Eula Biss

Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
A vaccine introduces a small amount or a tempered version of the virus into the body - just enough to that the body is able to recognize it and deal with it when it encounters it again in the future. Future
Art-making was part of my daily life from a very young age, and I still love that kind of everyday art-making. Life ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
As for mercury, a child will almost certainly get more mercury exposure from her immediate environment than from vaccination. This is true, too, of the aluminum that is often used as an adjuvant in vaccines to intensify the immune response.
Babies born to women who are infected with hep B - and mothers can carry the virus without their knowledge - will almost certainly be infected if they are not vaccinated within twelve hours of birth. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Women
Bram Stoker's 'Dracula,' in my reading, is really obviously about disease and our relation to disease.
Fears that formaldehyde from vaccines may cause cancer are similar to fears of mercury and aluminum, in that they coalesce around miniscule amounts of the substance in question, amounts considerably smaller than amounts from other common sources of exposure to the same substance.
Herd immunity is, it turns out, not incredibly easy to understand. It took me quite a bit of reading before I fully grasped it. But understanding herd immunity is essential to understanding why we vaccinate the way we do.
I guess I could say that I pursue questions that interest me in ways that interest me on the page, but that's awfully vague.
I had already drafted the manuscript that would become my first book by the time I graduated from college, but I had no idea what to do with it. Time
I talked to lots of people who are vaccine-hesitant, and I actually was one myself until I got further into this project, and most of them actually are in my demographic: so well-educated people with advanced degrees who are upper middle-class and have read quite a bit on the subject.
I think that people's resistance to vaccination isn't going to disappear until we address some of the nonmedical reasons for that resistance and people's discomfort and distrust of the government. That's bigger than what most medical professionals can handle. Health, Healthcare & Medicine ;Government
I think that protecting children at the age where they're most vulnerable against diseases that are highly contagious is prudent.
I think there's a temptation to try to think of people who don't vaccinate as a homogenous community, but I'm not convinced that's true. I'm not even sure that the word 'community' is totally accurate there, you know.
If your child's going to ride in a car or go swimming or play soccer, all of those things involve risk. And if your child doesn't do any of those things, then they're probably sitting too much, and that involves risk, too.
Imagine the action of a vaccine not just in terms of how it affects a single body, but also in terms of how it affects the collective body of a community.
In some areas, immunity has been eroded so much that the child who's not vaccinated is now actually more vulnerable to the complications of infectious diseases.
In the 19th century, smallpox was widely considered a disease of filth, which meant that it was largely understood to be a disease of the poor. According to filth theory, any number of contagious diseases were caused by bad air that had been made foul by excrement or rot.
In the case of Pakistan, the CIA actually used a fake vaccination campaign to try to locate Osama bin Laden, so now vaccination is associated with espionage.
In the story of Thetis and Achilles, it's clear this isn't really a safe environment. She's gone down to the River Styx - the dead are being ferried across in the background. There's something in this mythology that says that if you want invulnerability, if you want immortality, you pay a price.
Most of us believe that dirt is good for our kids, but some of us are wary of the grass in the parks, which may or may not have been treated with toxic chemicals.
My mother wrote poetry when I was young - I have an early memory of the sound of her typewriter - and my father told me inventive bedtime stories. Literature, Writers & Writing
My own thinking is often clarified and extended by talking with students.
My son is fully vaccinated, but there is one immunization on the standard schedule that he did not receive on time. This was meant to be his very first shot, the hep B administered to most babies immediately after birth. Time
Nigeria and Pakistan are two countries that have had a lot of trouble with polio. And part of the reason is that there's a lot of political unrest, and people really distrust what the government is doing. That has an effect on people's health, and it has an effect on the health of children. Health, Healthcare & Medicine ;Government
On the pro-vaccine side - and not everyone does this, but I saw it enough for it to make me really uncomfortable - is a tendency to accuse people who are wary of vaccination of being stupid and not understanding science. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
One of the mysteries of hep B immunization is that vaccinating only 'high risk' groups, which was the original public health strategy, did not bring down rates of infection. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
One of the shortcomings of our medical system is that doctors have very little time with their patients. Time ;Health, Healthcare & Medicine
Our community of contagion really is a world community.
Our constitution got built around the idea of minority protection.
Some of the most interesting research that I did was about risk assessment and how ordinary citizens like me handle risk assessment and how irregular our risk assessments are.
The belief that public health measures are not intended for people like us is widely held by many people like me. Public health, we assume, is for people with less - less education, less-healthy habits, less access to quality health care, less time and money. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Time ;Money, Coins & Minting
The risk of getting Hep B from a blood transfusion is a tiny number, but it's a bigger number than the risk of side effects from the vaccine.
There's a cultural expectation that everyone will be immunized, in part to protect the entire population. When people refuse that expectation, they're indulging in a certain kind of political or social immunity.
There's a lot of essay writing that could pass for journalism and journalism that could pass for essay. Some of it is just taxonomy.
There's something ancient and inevitable about this desire to do whatever you can to protect your child.
There's this tendency to think of the individual and the collective are somehow at odds or separate. But I think that's really false. We're all both. And when the individual suffers, the collective suffers, and vice versa.
We've been using vaccination in some form for hundreds of years now. We have almost nothing in our modern medicine that we've been using that long, and it's been consistently productive even though, you know, the older vaccines were much more dangerous than vaccines we're using now.
What I saw when I was doing research is that in pursuit of a middle ground, people will kind of split the difference between the two extremes that they're hearing. And I think what's problematic is that people are seeing vaccinating on schedule, on time, as an extreme position. Time
When I was researching the Victorian anti-vaccination movement, those activists often used a vampire as a metaphor for the vaccinator.
Yes, there's a higher rate of people living below the poverty line who aren't vaccinated. But it's much rarer for that to be a product of choice than a product of circumstance.
Yes, we can make prudent choices as parents, but we can't create an environment where there's zero risk for our children. Not only is that impossible, I don't think it's desirable, either.