Enormous economic value of vaccination – the case is clear
The enormous economic value of vaccination – that is, the economic benefits of a vaccine far outweighs the costs – is often overlooked, especially by those who invent some massive conspiracy by Big Pharma to push vaccines.
The standard anti-vaccine trope is that vaccines are a gargantuan profit center for pharmaceutical companies. That would be false. In fact, if we are going to endow Big Pharma with immorality and evil motives, they would stop making vaccines and profiting off of the massive illnesses that would ensue. But that s not what happens.
The facts are that pharmaceutical companies manufacture and market vaccines at a moderate profit, forsaking the much larger profits in a world with rampant vaccine-preventable diseases. I m not one of those naïve individuals who think that Big Pharma is filled with 100% altruistic and moral individuals. However, it mostly is.
Moving away from the economic benefits and profits for the pharmaceutical industry, there is a tremendous economic value of vaccination for society at large. And it s important to make this clear to anyone who is willing to listen.
Help the feathery dinosaur for Thanksgiving – please
We are coming up on the Thanksgiving holiday here in the USA, where we all fall asleep watching football and consuming turkey. And we still have to ask readers out there to help the feathery dinosaur keep the website running for the next few months.
Admittedly, the feathery dinosaur is someone offended that one of his relatives, the distinguished turkey, is a part of this meal.
Right now, we ve gotten about 60% of necessary funds from all of your generous donations. We ve removed many of the ads that drag down performance of this website (we hope someone has noticed). We will going to leave a couple up because they don t appear to have much of an effect on loading time. But we will monitor it.
There probably won t be many posts for the next few days, because we ve got a project on this website that s caused by the vexatious (not really) Orac, who was forced to move his website to a new domain. Actually, Orac gets better control over his website doing this, so that s great for him, but an inside source said it took some work to get it done.
Unfortunately, we have literally 100s of links to his old domain. And we need to fix each of them – everyone hates broken links. As we review these links and articles, we might repost old favorites for your reading pleasure.
So, if you have the wherewithal, please help the feathery dinosaur. Anything you can do will be greatly appreciated.
There are two ways to contribute to this website. First, you can make use of PayPal. If you wish, you can set up PayPal to provide monthly contributions, which are just as helpful. I prefer PayPal, because it doesn’t take out a fee, so if you send $10, I get $10.
Or you can use GoFundMe, if you prefer. They take off about 7%, but we know many people feel more comfortable with the anonymity of GoFundMe.
So click either the GoFundMe or PayPal buttons below to be taken to the secure website where you can contribute to the cause.
(Note – for some strange reason occasionally, the PayPal button doesn t work, a problem on PayPal s side. If that happens, try the PayPal button along the right sidebar, which almost always works.)
We regularly revise the goal level on GoFundMe to include amounts we ve received through PayPal. We started with a goal of $4000 and we re already down to needing only around $1900 more.
Please help out the funding of this website for both the short term and long term. The feathery dinosaur thanks you.
The turkey tryptophan myth – Uncle George keeps repeating it
Every year, on the fourth Thursday in November, the United States celebrates a holiday called Thanksgiving. Part of the tradition, along with watching football (the American version), is eating mountains of food, including a roasted turkey. And this is where Uncle George regales the guests with the turkey tryptophan myth – that is, eating a mountain of turkey, which he claims is high in tryptophan, makes you sleepy.
Because I know the average reader of this blog is pro-science and snarky, I post this article for you to embarrass Uncle George. Well, he s probably a Trump supporter who wouldn t know any science because it isn t a pedophile in Alabama. Oh sorry, I did go there.
Back to Thanksgiving and the turkey tryptophan myth. Only a few countries celebrate Thanksgiving, and just a handful of countries eat turkey in any amount, other than the USA and Canada. Surprisingly, 87% of English holiday dinners will include turkey, a bird that is native to North America. So, I guess when gobby Uncle George (loyal Chelsea football fan) starts with the turkey tryptophan tosh, you can tell him to bugger off with this article.
Just in case you want to impress friends and family, the other places that celebrate Thanksgiving, similar to the USA and Canada, are Liberia (which is populated by descendants of freed slaves who returned to Africa from the US), Grenada (a small English-speaking island in the Caribbean), Puerto Rico (a Spanish-speaking territory of the USA), and Norfolk Island, an Australian territory of like 1500 people. The only thing I thought that was on Norfolk Island was the Norfolk Island pine. And now I wonder if they import turkeys for the dinner.
For Americans, the holiday celebrates white English settlers arriving in North America. The tales usually include some peaceful sharing of food between the white settlers and native Americans (a nice myth without much actual historical support) prior to the first winter. Canada’s backstory on Thanksgiving is much more complicated, including ships getting stuck in ice and other legends – it is very Canadian.
In both Canada and the USA, the celebration includes tonnes of food (per person) usually including a roast turkey. Other foods may include mashed potatoes, yams (sweet potatoes), other meats, pies, corn, stuffing, and more food. It is a high calorie meal of epic portions!
Generally, everyone, after finishing this dinner, would want to take a long nap. Thus, we find the origin stories of the turkey tryptophan math. However, the science of eating, sleeping, turkey and tryptophan doesn’t support this myth. Not even close.
Dorit Rubinstein Reiss – an index of contributions to this website
Dorit Rubinstein Reiss – Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA) – is a frequent contributor to this and many other blogs, providing in-depth, and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines (generally, but sometimes moving to other areas of medicine), social policy and the law. Her articles usually unwind the complexities of legal issues with vaccinations and legal policies, such as mandatory vaccination and exemptions, with facts and citations. I know a lot of writers out there will link to one of her articles here as a sort of primary source to tear down a bogus antivaccine message.
Professor Reiss writes extensively in law journals about the social and legal policies of vaccination–she really is a well-published expert in this area of vaccine policy, and doesn t stand on the pulpit with a veneer of Argument from Authority, but is actually an authority. Additionally, Reiss is also member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable disease.
Below is a list of articles that Dorit Rubinstein Reiss has written for this blog, organized into some arbitrary and somewhat broad categories for easy reference. This article will be updated as new articles from Professor Reiss are added here.
Syracuse University mumps outbreak – bad anti-vaccine math
Partially because I m an alumnus, and partially because I watch new reports about infectious disease outbreaks all over the world, I ve been following the recent Syracuse University mumps outbreak. As of 13 November 2017, Syracuse University (SU) Health Services has reported 41 confirmed cases and 78 probable cases of the mumps on the SU campus.
One of the age-old tropes of the anti-vaccine statistics world is that kids who have been vaccinated against the mumps (or measles or any disease) are more likely to get mumps (or any disease) than those who are not vaccinated. I squashed this myth before, but you know what happens – the anti-vaccine zombie tropes tend to reappear over and over and over and over again.
Now, the anti-vaccine statistics deniers have jumped into the Syracuse University mumps outbreak with their alternative facts, or should I say alternative math. So, once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more. We will take down this trope. Continue reading