Those interested in learning more about the vaccination debate would do well to consult the May issue of Christianity Today.
Matthew Loftus, a family doctor based in Baltimore, has written a very good piece that encourages parents, and especially Christian parents, to vaccinate their children. Loftus argues that we should not let the rare story of a vaccine gone bad divert our attention away from the larger body of evidence. He writes, “The scientific evidence overwhelmingly suggests that vaccines carry a high chance of benefiting us and an incredibly low chance of harming us.”
Loftus also does an excellent job of explaining that vaccines still represent a crucial weapon against diseases that would otherwise kill, and that when parents opt out of vaccination because of concerns about their own children, they are whittling away at the herd immunity that protects the most vulnerable individuals (such as those who suffer from poverty and do not have the same power to protect themselves and their children). The measles, for example, which kills 146,000 people each year, is incredibly contagious. If 100 people are in a room, and 1 has the measles, 90 of those exposed–if not already vaccinated–will be infected. Bottom line: The decision to opt out of vaccination affects many, many others, not just our own children.
Again, the full article, written by Matthew Loftus, can be found in the May issue of CT.