Published on April 29th, 2016 | by Rayne


As Strong As Our Best Defences

Just a quick note:

I don’t know how anyone can fuck this up – refusing preventative measures that protect against airborne pathogens isn’t just a choice that impacts on you but it impacts on everyone around you.

And you before you tell me that not vaccinating is a “personal choice” that you have made for your child, I’m going to stop you right there before you fuck up any further. You cannot make a personal choice on behalf of another person. That is simply a choice. Not a personal one. Even when a spouse makes a medical decision on behalf of their partner – that choice is not personal, it is meant to be based on the wishes of the incapacitated person.

I really don’t understand where people are failing to understand how herd immunity works, it’s named after a fucking natural phenomena. Wildebeest, for example, will protect the most vulnerable members of the herd by forming a protective barrier around them so predators can’t attack. If a Wildebeest decides to go “Fuck it, I only have responsibility to my child” and walk away from the protective barrier into the open environment – not only do they increase the chances of the young inside the protective barrier getting hurt because there is one less Wildebeest to protect them, but the (presumably mummy blogger) Wildebeest and her poor offspring are now out in the open, vulnerable to attack.

Because anti-vaxxers like to shift the goalposts and deny that herd immunity exists, they often parrot the same old tired line with the same old smug look on their faces – “Why are you worried about my child not being vaccinated? I thought vaccination worked?”. Because you failed to understand how herd immunity works. Herd immunity is only as strong as the number of protected people – as strong as the number of people protecting those around them. If a community is below a certain percentage of protected people, herd immunity is lowered and more and more people are left open to attack from pathogens – especially if those pathogens evolve stronger and better than our best defences.

So, no – you aren’t making a personal choice. You’re making a fucking stupid choice when you refuse to vaccinate. Not only have you failed at comparative risk assessment and deemed the statistically insignificant risk of a reaction to a vaccinate greater than the statistically significant risk of disability or death from a preventable disease – you’re putting the lives of your children at risk due to a delusion that your child is somehow exempt from the community and herd that you refuse to protect.

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