We learned many valuable lessons in our last discussion board, and those lessons are still applicable today. Sometimes medical/public health discoveries/recommendations fly in the face of cultural norms, superstition, and fear. The best modern day example of this that I can think of is the vaccine controversy.
We live in a country where vaccine coverage has been (up until this point) so complete that we as a society probably cannot appreciate the reason vaccines were invented in the first place…to save lives. NOT so that children would not miss school, NOT so that mom would not have to stay home from work with a sick child…NOT so that someone would not have chicken pox on school picture day…they were invented because in the past many children were permanently injured or even died from those illnesses in surprising numbers.
Until recently, vaccines have eliminated much of this morbidity and mortality in the United States. Unfortunately, since these diseases have not been eradicated globally (like smallpox was, with vaccines) countries where people do not have the vaccine coverage that we had are still experiencing these epidemics, often with devastating consequences. All we have to do is a little algebra to realize: (unvaccinated Americans + a trip abroad) + (unvaccinated Americans + international tourism in the US) = re-surgence of childhood diseases like measles.
So…it really doesn’t matter if you never leave San Diego County…or go to Disneyland…once it starts here ALL unvaccinated individuals are at risk.
Your assignment for Discussion 3 is to watch this Ted Talk:Hippos, Measles and Smallpox…oh my! (Links to an external site.) and then answer the following questions:
1. Has this video changed your opinion regarding vaccinations?
2. If you are opposed to vaccines, please tell us why, WITH REFERENCES. If you are not opposed to vaccines, please tell us how you would convince someone that you know to have their children vaccinated, WITH REFERENCES (besides this Ted Talk).
Your answer should be no more than two short paragraphs, 4 sentences each.