Oh dear, do we dare to write about being pro- or anti-vaccination? I think I MUST do it. There is no such thing as censorship in science. And if there is one topic that is very heated at the moment that deserves a lot of attention from science then it is vaccination because the outcome of your stance has big consequences. When it is heated, the answer probably lays somewhere in the middle.
To tell you the truth, I’ve seen pretty good arguments against as well as for vaccination.
The book on longevity talks about vaccination but I didn’t think much of writing about it until I saw this latest news report on measles. Sorry it is in dutch but the main point they say is that the measles outbreak is on the rise again due to lack of vaccination, increasing child death.
That is what I mean with big consequences. We are talking about child death here. If anything, we have been able to raise our average life expectancy because we were able to save our children from dying of all sorts of causes like infections, accidents etc.
So what can we look at when talking about vaccination? Don’t expect to have a clear decision on yes they are safe or no they are not. Instead I want to have the following questions answered or at least looked at. They would help me to evaluate how to deal with the whole situation.
- Do vaccines get tested for safety in the same (rigorous) way as other drugs?
- Do vaccines have known side effects? What are they?
- If they have side effects, are they worth it versus the protection that they bring?
- Are all vaccines effective, tested and safe or do we find a mixed landscape?
- Even if vaccines would not be very safe but are effective, what consequence would there be not having them?
- If vaccines have side effects, who experiences them and can the side effects be mitigated somehow?
- If I decide to vaccinate, can unvaccinated people still have an effect me? Or if I don’t, am I a threat to others who are vaccinated?
Those are not questions that can be answered with a quick google. I will have to take my time digging into them and will spread across different posts as I’m sure each question will provide enough material.
When vaccinations are effective, it would be senseless not to consider them if they prevent you from dying early. Hopefully we can get some more clarity because the article on measles is something to be concerned about.