No one woke up on a morning in December and decided that an mRNA vaccine was the way to go without any prior knowledge of the science and technology of mRNA vaccines. That knowledge goes back decades, and there have been many people working on this technology with many companies and governments spending large amounts of money on it. There have been clinical trials on mRNA vaccines not just for the coronavirus but for cancer and other ailments. Little by little, advances were made that brought us to the current vaccine.
Many of the debates we are having today on scientific matters are not really “scientific” in the true sense of the word. They are more “philosophical” or “social” debates. The Earth is flat. The climate is changing. Germ theory explains the transmission patterns of infectious disease. It is our point of view and our social values that lead us to have debates about concepts whose foundations are set. Unfortunately, those debates sometimes end up being contentious, uncivilized or downright violent. Scientific discussions for the advancement of science and discovery should be better than that. We should be better than that.
New research is showing that children are protected form chickenpox and from shingles if they are immunized according to the recommended US schedule.
A few days ago, we posted about the measles epidemic in Madagascar and how the number of deaths had passed 1,200 cases, most of them children. One of the things that I found striking about the situation there is the cost of the measles vaccine. It is so expensive that families with several children often weigh which child will get the one vaccine dose they can afford. A family makes about $2 per day, with a vaccine dose costing upwards of $15. Imagine having to work more than two weeks to afford a single vaccine that can save your child’s life.
A previous version of today’s blog post was published in Berkeley Wellness, and it can be…