So, apparently Americans are thinking it's all the rage to let their young'uns go to school without receiving the traditional panel of vaccinations. Check out the link here to the map that was compiled by the AP.
Needless to say, this is a public health problem. The fact of the matter is that our generation (yay, Millenials!) has never seen measles, polio, mumps, rubella, tetanus, and many other major infectious diseases in action. There's a reason these vaccines exist ... it's because the conditions they protect against are vicious, painful, and deadly.
Also, all myths about the autism-vaccine relationship can be dispelled by visiting this site, which explains how the British Medical Journal totally debunked the scientific studies that sparked all the hype. The scientist who authored the studies even admits that he doctored the data ... but no one seems to notice that small fact.
Ultimately, this has turned into a huge public health problem because of the bad decisions of one science professional. We should all take this as a warning; our ethical practices have the potential to affect millions of people, given the right conditions. I doubt that Dr. Wakefield thought he would prompt such an insane reaction to an insignificant finding, but here we are, struggling again to contain infectious diseases.
If people in third-world countries had access to these vaccines, there's no WAY they would turn them down.
Hey, America, your privilege is showing.