Vaccines and you
Why aren't you dead or debilitated from polio?

Well, there's a good chance (virtually 100 percent) that it's because you were vaccinated as a child.

In 1950 there were 151.3 million residents of the US, including the 250,000 who had been afflicted with polio in the 1940s, but excluding the 22,000, mostly children, who had died.

Beginning in 1954, the Salk and Sabin vaccines began sounding the death knells of the disease, which is now absent (< 1% incidence annually) from all but the world's most marginalized communities.

With the notable exception of a group of persons vaccinated with a contaminated batch in the early months of distribution and before national production standards had been established (by the "big gub'mint" bogeyman, of course), there have been very few incidents of negative consequences, while the world's population has tripled, and the number of vaccinations has grown even more.

The recent resistance to vaccination is mainly based on unscientific claims by celebrities who have neither the training nor the expertise to make such claims. One can make a pretty good case that Jenny McCarthy, Robert Kennedy, Jr., Alex Jones, and others have killed more people in the past decade than polio ever did. (We could name several others, but they've died unvaccinated from Covid-19.) All statistical evidence points to the success of vaccination as a means of combatting disease, and the anecdotes offered as proof of the opposite are not evidence but merely conjecture.

One thing of which I'm sure: My parents' and grandparents' generations cared more about their children than this year's crop. Like it or not, we almost universally got our injections, and we're still here.

It's really all about the statistics. When I was born in 1943, male life expectancy was 69 years. I'm 79, and most of my high school classmates are alive and well. When my father was born in 1916 male life expectancy was 49. Today it is 76. Most of the longevity gain in the past century has been due to advances in medicine (not to disparage other socio-economic factors), much of it in vaccines and other bio-chemical interventions. (To paraphrase DuPont's old slogan, "longer living through chemistry.")

Or feel free to ignore the foregoing and simply say, "science deniers, STFU."

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