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Australia Government Medicine

In Australia, Immunize Or Lose Benefits 680

Posted by Soulskill
from the get-healthy-or-else dept.
An anonymous reader writes with news of a plan from the Australian government to cut down on the number of kids who aren't vaccinated. The new scheme will deny family tax benefits to parents whose children don't pass immunization checks. Quoting: "The FTB supplement, worth $726 per child each year, will now only be paid once a child is fully immunized at these checks. Families are already required to have their child fully immunized to receive Child Care Benefit and the Child Care Rebate. Children will also be required for the first time to be vaccinated against meningococcal C, pneumococcal and chicken pox. Children will also be immunized against measles, mumps and rubella earlier, at 18 months instead of the current four years of age."
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In Australia, Immunize Or Lose Benefits

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  • Hurray! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:58PM (#38168408)

    Rational social interest trumps irrational "self" interest, for once. The USA could learn a thing or two from Australia.

  • Seems fair... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@gmail. c o m> on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:59PM (#38168414) Journal

    ...considering that they have socialized medicine. To libertarians this probably looks like a communist nightmare, I'll admit that to me it only seems OK because I don't believe in the Right to Put Everyone In Danger By Being a Total Moron.

  • Re:So (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:00PM (#38168420)

    I don't think you understand how immunization is supposed to work.

  • Re:Hurray! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by walkerp1 (523460) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:11PM (#38168520)
    I think America knows very well how to marginalize the socioeconomic status of its inhabitants as a means for stripping away basic personal freedoms.
  • Re:Kinda Risky.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ColdWetDog (752185) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:21PM (#38168596) Homepage

    Do you realize intersection between the 'hygiene hypothesis' (exposure to many different infectious vectors helps prime the immune system in useful ways) and immunizations (attempting to decrease the incidence of a few, serious infections) is very, very, very small?

    Basically it's a non sequitor.

  • Re:Seems fair... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by artor3 (1344997) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:25PM (#38168628)

    Because in modern society, the right-wing fascists have changed the definition of "communist" to "anything we don't like". It's a very effective means by which to control the large segment of the public who were brought up fearing nuclear war with an actual communist country.

  • Re:So (Score:2, Insightful)

    by beelsebob (529313) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:25PM (#38168634)

    Actually, it's you who doesn't understand how evolution works... While it's currently antibiotics that are producing the most problems from superbugs, ultimately, anything we do to try to kill off diseases will only cause evolution to produce better bugs.

    We are actively changing the fitness function for diseases to include "must be resistant to antibiotics, must be resistant to antivirals, must be able to infect even immunised people, etc", this will inevitably lead to bugs that fulfil these criteria... eventually.

  • by andersh (229403) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:27PM (#38168654)

    What "government"? Are you even Australian?

    At least here in Scandinavia, the government is not the enemy, it represents us and our shared interests. Many Americans seem to think their negative view is the "universal" truth. It is most certainly not.

    On the other hand we allow individuals to choose what immunizations they want their children to get. It just happens that most people actually trust our government, universal health care system and science; the majority of people choose to get all immunizations offered.

  • Re:So (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sir_Sri (199544) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:31PM (#38168678)

    which doesn't necessarily make them all that important. A virus/bacteria/etc that is resistant to all of those things but only gives you a runny nose for 2 days isn't really a big problem.

    And of course we know that doing nothing killed people. A lot of them. For centuries. Or have we all forgotten that infant mortality rates used to be over 10%, and deaths by what are now preventable diseases killed millions at a young age?

    Ok, so maybe we create diseases that are immune to whatever we're doing, that's why we keep doing drug research. It might be a cat and mouse game, but I prefer being on the side of people who have very fortunately lived through all of these things. And I'm sure so do you, even if you don't realize it.

  • Re:Seems fair... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:32PM (#38168688) Journal

    How does this have to do with capitalism, which is an economic model? Please don't pretend that Libertarianism and Capitalism are one and the same.

