WatchMojo speaks with Dr. Joe Schwarcz about the vaccination debate made famous by such celebs as Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey.
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The Vaccination Debate Dr. Joe Schwarcz: Vaccination is probably the greatest scientific advance that has been introduced in medicine in the history of the world in terms of the number of lives that have been saved. It’s surprising that there should be any opposition. Rebecca Brayton: While most experts say vaccination is the best way to protect yourself against dangerous illnesses some people still argue against it. Hi, I'm Rebecca Brayton and welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re learning more about the vaccination debate. First of all, could you kind of outline what the debate actually is? Dr. Joe Schwarcz: With the H1N1 now we’re up to about 9000 people who have died around the world. You constantly hear stories that while there is 30,000 or 40,000 people in North America die every year just from the regular flu so why are we squawking so much about a few thousand people dying. Bill Maher: You know how many people have died this year already from the regular, normal flu-flu? Dr. Joe Schwarcz: It’s a silly argument. Male: If you have to choose you’ve probably choose at this point the swine flu over the regular, seasonal flu. Dr. Joe Schwarcz: These are not mutually exclusive problems. Those 9000 are on top of the people who are dying from seasonal flu. Not instead of them so of course we want to reduce that. Jenny McCarthy, an actress and Jim Carrey, an actor, very good actor but nevertheless an actor with no scientific background are not the people to be listening to. Jim Carrey: What happened after 1989, we went into more 26 more vaccines. Jenny McCarthy: Greed. Jim Carrey: Are all of them absolutely necessary? Male: They just want to make money. Jenny McCarthy: Of course. Dr. Joe Schwarcz: Now these are the ones who are swaying public opinion alarming people about the “dangers” of the vaccine. Well, those dangers have to put into contacts, relevant benefit that vaccine brings. Rebecca Brayton: In terms of the H1N1 vaccine, there is some debate as to whether or not it’s been tested enough. What is your take on that? Dr. Joe Schwarcz: The vaccine is made exactly the same way as the regular, seasonal flu vaccine is made. We’ve had not enough for over a dozen years so the technology is exactly the same. The concept is exactly the same. This vaccine doesn’t need any special testing that it hasn’t already been done. Rebecca Brayton: Why would you say this debate is gaining steamer now? Dr. Joe Schwarcz: People love conspiracies to think that some company has developed first something to cause a disease and then something to solve that disease just for their own coffers. The reason that it sells because sometimes there is some truth to it. You know the governments have not always done the right thing and companies have not always done the right thing and that of course just feeds into this. The bottom line is that if you want to turn a profit what’s the best way to do that? By producing the product that’s good and that works and a dozen curio customers. Even if you don’t have any kind of morals if you're all looking for is the bottom line well, your bottom line is going to be increase if you produce big drugs that help more people. Rebecca Brayton: Thank you very much. Dr. Joe Schwarcz: Thanks.