Skepchick Quickies 6.24


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. Another aside re: whooping cough. My grandmother was born in the UK in the early 1900s and she was terrified of whooping cough, because she saw so many kids die, or come close to death, because of it. She was a *solid* supporter of vaccination for this (blindingly obvious) reason. I’m pretty sure that most folks in the US will have elderly relatives with similar recollections and views.

    How could we all go so far backwards, so quickly?

  2. Yep. One of our office mate’s kids got it prior to being eligible for pertussis vax. Hideous.

    Also, the drawings of scientists is genius! I sent it to a bunch of my colleagues.

  3. Oh wow I love the kids responses to drawing a scientist and describing what they do. Some of them really nailed the scientific process and it was great to see that they generally regarded science as a pretty positive thing.
    Some of the after comments were especially endearing this one really made me smile
    ” . . . anyone can be a scientist. I saw people walking around in sweatshirts and jeans. Who knows? Maybe I can be a scientist.

  4. As a matter of pure coincidence, I’ve been unable to get the word “pertussis” out of my head for over a week now. I’ll take responsibility for the epidemic.

  5. Ugh, Pertussis. This is one of those things where your immunity from the vaccine wanes over time, so please get your boosters! All of you! Now! Especially if you are going to have a lot of contact with babies.

    And with that, I will take my own advice and go make an appointment with my doctor to update my shots right this minute. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. Not to sound like the friendly, neighborhood Hitler or anything, but we really need to put stickers on these anti-vaccination people’s children so we can stay a safe distance from them.

    Or move them to some sort of camp by themselves.

  7. Unfortunately for me, I first read the Fermilab story here. I’ve only started reading that blog recently, and although I don’t agree with his opinions on politics and climate change–two areas he and I have no qualifications in–I have enjoyed his physics oriented posts. Until now, that is.

    As a grad student in particle physics (and a woman, last I checked), it really stings to know that there are people out there, other physicists, who *consciously* believe that I’m no good at science. Especially since he’s never even met me.

    I was going to comment in his blog, but I don’t see much of a point to that. No one can change his mind for him. He just serves as an example of why the minds we have to focus on are the ones that haven’t been made up yet, the young girls who are being told that math and science are for boys.

    I think it’s clear that the boys drew male scientists before and after because that’s who they identified with. And that’s fine with me. Let’s just give the girls some more women to identify with and I’ll be happy.

    And by the way, I’ve been to Fermilab, you don’t have to look hard to find female scientists there. Just in case anyone is suspecting this was a heavily contrived scenario for the kids.

  8. I just wanted to second Lexi’s comment. I was as surprised as anyone when I picked up whooping cough a couple of years ago. I thought it was included in the tetanus combo, but my doctor told me that there was a period of time when they didn’t realize that immunity waned, so they were only giving adults tetanus-diphtheria. I would urge anyone with children in their lives to make sure that pertussis was included in their last tetanus shot.

  9. @Glow-Orb:

    I thought it was included in the tetanus combo, but my doctor told me that there was a period of time when they didn’t realize that immunity waned, so they were only giving adults tetanus-diphtheria.

    Most of my sister’s family came down with whooping cough last month, despite all being vaccinated. That’s a 6-year-old, an 18-year-old and a 40-year-old. Her doctor said that the whooping cough vaccine is only about 80-85% effective. So, you can still have outbreaks unless everyone in the population is vaccinated.

    Sounds like the vaccine regimen should be changed to include adults as well as children while research is done into making a more-effective pertussis vaccine.


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