question re:vaccination

mdoherty mdoherty at atlas.niaid.nih.gov
Tue Jan 20 09:35:46 EST 1998


In article <beeber-1601981837350001 at gln06.imt.net>, beeber at inetco.net
(Karen Beeber) wrote:

> In article <mdoherty-ya02408000R1401981115290001 at 165.112.208.8>,
> mdoherty at atlas.niaid.nih.gov (mdoherty) wrote:
> 
> > Where improved sanitation had
> > been only partially successful, the polio vaccine reduced paralytic polio
> > in the US from tens of thousands of cases a year to... none in the last two
> > years and a total of a couple of dozen in the 10 years before that.
> 
> However, you failed to bring up the fact that *ALL* polio cases in the US
> in the last 20 years have been attributed to the vaccine, either directly
> or indirectly. Me, I prefer to take my chances and not vaccinate against
> polio.

I've read this before - but no, though apparently widely disseminated, it's
not true.  All the cases in the last 9 years (a total of 12) have
apparently been vaccine related, and this number is dwarfed by the
Pennsylvania outbreak alone - affecting mostly non-vaccinating Hutterites -
which was found to be caused by a wild strain of polio.

Not to vaccinate is of course your choice, but even though vaccination has
all but eradicated polio from North America, new cases are imported on a
regular basis.  If non-vaccinated children come on contact with carriers or
recent vaccinees, or they travel overseas to areas where polio is still
endemic, then their chances of getting paralytic polio are *greatly*
increased.  This "I'll take my chances" attitude combines two of the least
attarctive traits regarding public health in America - apathy and
ignorance.

Cheers, (somewhat dourly) Mark



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