I know my comment will not appear at the Treehouse, but this post is one of the best ever from that group of people.
I am a fervent believer that vaccines are a necessary part of our lives. The post refers to the USA but the statistics are also relevant to the Australian experience when it comes to disease eradication.
My son’s partner has a son who is mildly autistic, and there is no way that vaccines were responsible for his condition. It is more likely that issues relating to her health during pregnancy had a role, and there is a possibility that there might have been brain damage within the womb, but I do not know that for certain (It is just a theory).
As a child I had German Measles, Chickenpox and Measles. I was too young to remember having German Measles and Chickenpox but I do remember having the Measles because I was 6 years old at the time. I was one of the lucky ones because I did not suffer any of the severe conditions that can follow from having these diseases. On the other hand, I have a diagnosis for Mixed Connective Tissue Disease and trending towards Rheumatoid Arthritis. I have often wondered if there is a connection between having those childhood diseases and rheumatoid arthritis. I do not know of any real research on the matter and it really is just an “inkling” on my part.
During the 19th century Australia had epidemics of polio, TB and whooping cough with large numbers being wiped out, especially Irish people who were sick prior to arriving in Australia. Looking at my own family history, I can see that in the case of one family perhaps at least one child died at an early age because of the prevalence of such diseases (this was within the most tragic Taylor family). The vaccination efforts of the 20th century have saved lots and lots of lives, and the anti-vaccination crowd simply have no understanding of the harm that is done via epidemics of such diseases.
What I have to say though, is well done Stella on presenting such good information in regard to the effectiveness of vaccination.