    Requiring immunization is fundamentally no different than requiring people not dump their raw sewage on the curb. In both cases, they represent reasonable restrictions on behavior in the interest of public health. About the only people I know that disagree with it are either Libertarians, who, let's face it, are either morons or sociopaths, or anti-vaxxers, who are pretty much at the intellectual level of Creationists and Flat-Earthers.

  • Re:Seems fair... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:35PM (#38168708)

    To libertarians this probably looks like a communist nightmare,

    What doesn't look like a communist nightmare to them?

    Half the people fear mongering about communism don't even know what the fuck it is outside of "HURR DURR CHINA AND NORTH KOREA." The sheer numbers of those same people that equate it with fascism alone is a good indicator that they have no fucking clue what they're talking about.

  • that which puts me and my children in danger- not getting vaccinated, is not a natural freedom.

    The problem with the definition of freedom, as defined by teenagers (not chronological teenagers, but psychological teenagers) is that it does not take into account how some "freedoms" naturally and automatically impinge on the freedoms of others.

    For example: your freedom to play your music as loud as you want, my freedom to get a good night's sleep. Your freedom to consume nicotine, my freedom to breathe clean air when I walk down the sidewalk. You freedom to talk on your cellphone, my freedom to enjoy a movie. Etc.

    If you claim as a right or freedom that which impinges on someone else's rights or freedoms, without even considering the possibility, you aren't selfish. You're just stupid: you don't know what freedom really is. To you, it is "let me do whatever I want without consideration of effects or consequences." That is "freedom" as defined by an ignorant teenager (again, not a chronological teenager, a psychological one, who could be of any age), and has absolutely nothing to do with the real fight for freedom in this world by real freedom fighters, who are often quoted by people who don't even know what freedom really is.

  • Re:Seems fair... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Vaphell (1489021) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:37PM (#38168738)

    pot calling the kettle black - are you sure you haven't misused the word 'fascist'?

  • Re:Poor != Stupid (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sribe (304414) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:37PM (#38168744)

    Bachmann certainly isn't poor.

    But she's definitely very willing to lie; and possible dumber than a box of rocks as well.

  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:37PM (#38168748)

    You can argue that this is a selfish choice, and that the risk of vaccination has been greatly exaggerated by some commentators, but let's not try to pretend that there is only one rational outcome here.

    Actually, there is only one rational outcome here. And the basis for that is in your previous statement.

    If rates are high then the risk of infection should go down, in which case the risk of vaccination (which is unlikely to be zero) may become greater at some point on the curve.

    Which means that in order for child A to avoid the vaccination "safely", someone must guarantee that children B - Z are vaccinated.

    While it may be a correct mathematical statement reflecting the spread of infection, it is not a "rational" approach to immunization. If everyone followed that, then none of the children would be immunized. If 50% of the population followed that then the diseases would still be a problem. And so forth.

  • Re:Hurray! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:39PM (#38168762)

    Sometimes the good of the many outweight the good of the few, or the one. Take Spock's lesson to heart.

    But the good of the many should never be used to outweigh the rights of the few, or the one. Oh, and Spock is make-believe.

  • by Daniel_Staal (609844) <DStaal@usa.net> on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:43PM (#38168800)

    1. No vaccine is 100% effective. You can be immunized and still get sick. Less likely, and it's likely to be milder, but it could still be fatal.

    2. Not being immunized raises the chance you will get sick, and expose those around you to the disease.

    For many of these major diseases, if less than a certain percentage of the population gets immunized, the disease still runs fairly rampant through the population - including the immunized population. You need basically everybody to be immunized so that when the disease strikes one person, it doesn't have any convenient vectors to other people, and stays contained.

    Besides, we have a certain hesitancy to allow survival of the fittest to take it's course where humans are concerned. Partly out of fellow-feeling, and partly because we've found that 'fittest' can have multiple meanings, and that someone who can barely talk and can't get out of their wheelchair can still give humanity as a whole great value in understanding the how the universe works. (Through their own work.)

