Odds Are


Struck by lightning, sounds pretty frightening
But you know the chances are so small
Stuck by a bee sting, nothing but a B-thing
Better chance you’re gonna bite it at the mall
But it’s a twenty-three four-to-one
That you can fall in love by the end of this song
So get up, get up
Tell the bookie put a bet on “not a damn thing will go wrong”

If we put the odds of dying from any and all possible causes at a 1:1 ratio – because let’s face it, life is fleeting and all our candles will snuffed out in the blink of an eye in terms of time on this teacup ride – odds are we’re gonna be alright for another night.

According to the CDC, before the U.S. widely implemented the measles vaccination program in 1963:

  • 3-4 million people in the U.S. got measles each year.
  • 48,000 were hospitalized.
  • 4,000 suffered encephalitis (brain swelling).
  • 400-500 died.

Herd immunity granted via mass adoption of the measles vaccine in the U.S. led to a greater than 99 percent reduction in measles cases compared with the pre-vaccine era. This is statistically significant. If this were a clinical trial, it would be unethical to continue with only a select few in the trial, instead of making the medication widely available.

Today, California became the largest state to require schoolchildren to receive vaccinations – allowing exemptions only for medical necessity, and removing options for personal or religious reasons. (The only established religion truly opposed to vaccines is Christian Scientist.)

Who would have thought California would join the exclusive company of Mississippi and West Virginia?

“The science is clear that vaccines dramatically protect children against a number of infectious and dangerous diseases. While it is true that no medical intervention is without risk, the evidence shows that immunization powerfully benefits and protects the community,” Governor Brown noted in a memo to the California State Senate, indicating his approval of SB 277.

What are the risks of this controversial vaccine?

From the insert:

MMR vaccine side-effects 
(Measles, Mumps, and Rubella)

A vaccine, like any medicine, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The risk of MMR vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small. Getting MMR vaccine is much safer than getting measles, mumps or rubella. Most people who get MMR vaccine do not have any serious problems with it.

Mild Problems

  • Fever (up to 1 person out of 6)
  • Mild rash (about 1 person out of 20)
  • Swelling of glands in the cheeks or neck (about 1 person out of 75)

If these problems occur, it is usually within 7-12 days after the shot. They occur less often after the second dose.

Moderate Problems

  • Seizure (jerking or staring) caused by fever (about 1 out of 3,000 doses)
  • Temporary pain and stiffness in the joints, mostly in teenage or adult women (up to 1 out of 4)
  • Temporary low platelet count, which can cause a bleeding disorder (about 1 out of 30,000 doses) 

Severe Problems (Very Rare)

  • Serious allergic reaction (less than 1 out of a million doses)
  • Several other severe problems* have been reported after a child gets MMR vaccine, including:
    • Deafness
    • Long-term seizures, coma, or lowered consciousness
    • Permanent brain damage

*These are so rare that it is hard to tell whether the vaccine causes them. Correlation does not necessarily mean causation.

When I posted my initial missive on this vaccination, (hesitating over the potential controversy that may arise – not from those who may oppose my well researched and scientifically supported informed opinion, but because we may have had to cancel Disneyland) I saw many supportive comments.

I also saw this.

“I always desire to share on any posts on vaccines that I have a child who was injured by a vaccine. I would much rather have had to battle a short-term measles infection or even have been given the opportunity to face losing her to a childhood illness over the alternative of the mind bending and soul distilling work of recovering her from neurological and immune system disorder over the last 6 years, and into the future.”


My children are healthy. That was touch and go at the start. And at no point would I ever wish someone to face losing a child as an after-effect of another parent’s ill-informed fear.

Now comes the chorus of concern, “Stand up and let our elected officials know we demand to retain rights over our own bodies!” I will stand with you there.

So I will clear up some confusion about today’s bill; no one has taken that right from you.

Under the new law, families with a nonmedical reason for declining vaccines will have to home-school. Unvaccinated children who are currently in school will be allowed to remain for the time, until proof of vaccination is required when they enter kindergarten and seventh grade.

No one will force you to vaccinate your child. You may still choose to forego vaccines. SB 277 simply mandates that you not then force your willingness to decimate herd immunity upon those who do not have a choice.

Our country is known for its freedoms. Let us not forget that this does not mean the liberty to ignore the potential consequences of our choices.

“I wouldn’t send my child to a liberal indoctrination center either, but I digress” said a disgruntled commenter in response to today’s news.

Huzzah! The law is already working as intended.

As I said before, it is the height of hubris to think ourselves so self-aggrandized that we begin to scoff at proven medicine simply because we can. Have we fallen so far from reality that we can no longer see the benefits due to the possibility of a drawback? No science has 100% efficacy except death. Do not use your misguided beliefs to prove that.

What are the odds that we’re gonna be all right? Well, per the National Safety Council, here are the lifetime odds of death for selected causes, from most likely to least:

Odds of Dying
Heart Disease 1:7
Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease 1:29
Intentional Self-harm 1:103
Motor Vehicle Crashes 1:112
Unintentional Poisoning By and Exposure to Noxious Substances 1:119
Falls 1:152
Assault by Firearm 1:356
Pedestrian 1:723
Motorcycle Rider 1:922
Unintentional Drowning and Submersion 1:1,043
Exposure to Fire, Flames or Smoke 1:1,418
Choking from Inhalation and Ingestion of Food 1:3,649
Pedacyclist 1:4,974
Firearms Discharge 1:6,509
Exposure to Excessive Natural Heat 1:8,321
Air and Space Transport Incidents 1:8,357
Exposure to Electric Current, Radiation, Temperature and Pressure 1:12,174
Contact with Sharp Objects 1:37,565
Contact with Heat and Hot Substances 1:62,608
Contact with Hornets, Wasps and Bees 1:75,852
Cataclysmic Storm 1:83,922
Legal Execution 1:96,203
Bitten or Struck by a Dog 1:103,798
Struck by Lightning 1:136,011


Filed under Current Events, Hospital

3 Responses to Odds Are

  1. Roxy

    Good! I am looking forward to the day this law passes in my country too. We now have two cases of tetanus-yep, tetanus in the 21st century!- in my country.Both pacients are children aged 2 and 4 respectively. Also, I just heard that the poor Spanish boy passed away because of the diphteria(first case in 20 years in Spain if I’m not mistaken). Then there’s the German child with measles who died recently and of course the measles mayhem from Disneyland USA. So what are the anti-vaxxers doing? Screaming : “Fake!!! It’s just a ploy to scare us into vaccinating! The kids aren’t really sick, these are just hoaxes cooked by the government(who has the cure for cancer but is hiding it btw) and big pharma and those big pharma slaves called doctors”.

    • Amen! We just had our first confirmed case of measles death here in the U.S. in 20 years. Way to go anti-vaxxers – because we need more to worry about these days…

  2. Roxy

    Apparently “numerous” parents protested against the new bill at the Golden Gate Bridge. When I say numerous I mean 200.You know, out of the millions of parents who live in Cali. “We are not going away” they say.”We are numerous and we will protest”. Clearly, the “majority” of parents are against this new bill right? I have to admit the bill was cleverly written: it is not actually forcing vaccination nor is it taking away the right to get education since the parents have the option of homeschooling, which means no way can it be contested as “violating human rights” or “goes against everything the constitution stands for”. Some really smart people wrote this 🙂

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