Vacuous Vaccine Take | Letters | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Vacuous Vaccine Take 

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Jerre Wroble’s column [“Crap Shot,” Nov. 10, City Weekly] seemed to mention a lot of facts, but the facts were biased in favor of this bizarre idea that vaccines are a bad idea.

For example, “Marian” is upset about the requirement to get a flu shot, even though she has minimal patient contact. What the heck is that supposed to mean? She works at a hospital. Hospitals are where sick people go. They touch the furnishings and breathe the air. The virus load at the hospital during flu season affects everyone, not just the doctors and nurses, and secretarial staff can still spread the flu from the hospital. I’m glad that at least some medical-service providers are finally putting their foot down.

Vaccines contain thimerosal—so? While there’s been a lot of yammering about thimerosal, there’s no actual evidence that it’s not safe. The few people who got some attention for supposedly having evidence that thimerosal was not safe turned out to have lied. You would hope that a responsible person who mentions thimerosal would point that out, as well, but Wroble doesn’t. Shame!

Vaccine manufacturers have to guess at the most likely virus combo that people need to be protected against; that’s correct, but it’s not a crap shoot. The odds are actually pretty good that they’ll hit the right combination; that’s because the prediction is based on the virus that is currently going around, not on some kind of magical gut feeling. If then, later, the virus doesn’t turn out to be that much of a problem, it’s probably not because the guess was wrong, but because the vaccine was effective. It’s almost as if some fools would be happier if we had to deal with witch doctors and magic rather than science.

Vaccine manufacturers make a lot of money? Yes, they do, but that’s got nothing to do with the efficacy of vaccines. You might have a point arguing that the FDA should license more manufacturers to produce vaccines, or that the cost of vaccination needs to be managed more closely to prevent the kind of immoral profit-taking that big pharma allows itself. You guys are practically communists—I’d expect to read that kind of thing. But to suggest not getting vaccinated because someone might be making money is so absurd it beggars description.

Then there are all those folks in the sidebar who claim that they get sick only if they get vaccinated. What a bunch of hooey! Are City Weekly staffers supposedly free of confirmation bias? Do they get all their sniffles analyzed to make sure that when they think they have the flu, they do, in fact, have the flu? Seriously, you guys are scary.

I have a lot of liberal-leaning friends who tell me that liberals are so much more rational than conservatives. Isn’t City Weekly supposed to be a bastion of liberal bias? Judging from the evidence, not so much. That, or the claim that liberals are more rational doesn’t hold water. There’s something to think about, I guess.

Helge Moulding
Salt Lake City

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