  • by wagnerrp (1305589) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:45PM (#38168822)

    Immunization doesn't take for everyone. Immunizations can't be used on everyone due to things like allergies. Immunization can wear off and become ineffective over time, or in between booster shots. When everyone is vaccinated according to schedule, you only have a small percentage of the population that is at risk to those diseases. Since there are only a couple percent that will become infected when exposed, the likelihood of the virus being passed between two of these people is very low. It is a condition called "herd immunity" that makes unchecked spread of the virus unlikely.

    When people are willingly forgoing vaccinations, you aren't just putting yourself at risk, you are dropping the total percent of the population that is at risk. As that number drops further and further, the easier it is for the virus to spread into an outbreak. The more a virus spreads, the higher likelihood it will have a chance to mutate into a form the existing vaccine does not protect against. In other words, when they chose not to get vaccinated, they are putting all the rest of us at risk out of their own stupidity.

  • Re:Seems fair... (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:52PM (#38168888)

    And if you don't agree with him he will continue to call you names instead of making a logical argument to back up his viewpoint.

    That is why I hate liberals, they think name calling is the key to winning debates.

  • Re:So (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:52PM (#38168890)
    Fish are being influenced by selective pressure from fishing... it's pushing them to spawn younger, grow faster and die sooner. Not much can be done evolutionwise to become net-resistant, so they are evolving to breed faster.
  • Re:Seems fair... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dmr001 (103373) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:56PM (#38168944)
    1. Why post anonymously?
    2. About 1:1 000 000 people who got the 1976 H1N1 vaccine got Guillain Barre (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=20797646), and influenza itself is more likely to cause Guillain Barre than the vaccine.
    3. The flu kills between about 3 000 and 49 000 people each year in the United States (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/us_flu-related_deaths.htm).
    4. Your statements that "everyone who gets them [flu vaccines]" gets sick and "some people die... from said vaccine" each year demonstrates why schools would be better off teaching statistics and critical thinking than trigonometry.
    5. I'd happy to have you take your chances if only to allow evolution to exert selective pressure on your ilk, except for the risk you present to those around you at high risk of dying from the flu (kids under 5, adults over 65).
  • Re:Hurray! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spiffmastercow (1001386) on Friday November 25, 2011 @04:04PM (#38169020)

    Sometimes the good of the many outweight the good of the few, or the one. Take Spock's lesson to heart.

    But the good of the many should never be used to outweigh the rights of the few, or the one. Oh, and Spock is make-believe.

    Yes, "life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and access to tax incentives" is right there in the constitution..

  • Re:So... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Beelzebud (1361137) on Friday November 25, 2011 @04:07PM (#38169040)
    Things aren't looking good for you, sir...
  • Fuck you (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 25, 2011 @04:07PM (#38169048)

    "Libertarians, who, let's face it, are either morons or sociopaths"

    Right, because the government's will trumps any sort of idea that you can make choices for you or your children.

    Seriously fuck you just because you claim anybody who disagrees with your viewpoint is a moron or a sociopath.

    I won't call you names, but you're exactly the kind of person who should never be in charge of anything for any reason.

  • Re:Seems fair... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Beelzebud (1361137) on Friday November 25, 2011 @04:12PM (#38169108)
    When you find yourself arguing against child labor laws, you should really just stop and think for a few minutes.
  • Re:Hurray! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by somersault (912633) on Friday November 25, 2011 @04:15PM (#38169144) Homepage Journal

    What are we regarding as "potentially harmful" here? Immunization from killer diseases, or side effects from immunization? Why do I get the impression that y'all think vaccines are wrong?

  • Re:Hurray! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vux984 (928602) on Friday November 25, 2011 @04:17PM (#38169170)

    The few still have the right not to immunize their kids.

    Society isn't going to pay and reward them to exercise that right.

