Most real scientific skeptics, in contrast to pseudoskeptics who ignore evidence to believe whatever fits their view of the world, support vaccinations. In fact, the skeptic community doesn’t just talk about how vaccinations save lives, but they actually practice what they proclaim. Very loudly at times.
Given the fairly large epidemic of whooping cough (pertussis) in Washington state, many skeptics are jumping in line to get their Tdap (or DTaP) vaccines for whooping cough (along with diphtheria and tetanus). At an upcoming skeptic convention (yes, we have conventions), The Amazing Meeting (TAM) 2012, a Tdap vaccination clinic will be made available to attendees. The clinic is sponsored by Hug Me I’m Vaccinated organization, so if you’re going to TAM2012 (I hope to go), stop by and get yourself vaccinated. If you’re not going, get vaccinated. If you could care less about skepticism, get vaccinated.
Skepchick explains who needs to be vaccinated:
Tdap is a combined vaccine that immunizes against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. It is a booster that all adults need to get. If you have not had a tetanus shot since 2007, you need a Tdap. If you don’t know if you’ve had a tetanus booster since 2007, you need a Tdap. But not all tetanus vaccines contain the pertussis component — some are just TD— so if you are unsure if your most recent booster was a Tdap or the TD, and you are having trouble verifying that information, you need to get a Tdap.
Even though pertussis isn’t dangerous to adults (well, it can be so bad that some adults break their ribs while coughing), the more serious concern is that adults can pass the disease to unvaccinated children (usually full immunity to pertussis from TDaP doesn’t happen until the infant is around 1 years old).
Pertussis is a disease that, if contracted, often kills infants. And once they contract the disease, the only treatment they receive is to stop them form spreading it. There is no shortening of the illness. There is no medicine to help the body fight it. There’s just medication to stop you from spreading it.
Be a good skeptic. Get vaccinated (more than just TDaP, but MMR, varicella, hep A & B, and whatever else you need). Because, and I’ll repeat this until I finally quit blogging: Vaccines Save Lives.