[Avodah] Vaccinations - Rav Asher Weiss
zev at sero.name
Tue Jan 8 07:48:56 PST 2019
On 8/1/19 12:59 am, Alexander Seinfeld via Avodah wrote:
> He uses the example of a makaa (fence around a place where one could
> fall). How effective is this fence, assuming it is built and used
> correctly? Can we agree that it is 100% effective at its job of
> preventing falls? (Excluding building errors or misuse such as climbing
> over it)? The vaccination is not like that – even when made and used
> correctly, we still expect about 1 in 1,000,000 children to die from it.
> That’s pretty scary, and the ma'aka mitzvah does not readily and
> obviously apply here. The essence of a ma’aka is that it is a 100%
> protection against a possible danger (nobody knows the level of danger
> without a ma’aka, I propose 1 in a thousand (.1% percent as a good-faith
> estimate). To repeat, a 100% protection against a 0.1% risk. But as I’ve
> already shown, a vaccination is not a 100% protection and the risk is
> low but not zero.
Nothing has zero risk, or a zero failure rate.
As you point out parapets have two modes of failure: defective
construction, and people climbing over them; however uncommon these are,
that's a non-zero failure rate; not the 2% of the MMR vaccine, but let's
suppose 0.02%. (Against that, consider that the risk to the person whom
the remedy fails is much higher for the parapet than the vaccine; the 2%
whom the vaccine fails to protect will, *if exposed*, catch one or more
of the three diseases, with a >99% chance that they will survive with no
lasting injury, whereas the 0.02% -- or whatever the true number is --
whom the parapet fails stand a >99% chance of injury or death.)
Parapets also carry a minuscule risk, e.g. from people striking their
heads against them, which is almost certainly significantly *higher*
than the corresponding 1/1M risk from the MMR vaccine.
Zev Sero A prosperous and healthy 5779 to all
zev at sero.name Seek Jerusalem's peace; may all who love you prosper
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