Consider the benefits of vaccines

 In Letters, Opinion

I have my first COVID-19 vaccination booked for next week. I’m really excited to have this because, frankly, I don’t get out much. I went looking for vaccine information on the Internet. This tends to be stupor spreader event – my affectionate name for Internet browsing. I skipped across the anti-vaccination propaganda and looked at the World Health Organization website for some of my information. I then visited the Moderna and Pfizer websites. The rest of my concerns were assuaged by Globe articles, CBC and a conversation with my GP. I wondered where the anti-mask/vaccination crowd get the science behind their ‘informed’ decision not to vaccinate and in some cases refuse to wear a mask. I would think that hearing about a COVID-19 death every 4 minutes in India might cause these folks to reconsider their sources.
I saw an interesting comment on social media from a scientist (possibly, but you can’t really tell on the internet) which I felt should be a very relevant anyone looking at popular anti-science rhetoric:

‘Study 3-4 years for degree
Study 3 more for Ph.D.
Join lab, start working, spend years studying problem
Form Hypothesis, gather evidence,
Test Hypothesis, form conclusions
Report findings, clear peer review
Findings published, reported in press

Guy on internet: “Bulls__t!”’

I am not university educated and my science is electronics which by no means qualifies me to make a call on the safety and appropriateness of any vaccine. I defer to doctors, science and scientists, not those sideshows travelling town to town to protest the lock downs, mask regulations, vaccine, etc. I have had plenty of vaccines in my life and always happy to bypass the misery of shingles, flu, polio, tetanus and the rest of the scourge of diseases to plague the human race. I entreat the hesitant to consider the benefits of modern science and think about the results of the historical work of these scientists:
• Abel Wolman (1892-1989) and Linn Enslow (1891 -1957) chlorination of water, 177 million lives saved;
• William Foege (1936-) smallpox eradication strategy, 131 million lives saved;
• Maurice Hilleman (1919-2005) eight vaccines, 129 million lives saved;
• John Enders (1897-1985) measles vaccine, 120 million lives saved;
• Alexander Fleming (1981-1955) and Howard Florey (1898-1968) penicillin, 82 million lives saved;
• Gaston Ramon (1886-1963) Diptheria and Tetanus vaccines, 60 million lives saved;
• David Nalin (1941-) oral rehydration therapy, 54 million lives saved;
• Paul Ehrlich (1854- 1915) Diptheria and Tetanus Antitoxins, 42 million lives saved;
• Andreas Gruenzig (1939- 1985) angioplasty, 15 million lives saved;
• Grace Eldering (1900-1988) and Paul Kendrick (1890-1980) whooping cough vaccine, 14 million lives saved;
• Gertrude Elion (1918-1999) rational drug design, 5 million lives saved.
(From Enlightenment Now by Steve Pinker; published 2018 by Penguin)
Keep safe out there! Looking forward to seeing everyone on the other side of the pandemic.
Murray Lackie,

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