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LETTER: Hunches don't equal science
I couldn't disagree more than with the opinion of Cora Anthony that choosing to get vaccinated is a personal decision. Most bizarrely, equating the online poll on mandatory vaccinations to polling on breastfeeding made no sense whatsoever because breast feeding does not put others at risk.
Giving anti-vaccine people a place to push their anti-science agenda, as if it was equal importance to the promotion of the public good, is irresponsible.
On some issues, there are two sides, but when it comes to giving space to the anti-vaccine mob it is like giving equal opportunity to the flat-earthers after someone has claimed the earth is round.
Maybe a vaccine did cause the damage, as Ms. Anthony claims without offering proof, but the chances of that actually happening are astrologically small and do not negate in any way all the good that vaccines have done in reducing suffering and death. We don't have polio or small pox today because of mandatory vaccinations. Should those vaccinations have been personal decisions as Ms. Anthony would have us believe? Hardly!
I put my faith in science and not in medical pot, green tea, prayer, an upset mom's hunches, or unnamed sources. It isn't a question of if but when the next pandemic strikes. Today it’s measles, tomorrow it could be a virus cousin of the Black Death.
When it happens I wonder how eager the anti-vaccine crowd will become to be the first to be vaccinated. I'll be there saying get to the back of the line and won't be as polite as I was in this letter, either. And it might happen sooner than you think as ebola – with a 90% kill rate and no cure or vaccine to fight it – has moved into a second African country.
Robert T. Rock