Sunday, April 3, 2011
One of the stupidest cuts that the GOP want to but in the budget is a $156 million cut from the CDC's immunization program. I would love to say that this is penny wise and pound foolish except it isn't even penny wise.
The way immunizations work is they make it harder for the body to catch a disease, not impossible. They also make it so the body can fight the disease easier so that person spreads the disease for a shorter amount of time.
One person getting immunized doesn't do much to slow down the spread of a disease, it doesn't even make that person much safer as they are exposed to lots of people that have the disease. What makes immunizations work is a thing known as “Herd Immunity”.
Basically when 75% of a group is immunized, if one person gets the disease 3 out of 4 people they come in contact with will be resistant to catching the disease. That leaves just one of four that they can easily spread the disease to. The three others act as a buffer slowing the spread of the disease down to a crawl. It means that even unimmunized people have a greater chance of getting a very weakened form of the disease making them immunize themselves.
When less than 75% of a group is immunized people are exposed to the disease from multiple sources and it has a chance to mutate. This means even those that immunized have a greater chance of running into a mutated form of the disease that can make them sick. Naturally the lower percentage of a group that is immunized the faster a disease can spread.
By cutting the budget to the CDC's immunization program that targets the poorest 20% of families, it turns the poor neighborhoods into breeding grounds for nasty diseases. Even if our society didn't have a moral responsibility to take care of these people and let them die on the street it would still effect the rest of society as no group is completely cut off from every other group.
The working poor, who would become the breeding ground for nasty diseases, are the people who clean up the offices of the rich, they serve the meals in restaurants, take care the children, ect. Cutting immunizations spreads the nasty diseases everywhere and effects everyone, not just the poor.
So to those people who want to try and cut immunizations in this country, I say, “Shut-up Stupid, diseases don't care what type of car you drive, how much money is in your bank account, what social circles you belong to. They only care about spreading and to you they are just a convenient host. So cutting immunizations hurts you as well.”
By Darrell B. Nelson author of I KILLED THE MAN THAT WASN'T THERE