Editorial: Is Chicken Pox Deadly? It Depends.

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.

The Economics of Immunizations

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.