Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Anti-Vaccination Nuts

Bill Maher has been running his mouth lately about a shadowy conspiracy he thinks he sees between various shadowy forces in government and big business. Frankly this anxiety strikes me as the dressed-up adult version of "I don't wanna go to the doctor because I'm scared of needles!". It's the same excuse people make for not taking their blood pressure (or other) medicine: "I don't want to become dependent on it." (Translation: they're babies and they just don't like taking pills or can't remember, and they can't admit it.)

In brief, Maher (and many other nutcases) has watched too many science fiction movies with Evil Corporations, and thinks that the H1N1 vaccine being rushed to Americans right now is just a plot by the government, doctors, and the pharmaceutical industry to keep us sick for profit.

Fortunately, Michael Shermer has taken Maher to task, and the odd inconsistency in Maher's position boils down to this:

"...Bill, please consider the odd juxtaposition of your enthusiastic support for health care reform and government intervention into this aspect of our medical lives, with your skepticism that these same people—when it comes to vaccinations and disease prevention—suddenly lose their sense of morality along with their medical training. You excoriate the political right for not trusting the government with our health, and then in the next breath you inadvertently join their chorus when you denounce vaccinations, thereby adding fodder for their ideological cannons. Please remember that it’s the same people administrating both health care and vaccination programs."

In the interest of full disclosure, as a health care worker, I will be receiving the H1N1 vaccine in a few weeks. I wish I was getting it sooner.

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