Annual health exams are a tradition among healthcare-having Americans, but whether they’re necessary is up for debate. Years ago, I asked my doctor for a checkup and he chuckled, pointing out that I seemed fine. So, is this annual tradition really a necessity? It boils down to three simple questions.
The US has seen an increasing number of outbreaks from some communicable diseases that can easily be controlled through vaccination, but there has been a parallel increase in the number of parents who are choosing not to vaccinate their children. In part because there are a lot of reasons that the vaccination rate is dropping (unfounded fears about vaccine safety and mistrust of pharmaceutical companies are two), it’s not clear that a single intervention will reverse this trend.
A pair of papers released this week looked at two very different approaches, one focused on individuals and a second at state-level laws. They show that it’s relatively simple to change both attitudes and actions on vaccination.
I’ve always been seriously aggravated by the anti-vaccination groups. This is a classic example of the prisoner’s dilemma or similar game theories. Society as a whole loses out because these people believe bunk science.
Although… to be a prisoner’s dilemma there would technically have to be a winning position gained by not getting vaccinated and a loser’s outcome for getting vaccinated. Since there’s not, I guess these people are just dicks then: