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Populism and public health March 14, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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It was mentioned in comments the other day about the Five Star Movement being particularly weak on vaccination. This article here from Time.com will do nothing to allay fears on that score.

In the meantime FSM has supposedly ‘moderated’ its antagonism, saying it’s pro-vaccination but against making them compulsory. Which is a nonsense (and don’t get me started on this reification of parents as the sole arbiters of what is good for children).

What is interesting is the manner in which class has functioned in all this….

Vaccine skepticism in Italy dates back to a debunked 1998 study by Andrew Wakefield that linked the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) shot typically given to children after their first birthday to autism. The discredited idea took hold among an “intellectual fringe” in Italy, says Andrea Grignolio, a medicine historian at the La Sapienza University of Rome. The skeptics tend to be “rich and older parents,” he says, “who are susceptible to both alternative treatments, like homeopathy, and conspiracy theories.”

I’ve seen something of this too here where a small minority of what one could broadly describe as middle class parents have seemed unusually, almost vehemently, anti-vaccination whereas parents who are working class seem a lot less, well frankly, gullible. And this driven by conspiracy theories in my experience.

That this has actual real world implications that are deeply serious for children is extremely troubling. In Italy…

It shouldn’t be a huge surprise, then, that measles has made a troubling comeback in Italy. Cases jumped nearly six-fold from around 870 cases in 2016 to more than 5,000 cases last year. In the last six months of 2017, Italy was ranked sixth-highest worldwidein measles cases after India, Nigeria, the Ukraine and China. The mandatory vaccine legislation, nicknamed the Lorenzin law after the country’s health minister Beatrice Lorenzin, was introduced last year to combat the troubling increase.

One thing that is essential is that people get some grasp of statistics and math in this in regard to risk. Actually that goes for near enough everything.

 

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