  • Re:So (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Friday November 25, 2011 @04:23PM (#38169224) Homepage

    First: You are mixing up bacteria and viruses. Bacteria evolve resistance to antibiotics. Viruses do not, because they do not react to antibiotics in the first place.

    Second: Evolution in biology does not work like in poorly researched science fiction. While you can throw any factor you want into a fitness function, there are limits on what can be replicated in a cell. The viral capsid has to consist of protein and be of a certain shape, and the immune system can be trained to recognize it.

    Third: Even if it worked, you're running the small risk of the spontaneous appearance of a disease that could overcome vaccinations and infect everyone, as opposed to not vaccinating and definitely allowing ordinary diseases to infect everyone. Unlike the antibiotic, the vaccine is preventive, long-term and specific to a disease. The danger of antibiotic abuse (ie. irregular or uncompleted treatments, or regular small doses) is that it exposes bacteria just enough to allow resistance to evolve, rather than killing off the infection completely. Vaccination doesn't do that because the immune system will kill the infection before it can take hold.

  • Re:Seems fair... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by artor3 (1344997) on Friday November 25, 2011 @04:24PM (#38169234)

    Let's see...

    Ultra-nationalist, check!
    Idolize the military, check!
    Desire to purge "degenerative effects on culture" (e.g. gay marriage, non-English speakers, political correctness), check!
    Promote political violence (i.e. "second amendment solutions"), check!
    Support single party rule (putting a return to power over policy goals), check!

    The only criterion they don't meet is that they sell out to the wealthy capitalists too often, but if they continue to embrace the Tea Party, they'll end up meeting that criterion as well.

    The Republicans weren't always this way. Just five years ago, I'd never have accused them of being fascists. But today? Hell yes they are.

  • Re:Hurray! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alex Belits (437) * on Friday November 25, 2011 @04:43PM (#38169474) Homepage

    But the good of the many should never be used to outweigh the rights of the few, or the one.

    Oh yes it should, and does.

  • i agree 100%

    so the lesson is, all of your freedoms, every single one, exist in natural tension with everyone else's

    but too many people who speak loudly and vehemently about freedom talk about their freedoms as if what they do has no consequences or effects on anyone else's

  • by Quila (201335) on Friday November 25, 2011 @04:47PM (#38169550)

    The poor who don't want to immunize will be forced to due to financial considerations.

    The rich who don't want to immunize simply won't.

    This doesn't target those who already believe immunization is a smart move, because obviously they will already immunize. This only affects those who don't want to, and among them, it will only affect the poor.

    The rich get to do what they want, the poor have to do what they're told.

  • Re:Hurray! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tsa (15680) on Friday November 25, 2011 @04:59PM (#38169688) Homepage

    Yes. God doesn't protect you from sickness. Vaccination can.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 25, 2011 @05:02PM (#38169710)

    When you want society to care for you, you have to let society care for you. If you reject society's care, expect to get none. Could it be any simpler?

  • Double Standards (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bky1701 (979071) on Friday November 25, 2011 @05:18PM (#38169942) Homepage
    Having read most of these comments, I am frankly appalled. The arguments being given for government-mandated vaccinations are as bad or worse than the ones being given for any number of things we can all agree are bad (surveillance, secret databases, security checks). Either people do not realize, or do not care, that they are in fact trampling on personal rights just as badly as those they criticize.

    That leads me to wonder what the difference is. Is it because vaccination is "science"? Science that every once in a while comes under attack by the extreme right? If that's the only reason these "social good" arguments are now valid, when they are in truth just as valid now as in every other case (ie, valid arguments, but do not outweigh personal liberty), it's frightening.

