In one of my other posts, I cited an article showing that the incidence of pertussis in California has skyrocketed and at the same time the incidence of vaccine refusals in California has quadrupled over the past four years. Mama on a Budget raised a question as to whether the pertussis vaccine was effective, citing an investigation done by a California radio station which showed that 66% of people who contracted pertussis in California this year were fully immunized.
I wanted to make a separate post so that I could post a graph that I scanned from a 2008 AMA article (click on the graph for a larger version if you can’t read the numbers).
The graph below shows the incidence of disease before and after introduction of vaccines. In every instance, the incidence of disease post-vaccine decreased by between 80% and 99.9%. The incidence of death from several diseases decreased to zero.
I realize that correlation does not equate to causation. I also admit the potential for the factual fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc. There is even the possibility that the data could be a government plot to classify pertussis infections by some other name to falsely increase vaccine effectiveness and to enrich the pharmaceutical companies that produce the vaccines.
When vaccination occurs, incidence of every disease goes down. When larger numbers of citizens in California fail to get immunized (or possibly receive booster shots), incidence of preventable disease goes up. I think that the data make a pretty compelling argument that vaccines work and that vaccines save lives.
I continue to think that those parents whose unvaccinated children die from a preventable disease should suffer some legal consequence.