Although there is overwhelming evidence to show that vaccination is a highly effective method of controlling infectious diseases a significant portion of the chiropractic profession maintains a strongly anti-vaccination bias. There is at least one survey (Table 1. from PDF pictured above) which shows that a whopping 51.3% of chiropractors do not believe vaccines are effective in the prevention of disease. Another survey queried 1% of American chiropractors and found that:
One-third agree that there is no scientific proof that immunization prevents disease, that vaccinations cause more disease than they prevent, and that contracting an infectious disease is safer than immunization.Clearly something is amiss among the chiropractic schools. But stealing a line from St. Francis of Assisi: " Where there is darkness, light". Two Canadian chiropractors, Jason Busse and Stephen Injeyen, writing in the highly respected journal Pediatrics with microbiologist James Campbell, identified tactics used to oppose and confuse the public about immunization. The playbook sounds much like something used to fight climate change:
1) Doubt the science
2) Question the motives and integrity of the scientists (greed)
3) Magnify the disagreements among scientists, and cite gadflies as authorities (doubt the consensus)
4) Appeal to personal freedoms
5) Claim action will cause more harm than good
Anyone that doubts the efficacy of vaccines needs to read up on polio. In the summer of 1916, 27,000 people were paralyzed in the US, with 6,000 deaths. All of which were from polio. In 1952 the United States had a polio epidemic with nearly 58,000 cases reported cases, 3,145 deaths and 21,269 were left with mild to disabling paralysis. Today polio survivors are one of the largest disabled groups in the world. The World Health Organization estimates that there are 10 to 20 million polio survivors worldwide with 254,000 persons living in the United States who had been paralyzed by polio. Many of these survivors face new disabilities 15 to 40 years after their original illness, which could leave them using wheelchairs or ventilators for the rest of their lives Polio is one hell of a disease.
In 1955 an injection vaccine was announced to the world and in 1962 an oral (pill) form became available. The two vaccines have eradicated polio from most of the countries in the world and reduced the worldwide incidence from an estimated 350,000 cases in 1988 to fewer than 2000 cases in 2006. In 2006 only four countries, Nigeria, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, had active polio outbreaks. The success of the polio vaccine has led the World Health Organization claim that "global polio eradication now hinges on" these four countries.
Unfortunately chiropractors are not the only group of people on the planet that feel threatened by vaccines. Datti Ahmed, the President of the Kano-based Sharia (Islamic Law) Supreme council, which administers Islamic law, claims that the polio "vaccine is part of a United States-led conspiracy to de-populate the developing world." As with all conspiracies, this one does not escape irony. From the Washington Post:
Six countries in the world still have "endemic," or freely circulating, polio virus in their populations. All except Nigeria are in the late stages of eradication campaigns. That country has had 259 cases of paralysis from the disease this year -- nearly 80 percent of the world total.And on the chiropractor side:
[A] boy whose chiropractor father did not believe in immunization was the first fatal case of childhood diphtheria in the nation that year.Clearly Hygeia, the goddess of health, does not like chiropractors or even certain Muslims. Of course if you believe the chiropractors "natural cycle" argument then I guess polio is just that disease that mutated so it no longer affected humans. And so the most fit strain of polio will forever live on... somewhere else. And that my friends is what we call evolution. :-p Darwin would be proud of the chiropractors.
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- Chiropractors and Vaccination: A Historical Perspective, PEDIATRICS Vol. 105 No. 4 April 2000, p. e43
- Attitudes and Beliefs toward Routine Vaccination: A Survey of Kansas Chiropractors, S. Holman and S. Nyberg, Department of Physician Assistant, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas 67260, U.S.A.
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- BBC, Kano shuns Nigeria polio campaign, Friday, 12 December, 2003, 13:09 GMT
- Washington Post, Polio Warning Issued for Travel to Nigeria, David Brown Thursday, July 1, 2004; Page A02
- Global polio eradication now hinges on four countries, Polio-free countries seek to protect themselves, World Health Organization, 12 OCTOBER 2006