January 28, 2007

JUST THINK OF IT AS EVOLUTION IN ACTION: Muslims urged to refuse ‘un-Islamic’ vaccinations.

UPDATE: Dan Riehl points out the obvious. (“Actually, Reynolds’ noting the item is far from celebrating it . . . any actions, stupid or otherwise, by parents are by definition built in to any working theory of evolution.” I disagree with Riehl on the HPV vaccine, though; I’d include it with routine childhood immunizations.) And some related thoughts of mine, here and here. As for those who wrote me with the usual anti-vaccination scare stories and conspiracy theories, well, it’s evolution in action for you, too. Me, I keep my shots up.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Light Maleski emails:

One overlooked problem with all people not getting vaccinated is the overall immunity level of the population decreases… not just those that don’t have the vaccine. For vaccines to be truly effective, they have to be administered to as much of the population as possible. So this doesn’t just affect the Muslims, but also the communities they intermingle with. An un-vaccinated person will make it more likely a person with a vaccination will contract the disease. Not an issue to overlook. This is also a problem with parents who want to refuse vaccinations for their kids before they enter school for “Religious” reasons (Christians included). These kids being more susceptible carriers increase the risk of other children getting sick, and thus the parents, and everyone else they come into contact. These kinds of people present a danger to us all.

Yes, this is the standard argument for mandatory vaccination, and I think it has considerable force, especially where, as here, the risk from vaccination is very low.

MORE: One of Dan Riehl’s commenters asks: “Am I the only person in this entire discussion other than Glenn Reynolds who’s read Oath of Fealty?” Heh. Apparently. It’s not like I haven’t used the phrase before.