27 April 2014

An Epidemic of Greed

Andrew Wakefield has a lot to answer for, especially in light of the ongoing measles outbreak the US. Back in the '90s, in an attempt to make money helping people sue the government, he published a patently false report declaring a link between Autism and vaccines (a report that has since been retracted by the journal, and refuted by uncountable legitimate studies). Now, because he deceived generations of parents into not giving their children life-saving vaccines, hundreds of people have already come down with measles in this country – a disease we thought conquered thanks to the invention of the MMR vaccine. Last year at this time four people had contracted measles in California, but as I write this, the the current count in California is 58! All it takes is one infected kid going to a school full of un-vaccinated kids to trigger an outbreak like this one.

According to the World Health Organization, roughly 122,000 people died from measles in 2012, most of them under the age of five. In 1980, before the MMR vaccine existed, roughly 2.6 million people died from the disease each year. Because of his self-serving actions, which showed no concern whatsoever for the lives of others, any measles deaths that occur in the western world are on the head of Wakefield – he is single-handedly pushing back towards pre-vaccine numbers, purely out of greed. It makes me cry to think how many tens or even hundreds of thousands of people Wakefield may have killed in his quest for the almighty dollar.

Autism Speaks strongly recommends vaccinating your children, and so do I. Since my family moved to Italy when I was four, I had even more vaccines than American children usually get, and have only benefited from them since I never contracted any of those life-threatening illnesses, despite having four elementary schools on both coasts of the US and in Italy.  So for the sake of the world and your children, please get them vaccinated.