This has nothing to do with Arizona, per se. It also has nothing to do with me or my parenting, because it's not a decision on which I have ever wavered one scintilla since my son was born. We shall return to our regularly scheduled programming (I even might have a regular schedule! How d'ya like that?), but first, this:
Vaccinate your kids.
I'm sure you've all read by now -- the study's been known to be bogus for years and years now, but dangerous ignoramuses have made the issue much, much bigger than it ever had to be -- that the infamous 1998 Andrew Wakefield study linking autism and vaccines, published in the Lancet, is a fraud. This is slightly new news because not only have there been numerous studies since then showing no link between the two; not only have even the supposed "triggers" in vaccines been removed (no effect on autism rates was observed, except maybe a rise due, probably, to diagnostic improvements); not only have most of the co-authors dropped out and just about everyone disavowed the findings ... the study is out-and-out fraud. FRAUD. Fake. Garbage. Bullshit. And everyone knows it now.
So vaccinate your kids.
This moron is either lying through his teeth, or is in the deepest denial I've ever seen, but I don't really care which. Now avert your eyes if you are my mother, or are offended by strong language, because:
FUCK this guy.
Children have died because of what he started. Wakefield LIED in his study, he was hired by a lawyer who had it in for vaccine manufacturers, he refused to admit that he might possibly be wrong, other idiots took his bogus conclusions and ran with them, and rates of vaccine-preventable diseases -- death rates due to those diseases -- have risen. FUCK this guy.
If you were misled, I don't blame you at all. I realize I'm on the pretty extreme end of the spectrum when it comes to keeping up with these things, and probably even more extreme when it comes to detached, pragmatic, rational skepticism. I would contend that this is simply the right way to use one's brain, but I know there are drawbacks as well. I'm not so great at being sensitive. You, undoubtedly, are better at not pissing off your spouse or random Internet friends with extreme bluntness and an unquenchable need to correct others. And if you've been misled, anywhere along the way, I know it's not because you're stupid. You probably have a different circle of friends than I do. They are probably also smart parents. Many of them probably said, seemingly sensibly, that there must be something to this vaccine danger. Better safe than sorry. I get it. You were being the best parents you could.
But now it's out. It's all out; it's corroborated; you don't need to "trust the establishment." Independent researchers, doctors, reporters. They've all checked it out and come to the same conclusion. Everyone, really, but the ridiculous crack Wakefield, who might just be lying anyway. His study was FRAUD. Vaccines save lives. They do not cause (or "trigger") autism. If vaccines are readily available, and you decline to vaccinate your child, you're no less culpable than a parent who doesn't use a seat belt.
You ask me sometimes in messages, or on Facebook, or in parking lots, because you know I'm into this sort of thing. It's nothing like that this time, really. We're all "into" saving our kids. Maybe you refused vaccines before because you were trying to do just that. You were fed lies. Vaccinate your kids.
If you want to read more, here is the editorial in the British Medical journal, here is a CNN piece, and here is a slightly older comic that does a surprisingly good job explaining the whole thing. You can find countless other examples with the most cursory of Googling.
OK, OK. Inhale ... exhale. I'm not an angry person, really. If you have concerns / questions / commentary, if you agree or not, I really do want to hear about it. Are you still afraid to vaccinate your children? If you were, does this dispel any doubts? If not, what would?