Csonicgo won the debate by bringing up herd immunity.
Your bike helmet analogy is cute, but it fails to address basic epidemiological understanding of why it's important that Bob should stop being a selfish little bitch, man the fuck up, and roll up his sleeves.
I never understood why some people get so butthurt over other people not vaccinating theirselves or their children, as long as they are protected.
E.g. if someone wants to ride a bike without a helmet, it's his prerogative, as he can harm none outside of himself.
Same with vaccination: let's say there's a disease X out there. If you get the AntiX vaccine, you don't get infected. If you don't, you get.
Now, take two people Alice and Bob. Alice has AntiX, Bob does not.
Can Bob infect Alice, even if he has X? No, he can't, because she's vaccinated. That's the whole point.
Will vaccinating Bob make Alice's life any better? No, it won't.
WIll vaccinating Bob protect alice from contracting X? No, if Alice isn't already vaccinated herself. If she wasn't, then the roles would be kinda reversed, dontchathink??!
In order to effectively eradicate any communicable disease that can be prevented via vaccination, everyone in the populace has to participate.
If enough people choose not to participate, then they become a reservoir for the disease to communicate, incubate, and evolve, possibly overcoming the vaccination's efficacy.
Case study: Polio, a disease with only human reservoir, is spread mainly by fecal-oral contamination. It meets the requirements of a communicable disease that can be eradicated via vaccination. Why haven't polio gone the way of smallpox yet?
One of the problems was, when health workers from first-world countries (read: whites) were introducing the polio vaccine in Africa, some genius was spreading around the rumors that these white folks were secretly sterilizing blacks. Given that whites didn't historically have the best treatment of black Africans in mind, this is perfectly logical... so naturally, enough people didn't play, so we didn't win.
The same sentiment of vaccination resistance is here in the US, that a side-effect of vaccination is autism and other hocus-pocuses, none of which have basis in any medical scientific understanding.
Last edited by Doom Marine on Jan 10 2013 at 12:55