caused by communicable diseases are tracked by the CDC. Here are the number of recent annual deaths attributed to each disease:

Measles = zero deaths
Chicken pox = 66 deaths
Polio = 1 death
Tetanus = 4 deaths
Pertussis = 17 deaths

Throw in a few deaths caused by Rubella, Mumps, and Diptheria, and that indicates around 100 "unnecessary deaths could be prevented by parents acting responsibly and vaccinating their children". That's 530 fewer deaths than could be prevented by banning bicycles and 426 fewer deaths than could be prevented by banning swimming pools. And since the CDC refuses to accurately track the number of deaths caused by adverse vaccine reactions, we have no idea how to balance those 100 "unnecessary deaths" against the additional risks posed by the vaccinations.

But it is educational to see how the facts undermine the effectiveness of the pro-vaccine rhetoric and tend to demonstrate the intrinsic lack of integrity demonstrated by the pro-vaccine propagandists.

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