Guard Against Disease

Should we require everyone get vaccinations for diseases to prevent pandemics?  There has been opposition to vaccines since the practice was first used in western medicine in 1796.  In that year, Edward Jenner used cowpox germs to create protection from the more deadly smallpox disease.  As the cartoon below shows, people were concerned about the ingredients and effects of the new procedure.

The Cow-Pock—or—the Wonderful Effects of the New Inoculation!
The Cow-Pock—or—the Wonderful Effects of the New Inoculation!

This was shown in a publication against the practice of vaccines.  After vaccination campaigns throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the WHO certified the eradication of smallpox in 1979.  This has saved millions of people from disfigurement and possible death from this disease!

Even in recent years the famous people have started campaigns using bad science and anecdotal evidence of the dangers of vaccines.  I believe there needs to be thorough testing and disclosure of the effects of new vaccines, but without widespread vaccination programs, diseases, like smallpox, will not be eradicated.

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One thought on “Guard Against Disease”

  1. Ebola update:
    The non-scientific crowd has the wrong ideas again as they freak out over the Ebola 2014 West African outbreak and suggest shutting down all transportation between Africa and the U.S. and many other solutions. The most extreme was Todd Kincannon (@Todd__Kincannon), the former general counsel and executive director of the South Carolina Republican Party, Tweeted “People with Ebola in the US need to be humanely put down immediately. RT @AP: Dallas hospital: U.S. Ebola patient in critical condition”

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