    I'm not anti-vaccination, but I am getting there, if only because of the lengths people seem willing to go to advocate further government control regarding them and silence anyone who even seems to disagree. The posts in this discussion make me feel we really do not have many "free thinkers" here and that on the whole, they're just as susceptible to the same scare tactics and small-mindedness as the right.
  • by vux984 (928602) on Friday November 25, 2011 @05:19PM (#38169954)

    You do realize that first the taxes are taken from the family, the only question is how much of THIER OWN MONEY the government decides to hand back...

    I'm not sure what your point is?

    Those same taxes are also taken from families with no children, and with grown up children, and whose children have died due to not being immunized too....

    Everyone pays taxes, that's how government is paid for. Deal with it. Your point is at most a distraction from any rational discussion.

  • Re:Hurray! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spiffmastercow (1001386) on Friday November 25, 2011 @05:22PM (#38170000)

    No, it's not. The text you are referencing, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" is in fact in the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution. The Constitution is supposed to be built around these principles, but the text you describe does not appear anywhere in it.

    True enough. I should also point out that we're actually talking about Australia, which made no such claims upon its founding. But my basic point is that ascribing the status of a "right" to a tax deduction is ridiculous.

  • Re:Seems fair... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by The Wild Norseman (1404891) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (namesron.wt)> on Friday November 25, 2011 @05:28PM (#38170086)

    See how long it takes before you can get them to admit they directly profit from "alternative medicine" (quackery.)

    Exactly. One of my favorite quotes is, "What do you call 'alternative medicine' that actually works?" "Medicine."

  • Re:Hurray! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bucky24 (1943328) on Friday November 25, 2011 @05:29PM (#38170098)
    Hmmm you're right. I've heard so many times that phrase being associated incorrectly with the US Constitution that I jumped the gun a bit. And yes, your point is valid, I completely agree.
  • Re:Seems fair... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by microbox (704317) on Friday November 25, 2011 @05:50PM (#38170314)
    No, he used the word fascist spot on. The far-right are the type of suspicious nationalist bigots that would have thrived in Nazi Germany. Scream outrage all you want. Don't care.

    Australia as a semi public/private system that is light-years ahead of the USA on multiple measures. The total cost is way less than half what the US pays per capita, and the health outcomes are better. Furthermore, if you're rich, you can get your weekly anal flush, or whatever you want.
  • by joocemann (1273720) on Friday November 25, 2011 @06:02PM (#38170420)

    You don't get it. Society believes, based on evidence, that the few dipshits that don't immunize are putting others at risk. They incentivise the smart choice, in a way of saying "those who will take measures to keep us all safer get a tax break". This is to drive all people to make the smart choice....

    I bet you would be even more upset if the incentive was percentage of income based, which *would* equally motivate the rich to immunize... and because they would have breaks in the hundreds of thousands while the poor only get hundreds.

    So should the break be percentage based? It would be proportional, and equally incentivising....

  • Re:So (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pseudonym (62607) on Friday November 25, 2011 @06:12PM (#38170516)

    One of the known mechanisms by which pathogenic bacteria get resistance to antibiotics is by horizontal gene transfer from our own gut flora. Gut flora becomes resistant to antibiotics because the levels in our gastrointestinal tract is lower than in our bloodstream. Viruses and bacteriophages (which infect bacteria) then transfer plasmids between different species.

  • Re:Hurray! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tanktalus (794810) on Friday November 25, 2011 @08:01PM (#38171402) Journal

    there should be limits to what potentially harmful decisions you can make on your child's behalf.

    And therein lies the theory that government knows better than parents how to raise their children. While it does so happen from time to time that you get incompetent parents and the bureaucracy does in fact to a better job, I cannot buy into the theory that this is always true. My kids are my responsibility, and I will do the best I can for them (which, of course, does not mean giving in to their every demand or catering to tantrums just because we're out in public). I do not want the government interfering in that.

