Podcast: Science-ish tackles vaccines

Here’s Julia Belluz with pointed answers to reader questions


We asked you, dear Science-ish readers, for your burning questions about vaccines.

You tweeted and emailed what was on your mind. Some of you asked if fears about vaccines are irrational while others wanted to know how flu shots are made and whether we should bother with getting the things. Science-ish was asked why we don’t have an HIV vaccine, and what’s causing the whooping cough outbreaks. Even age-old worries about the link between autism, mercury and vaccines emerged.

Not to worry: Science-ish got answers.

Here are responses to some of your questions and a preview of what’s to come later this week.

      Scienceish Vaccine Final

Science-ish is a joint project of Maclean’s, the Medical Post and the McMaster Health Forum. Julia Belluz is the associate editor at the Medical Post. Got a tip? Seen something that’s Science-ish? Message her at julia.belluz@medicalpost.rogers.com or on Twitter @juliaoftoronto



Podcast: Science-ish tackles vaccines

  1. On the issue of health, I’m happy Dollar Tree carried $1.25 salsa. We will know how bad high sodium intake is as soon as we elect an NDP or Bloc or Green or Lib gvmt. Whether the prairies like it or not, they benefit from healthy options. It is $1.69 at Loblaws. It is too bad we don’t have food stamps or a 44 cent subsidy.
    I’m annoyed I couldn’t see a doctor for tylenol or whatever, in a junkie neighbourhood, in Western Canada. I have fluid in my feet and need to walk to scrounge a “living”, to go to where there are many cities to be hired in. I have little loyalty to AB/(contemporary)SK, or the GOP. I kind of like the Snake prescription of starting things over if rich people don’t want to share. I know where such Holier-than-thou ideology will lead.
    Univeristy of Toronto 1/3 penned the stem-cell paper I read. Maybe can just give Ont the Federal Budget, and Stephen Harper some sort Heaven video game to be preoccupied with? I’m missing out on the Subway Series and a playoff CFL game. :(

  2. Probably the best way to prevent bioterror is a Guaranteed Annual Income or annuity. Getting the $$ total right is hard. If you give people too much, they won’t work and build human capital and might even be less loyal if they become mentally ill or addicts.
    For instance, monkeys don’t share with banana thiefs. We won’t need as many potentially dangeour to research vaccines, if we have everyone loyal.
    I think I get to go to heaven if I make the world a better place, if there is a coyote god. I don’t think the 900AD humans who edited to The Bible are correct. I’m respectful of Mormons. I don’t respect their American god who got his ass kicked in the Battele of Queenston.

  3. I’d love to listen to this podcast but don’t have the time when at the computer. Is it available to download so I can put it on my mp3 player?

  4. Stole the tylenol. I figured out a general heuristic for dual use R+D/products.
    There is a level of sensoring, surveillence, social distancing and decontamination. This increases over time and will likely be proportional to GDP. Expensive robot x-ray decontaminators and hand washing in a nation education curiculum are examples.
    There is industrial R+D/knowledge that leads to pandemic WMDs over time. It is tricky here as eventually robots and AI takeover as the prime threat and the scales to weigh for a given investment…This knowledge increases over time. It is in a race with social distancing et al. For instance a quarantine is difficult to enforce. I’m reading about Stalin.
    For a given R+D/technology, that may be dual use, there is a level of treatment, cure, vaccine, that generally decareses over time. The more designer we get, the worse pandemic will be given static SSSDD.
    For said R+D/technology, the potential WMD damage also increases over time. There are general R+D and specific products whose double edges need to be weighed. It might make sense to wait for better SSSDD before unleashing some technologies. There are very few vaccines to communicable diseases now that will be mass produced in time mid-pandemic, but contradicting the earlier generality, soon we will have better vaccine manufacturing than egg-based.

  5. after listening to the podcast…….think you are misled that educated upper class parents want to shield their kids from vaccines because of the fear of needles! You are horribly uneducated about the other side of the vaccine coin. I have seen first hand the damage that vaccines cause. This is such a disappointing podcast. Sounds like two kids on a whim decide to talk about vaccines. Who sponsored this podcast? A vaccine/drug company would be my best guess.

  6. That was really, really awful. If you don’t want to draw comparisons between skeptical upper middle class parents and the Taliban then don’t bring them up back to back. That approach to putting statements in juxtaposition and then saying “wink wink nudge nudge” no inference intended has been used against women & minorities for decades. It is dishonest and lame (you know what I mean).