For months now, I have been mulling over in my mind, writing a number of posts on the anti-vaccination movement, both historically going back to the days of Joseph Lister and the original cowpox experiments, and the recent anti-vaccination movement in this country.
At this outset I will reveal my biases about vaccination in the interests of so-called “fair and balanced reporting” our modern catch phrase in the media that claims impartial reporting in the various media. I am a physician first and a psychiatrist second. I believe in the “common weal,” the common good as a physician who believes in the value of public health prevention. Otherwise we would have open sewer channels in the streets of congested urban areas as in the times of Charles Dickens, and horse droppings in the streets, public sewer systems and so on. I still hold comprehensive, accurate and impartial food inspection systems are vital to a society’s health. I thoroughly believe in public health screenings in public schools, for instance for vision, for aggressive mammography screening programs for women for breast cancer. I believe firmly in the concept of “herd immunity,” as vital to public health efforts. I support the Bill and Melinda Gates’ Foundation’s efforts to vaccinate the vulnerable populations of the Third World, countries with almost nonexistent public health systems, to vaccinate populations to eradicate malaria. Continue reading