This year the United States is on track to see the most cases of measles in more than a decade, despite the fact that the disease was declared eliminated in 2000. In 2010, California had its worst whooping cough outbreak in 50 years. In 2012, Washington state declared a pertussis epidemic so severe, it surpassed the toll of any year since the 1940s, before a vaccine went into wide use.
The reason we're seeing a resurgence of diseases once believed to be eradicated by science is largely thanks to the anti-vaccination movement. When vaccination rates drop, everyone becomes more vulnerable to infectious diseases. In the 200 years since vaccines were first developed, over a dozen of what used to be the most common infections have been virtually eliminated -- but of course, vaccines only protect our heath when they're taken.
Illustrating this point in a deliberately provocative way is a new video patterned after pharmaceutical ads. The tagline: "Vaccines. And now my kids don't die."
The video is just a minute long, but it includes all the familiar hallmarks of a medication ad: the lady speaking into the camera, random footage of her family at play, and a rapid-fire rundown of treatment effects ("Vaccines are used to prevent anthrax chicken pox diphtheria hepatitis A hepatitis B HPV influenza Japanese encephalitis measles mumps pertussis polio rabies rotovirus rubella shingles smallpox tetanus tuberculosis typhoid fever yellow fever and more!") along with a warning ("Do not take Vaccines if you've chosen to die from the mumps").
Plus, this gut-punch of a line:
Studies have shown vaccines to be highly effective in preventing children from dying.
Check out the clip, produced by the comedy video team Strangemeal:
Here also is an infographic from ThinkProgress on the impact of vaccinations on Americans’ health:
Pretty damn scary to think about how vaccination resistance is changing some of those numbers on the right. What might this chart look like in 10 years, if people continue refusing to vaccinate their kids?
What did you think of this video?
Image via YouTube