Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dr. Paul Offit on NPR's Talk of the Nation

Dr. Paul Offit was a guest on Talk of the Nation last week to talk about vaccines.  He talked about his new book, Deadly Choices, which discusses the anti-vaccine movement.  I've already ordered it on my Kindle, but I haven't read it yet.  I'm hoping I can use it as a break from GRRM's A Song of Ice and Fire series soon (I'm ~65% through the 3rd book, A Storm of Swords). 

I had a chance to listen to the podcast while I was at the gym today, and it was enjoyable but immensely frustrating.  I think what people forget is that sometimes medicine doesn't make logical sense until you spend years studying the subject.  One of the callers refused to accept Offit's argument that having 5 vaccines in a single doctor's visit still isn't even a blip in the radar compared to what your immune system (or a child's) encounters every day.  When you see a child scream while getting stuck with a needle a few times, I can understand how it would seem that it's a bigger deal to your immune system, but factually it simply is not.

I could spend hours talking about vaccines and the anti-vaccine movement, but instead I'll have you check out the podcast yourself.  It's ~18 minutes long so you can listen to it while you're driving to class/work or while you're at the gym.  If you have a podcast application on your phone, you can subscribe to Talk of the Nation as well, which makes finding and listening to stuff like this much easier.  Hopefully I'll find some time to read Deadly Choices soon.  Based on what I heard on the podcast, I'm sure it'll be worth the time!

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