    For the record: my kids have had every scheduled vaccination as appropriate for their age according to the local health department, plus H1N1 when it was going around. They have not had any flu vaccination (other than H1N1). The regular vaccinations' only criticisms I've ever seen have been relating to autism, and that seems full of bunk. The flu vaccinations' primary criticism I've received from our general physicians (both our previous one, who is now retired, and our new GP): the vaccination is for the correct strain less than 50% of the time (I think the now-retired GP said somewhere around 25% of the time), your chances of a significant reaction to the vaccine is higher than getting that year's flu and getting a significant issue from that. And, without any other risk factor, the likelihood of anything worse than a week off work was already slim-to-none. And that's where H1N1 was different: our then-infant was deemed at risk for severe issues from H1N1 in the unlikely scenario of getting it, i.e., death, so we considered it very differently. My mother was concerned that he'd get autism from it. Of course, I paid that all the attention it deserved (we got the vaccinations and told her over a week later).

    Oh, and I received all my childhood vaccinations, too - my mother wasn't so sucked in to medical bunkumism at the time.

    Just because I advocate most of the vaccinations doesn't mean I think the government should be interfering.

  • Re:Fuck you (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Friday November 25, 2011 @08:32PM (#38171618) Journal

    Right, because the government's will trumps any sort of idea that you can make choices for you or your children.

    How about this instead:
    Right, because the public's health trumps any sort of idea that you can make choices for you or your children.

    Public Health is one of the few places where the government should and does step on the rights of the people.
    Otherwise the people end up getting sick and dying off in large numbers.

    Ask your parents or grandparents about the [strike]good old[/strike] days before mass vaccinations.

  • Re:Seems fair... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Friday November 25, 2011 @09:26PM (#38171990)

    http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/story/2011-10-21/Unvaccinated-behind-largest-US-measles-outbreak-in-years/50852098/1 [usatoday.com]

    Wow! That was really serious. 214 people affected nationwide! Almost an epic national disaster.

    Note that wasn't 214 people dead, or sterilized, it was 214 people who got the measles. A subset of them would have been permanently affected.

    Perhaps as many as were affected by the last airline crash....

  • Re:Hurray! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Falconhell (1289630) on Friday November 25, 2011 @10:18PM (#38172258) Journal

    Yestaerday there was a nurse on the radio who worked in fever hospitals in the 50's where whole bulildings were dedicated to caring for patients that had the diseases that MMR prevents. Literally thousands of children are not in hospital right now beacuse of vaccines. Idiots like you with your lopt theories are endagering a return to that situation. Many chidlren died and many ended up with severe disabilities, far more than any of the rare side effects of vaccine.

    Your post is 100% bullshit I promise you.

  • Re:So (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Friday November 25, 2011 @10:40PM (#38172380)

    Not a failure of vaccines, but a failure due to ignorance and superstition.

  • by Nursie (632944) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @02:58AM (#38173344)

    Citation needed.

    Evidence o STFU.

    The anti-vaccine people whom you seem to be mirroring have never, ever, ever shown any of this crap to be true. Scientifically it's on a par with creationism.

  • Re:Seems fair... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nursie (632944) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @03:05AM (#38173368)

    As a youth, I knew more than one kid that ended up having to turn to burglary or prostitution because of child labor laws.

    Bullshit.

  • Re:Hurray! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @05:49AM (#38173828) Journal

    I actually went ahead and started reading the link, but it fails right from the get go:

    "Jenner’s idea was based solely upon a dairymaid’s superstition. He sought to give it a scientific air by calling cowpox (a disease which bears no analogy to smallpox) variolae vaccinae—i.e., smallpox of the cow. "

    Wikipedia:

    "Vaccinia virus is closely related to the virus that causes Cowpox; historically the two were often considered to be one and the same. The precise origin of Vaccinia virus is unknown, however, due to the lack of record-keeping as the virus was repeatedly cultivated and passaged in research laboratories for many decades. The most common notion is that Vaccinia virus, Cowpox virus, and Variola virus (the causative agent of smallpox), were all derived from a common ancestral virus. "

    Anything else you want to enlighten us about - say, debunk evolution, or GTR?

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