Vaccines and Faith

1 06 2011

Pharmaceutical companies need to hurry up and develop a vaccination against stupidity.  Alternatively, laws need to be put in place to protect children against the moronic superstitions of their parents.  A West Virginian woman refuses to vaccinate her 8 year-old daughter and believes that this is a commandment from God.

To Jennifer Workman, God Himself commands her to protect her 8 year-old daughter Madison.

“I am a steward of the Lord for this child, “she said as she walked outside her single level home in Lenore West Virginia on Monday. “And I am not going to let anyone tell me what’s best for my child.”

In 1999, Madison’s older sister developed autism just months after receiving her state-required immunizations for measles, mumps and rubella.

Stop me right here, if you’ve heard this story before.  Child gets vaccine.  Child develops autism shortly thereafter.  Credulous parent that does not possess any scientific education blames the vaccine.  Only now we have the added bonus of a parent who believes she is subservient to a higher power.  Of course, it’s the child that will pay for the parent’s choice to take marching orders from a non-existent entity.

Workman argues that it should be her right and choice when it comes to vaccinating the child.  But what about the rights of the child?  Does her daughter not have a right to be immunized?  Workman’s attempts to please her god should not involve an effective sacrifice of her child.  What about other children?  As Dr. Anita Chandra points out:

“They’re also risking spreading the infection to children who are not immunized because of age, [or are] only partially immunized because they haven’t received their booster vaccines.”

Chandra is a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, a group that pushes the importance of childhood vaccines. Chandra says we as a society have an obligation to ensure all children are immunized.

“It’s important to vaccinate all children so you prevent illness from spreading within that population,” she said.

Chandra is exactly right.  The health of many children is far more important than respecting a woman’s unsubstantiated superstitions.  Workman’s response to Chandra’s statement demonstrates a complete ignorance on vaccinations and should lay to rest any doubts over whether or not her position is based on reason and evidence.

“If my child is unvaccinated and all these other children are vaccinated, How does my child pose any threat?” responded Workman. “This is my child and it’s a right I should have.”.

Herd immunity?  Workman clearly hasn’t heard of it.  My only hope is that as her daughter grows older she will shake off her upbringing in a household of superstition.  That is, if illnesses that could be prevented by vaccinations don’t get to her first.







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