Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Neverending Story

I only wish this post was about a movie made in the 80's.

The Lancet has recently retracted the study that started it all, but the book will never be closed on vaccinations in the United States. Dr. Howard Markel, professor of the history of medicine at the University of Michigan, offers another vantage point in the New York Times Science Times this week with his essay Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Vaccines.

The vaccine for smallpox was controversial during the days of our Founding Fathers. However, the practice of inoculation involved opening a wound and infecting it with scabs from persons afflicted by smallpox. Yuck! How can it be that an injection with a controlled amount of an inactive form of a disease agent is on the same playing field? Benjamin Franklin, who lost a son to smallpox after failing to have him inoculated, was an advocate of vaccination. Things have changed and science has advanced, but have we?

No comments:

Post a Comment