I've just received an email warning about the dangers of the H1N1 Vaccine. You may have received it too. That's why I'm writing this. I urge you all to take the time to read this story in the current Wired Magazine called " An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endangers Us All"
It's a well-reasoned and heavily researched story about vaccines in general and the H1N1 vaccine in particular. Usually I'd say that folks should make their own choices and not care what those choices are - but this story has convinced me that in this case it really can't work that way. If enough people refuse to take the H1N1 vaccine - it will put everyone else in their community at risk.
Here's one of many key quotes from the Wired article:
The frightening implications of this kind of anecdote were illustrated by a 2002 study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. Looking at 3,292 cases of measles in the Netherlands, the study found that the risk of contracting the disease was lower if you were completely unvaccinated and living in a highly vaccinated community than if you were completely vaccinated and living in a relatively unvaccinated community. Why? Because vaccines don’t always take. What does that mean? You can’t minimize your individual risk unless your herd, your friends and neighbors, also buy in.
By contrast, here's the Wiki page on Russell Blaylock, who wrote the H1N1 email that was forwarded to me. And here's an excerpt from that page:
Blaylock has asserted, among other things, that behind the US drug problem was a "nefarious program created in the former Soviet Union that exceeds even the far-reaching imaginations of Hollywood writers". The drug problem, he writes, would weaken the resistance of Western Society to Soviet invasion, undermine religion (which he calls 'the foundation of Western stability and morality'), target schools, harm the work force and work ethic, make the youth "unable to resist collectivism", and create a "totalitarian mindset within the United States government". He implicates Fidel Castro, Nikita Kruschev, Leonid Brezhnev, organized crime syndicates, and their American "leftist accomplices" in the formation of US drug culture.
Blaylock implies that the Soviet program was linked to crack-cocaine, fentanyl, ecstasy and methamphetamine, and that it was responsible for "an epidemic of hepatitis, AIDS, venereal diseases and highly resistant tuberculosis". He accuses the US media and the US government of knowing about the Soviet plot, but failing to expose it. As part of his evidence, he quotes from the "Communist Manual of Instructions of Psychological Warfare", purportedly by Lavrenti Beria. However, many people have doubted the authenticity and authorship of the work, including the FBI.
The Wired story is not as short and exciting as the anti-vaccine email that I received tonight, but it should be required reading for us all.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof"
~ Marcello Truzzi