Eula Biss Quotes.
Wealthier countries have the luxury of entertaining fears the rest of the world cannot afford.
In the case of Pakistan, the CIA actually used a fake vaccination campaign to try to locate Osama bin Laden, so now vaccination is associated with espionage.
I thought, how would I feel if my son gave one of those [underprivileged] kids chicken pox? For him it’s not a terrible thing. We have good insurance and easy access to health care. It’s a different situation for another family. I didn’t want to make the decision for them.
On the pro-vaccine side – and not everyone does this, but I saw it enough for it to make me really uncomfortable – is a tendency to accuse people who are wary of vaccination of being stupid and not understanding science.
Imagine the action of a vaccine not just in terms of how it affects a single body, but also in terms of how it affects the collective body of a community.
Yes, there’s a higher rate of people living below the poverty line who aren’t vaccinated. But it’s much rarer for that to be a product of choice than a product of circumstance.
We’ve been using vaccination in some form for hundreds of years now. We have almost nothing in our modern medicine that we’ve been using that long, and it’s been consistently productive even though, you know, the older vaccines were much more dangerous than vaccines we’re using now.
A vaccine introduces a small amount or a tempered version of the virus into the body – just enough to that the body is able to recognize it and deal with it when it encounters it again in the future.
Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula,’ in my reading, is really obviously about disease and our relation to disease.
Fears that formaldehyde from vaccines may cause cancer are similar to fears of mercury and aluminum, in that they coalesce around miniscule amounts of the substance in question, amounts considerably smaller than amounts from other common sources of exposure to the same substance.
What I saw when I was doing research is that in pursuit of a middle ground, people will kind of split the difference between the two extremes that they’re hearing. And I think what’s problematic is that people are seeing vaccinating on schedule, on time, as an extreme position.
Yes, we can make prudent choices as parents, but we can’t create an environment where there’s zero risk for our children. Not only is that impossible, I don’t think it’s desirable, either.
I think that protecting children at the age where they’re most vulnerable against diseases that are highly contagious is prudent.
In some areas, immunity has been eroded so much that the child who’s not vaccinated is now actually more vulnerable to the complications of infectious diseases.
Our constitution got built around the idea of minority protection.
One of the shortcomings of our medical system is that doctors have very little time with their patients.
The opportunity to think with another mind is my preferred mode of travel.
Herd immunity is, it turns out, not incredibly easy to understand. It took me quite a bit of reading before I fully grasped it. But understanding herd immunity is essential to understanding why we vaccinate the way we do.
There’s a cultural expectation that everyone will be immunized, in part to protect the entire population. When people refuse that expectation, they’re indulging in a certain kind of political or social immunity.
As for mercury, a child will almost certainly get more mercury exposure from her immediate environment than from vaccination. This is true, too, of the aluminum that is often used as an adjuvant in vaccines to intensify the immune response.
Our willingness to believe the news is, in many cases, not entirely innocent.
When I was researching the Victorian anti-vaccination movement, those activists often used a vampire as a metaphor for the vaccinator.
I talked to lots of people who are vaccine-hesitant, and I actually was one myself until I got further into this project, and most of them actually are in my demographic: so well-educated people with advanced degrees who are upper middle-class and have read quite a bit on the subject.
I had already drafted the manuscript that would become my first book by the time I graduated from college, but I had no idea what to do with it.
There’s something ancient and inevitable about this desire to do whatever you can to protect your child.
Nigeria and Pakistan are two countries that have had a lot of trouble with polio. And part of the reason is that there’s a lot of political unrest, and people really distrust what the government is doing. That has an effect on people’s health, and it has an effect on the health of children.
A trust-in the sense of a valuable asset placed in the care of someone to whom it does not ultimately belong-captures, more or less, my understanding of what it is to have a child.
In the 19th century, smallpox was widely considered a disease of filth, which meant that it was largely understood to be a disease of the poor. According to filth theory, any number of contagious diseases were caused by bad air that had been made foul by excrement or rot.
My mother wrote poetry when I was young – I have an early memory of the sound of her typewriter – and my father told me inventive bedtime stories.
I guess I could say that I pursue questions that interest me in ways that interest me on the page, but that’s awfully vague.
I think there’s a temptation to try to think of people who don’t vaccinate as a homogenous community, but I’m not convinced that’s true. I’m not even sure that the word ‘community’ is totally accurate there, you know.
If your child’s going to ride in a car or go swimming or play soccer, all of those things involve risk. And if your child doesn’t do any of those things, then they’re probably sitting too much, and that involves risk, too.
My son is fully vaccinated, but there is one immunization on the standard schedule that he did not receive on time. This was meant to be his very first shot, the hep B administered to most babies immediately after birth.
Babies born to women who are infected with hep B – and mothers can carry the virus without their knowledge – will almost certainly be infected if they are not vaccinated within twelve hours of birth.
I think that people’s resistance to vaccination isn’t going to disappear until we address some of the nonmedical reasons for that resistance and people’s discomfort and distrust of the government. That’s bigger than what most medical professionals can handle.
Art-making was part of my daily life from a very young age, and I still love that kind of everyday art-making.
Most of us believe that dirt is good for our kids, but some of us are wary of the grass in the parks, which may or may not have been treated with toxic chemicals.