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I am in a position where both sides of the story apply to me. On one hand I am studying clinical laboratory science with a future emphasis in microbiology. All the campaigns by lobby groups against vaccinations I've heard, read, and processed and I just don't understand. It's such a simple proposition: inject this purified material into your body and you will be protected from human diseases that have wreaked havoc on mankind for centuries. Done. Simple. Between all the vaccinations for the deadly (smallpox) all the way to the innocuous but annoying (varicella/chickenpox) unaccountable lives have been saved.

On the other hand I lie somewhere on the autism spectrum. I know what it's like day-in-and-day-out to have autism. To me it borders on degrading that a lobby group and certain people are saying things like: "this vaccination caused my son to develop autism". Almost like a search for blame rather than a scientific quest for the developmental mechanism leading to autism.  Remove "autism" from the quoted sentence and replace it with phrases such as "homosexual thoughts" and "black skin" and you get inklings of homophobia and racism creeping in. To me the "autism" line has some of the same sentiments creeping in.

Those are my thoughts.

As to the original story:

1.) Usually the tetanus vaccine is grouped together with a vaccine for diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough). If he isn't/wasn't vaccinated for tetanus he is more than likely unvaccinated against the other two. This is routine in the U.S. but I'm not sure what the general policy is for New Zealand.

2.) Through all my university courses in microbiological fields I have never had real instruction in measles, mumps, or rubella or the viruses that cause them. It's just not important or clinically relevant.[1]Measles, mumps, and rubella have gone the way of polio and smallpox as "things cured by vaccine."
 1. Though this may change with the depth and specificity of my future classes
Changed Change Reason Date
magicmiles Good post June 18, 2013, 06:10:35 AM
screwtape good post June 18, 2013, 09:25:41 AM