Vaccine Nation

Way back when life was grand and everything simple and nice – a few months ago – we discussed in the annals of this most sacred and hallowed blog a few medical miracles that we may take for granted, namely anesthesia and diagnostic radiology. I avoided naming the third in order to keep this holy blog absolutely free of even a whiff of controversy, however events of the past month, as well as the benefits of promulgation outweighing the risks of suppression have compelled me to bore my NYC podiatry patients with something that may have little to do with your feet, and a whole lot to do with your body, kids and the future of human civilization.

 

There have certainly been a lot of shenanigans over the past month, and if you’re still a fan of a certain uniquely coiffed gilded real estate developer cum president then more power to you (literally) and I would only request that you objectively explain why so I can retain a semblance of optimism for the political climate and future. And indeed there is much to talk about, but I’m not wading into that minefield at this moment. Buried in too many other proclamations is the commission being formed with Robert F Kennedy, Jr. to study the safety of vaccines, based on anecdotal evidence of a link between vaccines and certain neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. To be fair, Mr. Kennedy has stated he is pro-vaccination, and has had all of his kids vaccinated. And there is an alarming and puzzling rising preponderance of such disorders over the past few decades. However, vaccines are one of the safest and most effective public health maneuvers in the history of public health. The elimination of smallpox, as well as the marked reduction of the rates of measles, mumps, typhoid, polio and now chickenpox are all due to the administration of a relatively painless and cheap therapy. As a parent, I can understand the desperation of other parents who perceive a clear link between vaccines and neurological disorders, however there is a large body of research extolling the safety and health benefits of vaccines. And for those who prefer natural methods of healing, there is no more holistic therapy than prompting the body to create antibodies to terrible and preventable diseases. To those who feel it a violation of civil liberties to be forced to vaccinate, please grow up for a few minutes and do the right thing for your kids and mine without whining about freedom in the freest country in the world. And as a doctor, there is no better return on investment of therapy – the measles vaccine alone is estimated to save one million lives per year, all for the cost of one small injection.

 

So let me bring it home a bit. At the risk of being political, boring, or overly parental: vaccines save lives. We live in a beautiful and great country, and despite the healthcare flaws, most kids have access to vaccines – certainly those whose parents have the infrastructure and time to read silly meaningless blogs. Even if you never read another one of my blogs, get your kids vaccinated. And if you still aren’t convinced, or if I’ve offended, you know where to find me…

 

See you in the office.

 

Ernest Isaacson