Anti-Vaxxer beliefs are putting everyone in harm's way
No, don’t really punch Anti-Vaxxers in the face, no matter how much you feel they deserve it. And let’s be clear, this writer feels they deserve it. Their blatant ignorance and willing dissemination of misinformation has gone on for too long. They need to be stopped now, and brusquely. The ignorant do not respond to niceties.
Open a can of righteous whoop ass on them. Take down their talking points with facts, and be merciless when you do so.
The most well known Anti-Vaxxer credo is that vaccines create autism. They do not. Say again, vaccines absolutely do not cause autism. It’s bullshit. Andrew Wakefield, who forwarded this theory, was stripped of his medical license for making it up. It’s completely fraudulent.
Some Anti-Vaxxers try an end run around this. One claim they make is that vaccines cause demyelination, subsequently causing deterioration of the myelin sheath, thereby causing neurological disorders, and, you guessed it, autism. Also bullshit.
This theory was posited by Joseph Mercola, an Anti-Vaxxer advocate. Funny thing about Mercola though, he sells stuff that he says will fix you right up. Stuff that could replace vaccines, like coconut oil. The FDA had to order him to stop making illegal claims about the health benefits of buying his magic oil. Just so you know where the ulterior motives lie here. But if that’s not enough reason for you to discount Mercola, there’s lots more stuff right here.
It’s really simple; if vaccines caused autism, via any mechanism at all, even if only in rare circumstances, then we’d easily be able to see it in credible studies. There would be a difference in the percentage of autistic children between the vaccinated and unvaccinated. One more time. Vaccines do not cause autism, in any way.
There isn’t a single credible pediatrician or infectious disease specialist supporting the anti-vaccine movement. There is the disgraced Wakefield, who remains a hero to Anti-Vaxxers. There’s Mercola, some guy in South Dakota by the name of Lowell Hubbs, and a few other quacks and frauds. None have the credentials necessary to speak informatively on the issue in a truthful manner.
When you research vaccine side effects, negative effects, and deaths, they’re statistically negligible when compared to the the side effects, negative effects, and deaths caused by the diseases they prevent. Following this fallacious premise to other realms, one could argue against seat belts, speed limits, and helmets; and how we should abandon the vast majority of them because a tiny few didn’t work.
This is how Anti-Vaxxers make medical science sound as if it is snake oil. They scream about “toxins.” But would they refuse treatment if they contracted cancer? Chemo is a toxin, after all. Or are they reserving their caution for vaccines only? Even supposedly reformed anti-vaccine proponent Jenny McCarthy loves her some Botox while hawking e-cigarettes. How’s that for being hypocritical about the toxins?
McCarthy was the best the Anti-Vaxxers had. Think about that. The leading voice of the movement was an actress famous for making fart jokes. She’s backed away now, of course, as epidemics are raging throughout the country. The poor girl didn’t think this one through.
But make no mistake, McCarthy helped forward the Anti-Vaxxers’ fraudulent claims about the autism connection. She says she was never anti-vaccine now, but her own words betray that sentiment.
Anti-Vaxxers also forward a great conspiracy of scientists in the grasps of Big Pharma. They’re putting stuff in the vaccines, you know, stuff that can really hurt you! But that doesn’t follow. What does Big Pharma have to gain by creating a vaccine that destroys one disease only to cause another that’s even worse? Not to mention vaccines aren’t a blanket cure for diseases. This is basic science.
And it isn’t the money, either. Maintenance drugs are where pharmaceutical companies make the majority of their incomes, not vaccines. In fact, vaccination is such a small part of pharmaceutical revenue stream, that if it weren’t for the government mandates, many companies wouldn’t even bother.
Next up is the “If you’re vaccinated, why do you care if I’m not” fallacy. The non-inoculated put the very young, the old, or others not vaccinated for health or religious reasons at great risk. If you’re receiving chemo treatments, you may not be vaccinated. So if an Anti-Vaxxer infects them with measles on top of that? Yeah, that person should be punched in the face.
Unfortunately, that makes for a lot of faces that need punching. Anti-Vaxxers have been causing outbreaks all over the country for years now. In the last year alone, most of these outbreaks can be traced directly back to them:
“Most of the 288 measles cases reported this year have been in persons who were unvaccinated (200 ppl [69%]) or who had an unknown vaccination status (58 ppl [20%]).
Among the 195 U.S. residents who had measles and were unvaccinated, 165 (85%) declined vaccination because of religious, philosophical, or personal objections, 11 (6%) were missed opportunities for vaccination, and 10 (5%) were too young to receive vaccination.”
Making the news lately has been the measles outbreak that originated in Disneyland. This can be laid directly at the feet of the unvaccinated:
“Vaccination status is known for 34 of the California patients. State officials say that 28 were not vaccinated at all, one was partially vaccinated and five were fully vaccinated. Six of the unvaccinated were babies, too young to be vaccinated.”
This adequately explains current outbreaks. That’s 28 people out of 34. Anti-Vaxxers will try to obfuscate this damning statistic, but that’s all they’re doing, muddying the issue. That’s all they’ve been doing from the start. But you cannot ignore that Anti-Vaxxers will contract, and infect others with diseases.
Going even further with this, it doesn’t even take that many non-inoculated people to cause an outbreak. In 2011, there was a huge measles outbreak in Minnesota. It was traced back to one unvaccinated child, who travelled abroad, bringing the measles back. One 2 year old caused an outbreak. One. Child.
Look, you have the right to decide when you or your child receives vaccines. But less vaccination in an increasingly growing population living in shrinking proximity is a bad idea. Your right to not vaccinate your child ends at my right to not have my child contract a life threatening and entirely preventable disease. This issue is not just about you.
People are being hospitalized. Children are being hospitalized. Babies are. If that means nothing to you, and you will still ignorantly put others at risk due to some stuff you heard this one time, then that’s why I want to punch you in the face, even though I am not really going to.
Talking to Anti-Vaxxers is almost pointless. They dig in their heels, shake their heads, and loudly cry, “Nuh-UH!” They will cite absolute garbage to back up their claims. You won’t reach them, but you must face them down. Otherwise it will be easier for them to spout their ignorance again and again.
But more importantly, why it isn’t pointless to resist them, is that others will see you fight back. Don’t punch Anti-Vaxxers in the face literally, hit them with facts. Destroy their half baked conspiracy theories. Hold Jenny McCarthy accountable for enabling these monsters, she’s easy enough to find on Twitter and Facebook.
The fact that Anti-Vaxxers can spew their crap with next to no legal consequences illustrates how free we are as a nation. America is so free we allow incompetent individuals to put the rest of the world at risk. Hell, we reward these people! Jenny McCarthy goes from high profile show to high profile show.
But what should she really be famous for? A bodycount.
When I was a boy, the measles, rubella, whooping cough, these were diseases all but eradicated in America. Then Andrew Wakefield makes up some stuff about vaccines and autism and the next thing you know, people think they’re being smart by not vaccinating. It’s the ultimate First World Problems joke, but it isn’t funny. The punch line is on all of us. Knock knock. Who’s there? Disease.
Have a look at any interactive map showing the recurrence of preventable diseases over the last few years. That is what the Anti-Vaxxers have wrought. They have done more than enough damage, and if we don’t oppose them, they will only keep making things worse.
“If you want to assert a truth, first make sure it’s not just an opinion that you desperately want to be true.” ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson