O que é este blog?

Este blog trata basicamente de ideias, se possível inteligentes, para pessoas inteligentes. Ele também se ocupa de ideias aplicadas à política, em especial à política econômica. Ele constitui uma tentativa de manter um pensamento crítico e independente sobre livros, sobre questões culturais em geral, focando numa discussão bem informada sobre temas de relações internacionais e de política externa do Brasil. Para meus livros e ensaios ver o website: www.pralmeida.org. Para a maior parte de meus textos, ver minha página na plataforma Academia.edu, link: https://itamaraty.academia.edu/PauloRobertodeAlmeida

sábado, 12 de outubro de 2019

Movimento antivacinal: tendências perigosas em todos os países

Mais de dez anos atrás, eu escrevi um artigo no qual perguntava se o número de idiotas estava aumentando no mundo. Mas a preocupação central era com o criacionismo nas escolas e outros fenômenos similares. 
Eis meu artigo: “Estaria a imbecilidade humana aumentando? (uma pergunta que espero não constrangedora...)”, Miami-São Paulo (em vôo), 23 abril 2007, 5 p. Considerações sobre o aumento da idiotice no mundo, com base no fundamentalismo religioso e nas explicações simplistas sobre a vida e o mundo. Publicado, sob o título de “Está aumentando o número de idiotas no mundo?”, na revista Espaço Acadêmico (ano 6, n. 72, maio de 2007; ISSN: 1519-6186). Publicado na Revista Acadêmica Espaço da Sophia (Tomazina, PR: ISSN: 1981-318X, ano I, n. 3, p.1-6, junho 2007; edição eletrônica). Divulgado na plataforma Academia.edu (link: https://www.academia.edu/5908342/1746_Estaria_a_imbecilidade_humana_aumentando_uma_pergunta_que_espero_não_constrangedora..._2007_). 
A preocupação atual é com os idiotas das campanhas antivacinais, que estão fazendo o mundo retroceder de uma maneira espantosa...
Paulo Roberto de Almeida


How Anti-Vaccine Sentiment Took Hold in the United States
As families face back-to-school medical requirements this month, the country feels the impact of a vaccine resistance movement decades in the making.
Jan Hoffman
The New York Times, 24/09/2019

The question is often whispered, the questioners sheepish. But increasingly, parents at the Central Park playground where Dr. Elizabeth A. Comen takes her young children have been asking her: “Do you vaccinate your kids?”
Dr. Comen, an oncologist who has treated patients for cancers related to the human papillomavirus that a vaccine can now prevent, replies emphatically: Absolutely.
She never imagined she would be getting such queries. Yet these playground exchanges are reflective of the national conversation at the end of the second decade of the 21st century — a time of stunning scientific and medical advances but also a time when the United States may, next month, lose its World Health Organization designation as a country that has eliminated measles, because of outbreaks this year. The W.H.O. has listed vaccine hesitancy as one of the top threats to global health.
As millions of families face back-to-school medical requirements and forms this month, the contentiousness surrounding vaccines is heating up again, with possibly even more fervor.
Though the situation may seem improbable to some, anti-vaccine sentiment has been building for decades, a byproduct of an internet humming with rumor and misinformation; the backlash against Big Pharma; an infatuation with celebrities that gives special credence to the anti-immunization statements from actors like Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carrey and Alicia Silverstone, the rapper Kevin Gates and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. And now, the Trump administration’s anti-science rhetoric.
“Science has become just another voice in the room,” said Dr. Paul A. Offit, an infectious disease expert at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “It has lost its platform. Now, you simply declare your own truth.”
The constituents who make up the so-called vaccine resistant come from disparate groups, and include anti-government libertarians, apostles of the all-natural and parents who believe that doctors should not dictate medical decisions about children. Labeling resisters with one dismissive stereotype would be wrongheaded.
“To just say that these parents are ignorant or selfish is an easy trope,” said Jennifer Reich, a sociologist at the University of Colorado Denver, who studies vaccine-resistant families.
It remains true that the overwhelming majority of American parents have their children vaccinated. Parent-driven groups like Voices for Vaccines, formed to counter anti-vaccination sentiment, have proliferated. Five states have eliminated exemptions for religious and philosophical reasons, permitting only medical opt-outs.
But there are ominous trends. For highly contagious diseases like measles, the vaccine rate to achieve herd immunity — the term that describes the optimum rate for protecting an entire population — is typically thought to be 95 percent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the vaccination rate for the measles, mumps and rubella (M.M.R.) injection in kindergartners in the 2017-2018 school year had slipped nationally to 94.3 percent, the third year in a row it dropped.
Seven states reported rates for the M.M.R. vaccine that were far lower for kindergartners, including Kansas at 89.1 percent; New Hampshire, 92.4 percent; the District of Columbia, 81.3 percent. (The highest is West Virginia at 98.4 percent.)
Almost all states have at least one anti-vaccine group. At least four have registered political action committees, supporting candidates who favor less restrictive vaccine exemption policies.
Public health experts say that patients and many doctors may not appreciate the severity of diseases that immunizations have thwarted, like polio, which can affect the spinal cord and brain — because they probably have not seen cases.
“Vaccines are a victim of their own success,” said Dr. Offit, a co-inventor of a vaccine for rotavirus, which can cause severe diarrhea in young children. “We have largely eliminated the memory of many diseases.”
The growth of vaccine doubt in America coincides with several competing forces and attitudes.
Since the early 2000s, as the number of required childhood vaccines was increasing, a generation of parents was becoming hypervigilant about their children and, through social media, patting each other on the backs for doing so. In their view, parents who permitted vaccination were gullible toadies of status quo medicine.

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