Steven Weinreb suffers from chronic lymphocytic leukemia and has new white blood cells in his body, making him vulnerable to diseases the rest of us don’t have to worry about.
So he makes an important plea in today’s New York Times:
… if 75 percent to 95 percent of the population around us is vaccinated for a particular disease, the rest are protected through what is called herd immunity. In other words, your measles vaccine protects me against the measles.
The truth is, we should not get vaccinated for ourselves alone; we should do it for one another. Having cancer has taught me the value of living in a community. We assist the infirm, pay our taxes and donate to charity, and getting vaccinated — for the flu, for adult whooping cough, for pneumonia — is just another important societal responsibility. After all, we’re in the same herd.
Yes to that and good riddance to the Jim Carreys, Jenny McCarthys, and Andrew Wakefields out there who insist on spreading false information due to their own ignorance.
“In 2012, NVIC is marking our 30th year of public education and consumer empowerment,” said NVIC co-founder and president Barbara Loe Fisher. “With so many health care options available today, becoming an educated health care consumer is essential and our pro-informed consent message will be seen by millions on New Year’s Eve.”
Damn right. And that’s why you should ignore NVIC’s advice and get yourself and your kids vaccinated.