In the 1996 film "Star Trek: First Contact," Captain Jean Luc Picard needs to travel back in time to save Earth, after the evil Borg have traveled back and assimilated all of Earth's 9 billion inhabitants.
The movie makes it clear that first contact with the collective is rough going.
But that danger is nothing compared to the risks of getting false info on your first contact about vaccinations — and the resulting possibility of first contact with polio, pertussis, diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella, or chickenpox.
A new study in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology reveals that people without previous information about vaccines are less likely to vaccinate their child if they are introduced to anti-vaccination conspiracy theories before they are presented with the solid facts about vaccine safety and effectiveness.
The good news is that the converse is also true: Uninformed people who are given the factual information first are resistant to conspiracy theories and more likely to vaccinate.
Nationally, it's estimated that almost 9 percent of parents refuse at least one vaccine, and 3.3 percent refuse all vaccines for their children.
That puts children too young to be vaccinated, older folks, those with compromised immune systems, and the unvaccinated children themselves at risk for life-threatening diseases.
Maybe we need a public health campaign that makes first contact with people about the importance of vaccinations.
Talk to your friends and neighbors about immunizations, and let them know that the benefits outweigh serious risks by 40,000 to 1.
Vaccinating against cancers and deadly diseases is like winning the lottery
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