I found this months ago and I’ve just now gotten around to taking it head on: called 15 Reasons People Are Hating On Anti-Vaxxers, this fetid pile of an article on BabyGaga–yes, that is actually the website’s fucking name!–will make your brain hurt.
First of all, I will not link to this article directly. If you want to find it yourself, Google the title and the website name. I’m more than a little afraid that this is one of “those” sites that gets revenue with each click/visit. If this article is any indication, then they sure as slag don’t need any more cash.
Secondly, I am going to warn you: my takedowns can get mouthy but this one is going to be on an entirely different level. So if this might upset you, do not, under any circumstances, go past the jump. We’re going to deal with some hot-button issues here and I, for one, am not holding back. So if you’re ready, sit down and strap in, because we’re in for one helluva ride.
We start off with the usual plea:
Why are we still stuck in this day and age in a place where we cannot respect another parent’s wishes? Why are we so quick to raise our voices and shut people down who are just trying to do their best by their children? Why aren’t we opening our minds more to listen to alternative points of view? Why aren’t we talking rationally about this subject, trading opinions and research, and helping to come to a conclusion that brings parents together instead of driving them apart? What’s so scary about an anti-vaxxer?
Okay, where do we start? Well, I’m going to cover those questions in this little takedown! So now we journey onward to the list proper:
15: Rise in Outbreaks
At the end of the day, anti-vaxxers can’t figure out what pro-vaxxers are so angry about. After all, vaccines work, right? If they’re so darn effective, then why does it matter if the kid in the line at the teacups ride isn’t vaccinated. Are we to believe your vaccines only work if we get ours? If I don’t wear deodorant tomorrow, will your deodorant not work? I don’t get it.
Just going to leave this here:
Yes, it’s simplistic. But I think it makes the point pretty damn well.
14: Herd Immunity is Compromised
Every time I hear this argument, I want to beat my head against a brick wall because that would probably feel better than trying to explain what herd immunity really means, but here goes nothing. The concept of herd immunity actually stemmed from cattle. Yes, cows.
Yes, the term comes from cattle but remember: humans are social animals. We do not live alone. We do not shop alone. We do not work alone. We live with others. We shop in crowded stores. We work in social environments. You can bang your head against a brick wall all you want, but that won’t change the fact that 1) humans are social creatures and 2) herd immunity is beneficial. Now, if you don’t understand herd immunity, here’s a better explanation on it. It’s also covered over here.
Here’s the thing: that silly “cow idea” might save my sorry ass.
If you’ve read my blog, then you know that I have BRCA. I am at a risk for breast cancer. If I do get that diagnosis, I’m going to have to go on chemo, which will wreak havoc with my immune system and prevent me from getting vaccinated. But if everyone else gets the flu shot, then the flu won’t become well established in my area and I’m not risking falling ill and possibly dying. In other words, if you get that little jab with a needle and you might save my sorry tail. Moo, moo, buckaroo indeed.
13: Those Diseases are Scary
Something anti-vaxxers and pro-vaxxers can actually agree on. It’s not as though anti-vaxxers are sitting around hoping their kids come down with diseases. That’s not how this works. Truthfully, if a child in the neighborhood has the chicken pox, they would much rather their kid come into contact with it than not. Because that’s how natural immunity is acquired, and chicken pox is more severe in adulthood. But chicken pox parties aren’t new. Our pro-vax parents were doing the same thing.
That said, no anti-vax parent is eager to see their toddler come down with the measles. However, that passes. It’s not a lifelong disability. It’s not death. Healthy people do not die from these illnesses the way they once did. In fact, between 2004 and 2015, there wasn’t a single death from the measles in the United States. However, there were 108 deaths due to the MMR vaccine. Perspective.
Chicken pox isn’t so awful? Really? Here’s the possible complications of this “typical childhood disease”:
- bacterial infections of the skin and soft tissues in children including Group A streptococcal infections.
- infection or inflammation of the brain (encephalitis, cerebellar ataxia)
- bleeding problems.
- blood stream infections (sepsis)
You are also at a risk for shingles later in life, which my great-grandmother had. I can remember the rash on her leg and how she was in searing pain from the virus. But hey, at least she had “natural immunity”! Ain’t that awesome?! Since I had chicken pox when I was five, I’m at a risk for shingles. Nice to know I have so much to look forward to in my golden years!
Yeah, I can’t roll my eyes back far enough. If I do, I’m gonna be staring at my brain.
As for the idea the measles won’t kill you? Measles can kill. Also, Roald Dahl says you’re full of shit, Danielle and he’s right. Oh and by the way? Danielle’s facts about the MMR vaccine are complete fucking bullshit. There are zero facts to back up this claim and Snopes is saying “Yeah, this is crap”, yet she’s trotting it like it’s true. If the only facts you have are an urban myth, then you have no facts in your case. How’s THAT for some goddamned perspective, Danielle?
Now, remember this. Seriously, keep this information in reserve. We are going to need it later.
12: Because, Jenny McCarthy
So, when Jenny tried to tell the world that her son was injured by vaccines, she was not met with the compassion that she deserved. What’s interesting is that she received so much hatred for her point of view, but other celebrities have said similar things and not received the same feedback.
We still crack up at everything Bill Maher and Jim Carrey say even though they’re publicly anti-vax. Biased much?
About that. Okay, Jenny McCarthy believed that she was an Indigo Child and her son was a Crystal Child. See, a stranger told her this and she believed it was true. It was later that she changed her view and claimed that her son was “vaccine injured” and suffered from autism. She changed her tune from “We’re special” to “ZOMG! Vaccines are teh debil!!11!!” So yes, she catches hell for this, as she should.
The thing is, Bill Maher catches hell for his stance. There are plenty of people who refuse to take him seriously because he’s anti-vax. So does Rob Schneider. Jim Carrey has been called out on his position as well. It isn’t just Jenny McCarthy. And it isn’t because these people are famous, it’s because they aren’t doctors.
11: Doctor Google
Anti-vaxxers never had legitimate sources. They quote sites like Natural News. Always make sure you ask them for peer-reviewed, scholarly sources that have been published in medical journals. Just be ready. Because sometimes you’ll run into an anti-vaxxer like me, and I’ve got hundreds of them that I share regularly with people looking to research vaccines.
Yes, this is fairly accurate.
Again, Danielle says she has actual “facts” that prove vaccines are dangerous. Yet the one and only fact she shared was debunked by Snopes. She hasn’t shared any other facts yet. Ten to one, she will not because she doesn’t have any actual facts.
Peer reviewed studies? Nah, we don’t need that! We’ll go with “My feels are just as valid as your Ph.D.” Again, I’d roll my eyes but I don’t want to tear my optic nerves.
10: They Spread Illness
There’s this big urban myth going around out there that children who aren’t vaccinated somehow carry disease. Let’s be clear about this.Vaccines do not prevent illness. By and large, most simply reduce the number of symptoms a person has. You can still be vaccinated for the mumps and catch the mumps. Now would be a good time to preface yourself on the Harvard mumps outbreak of 2016. All 40+ students who contracted the mumps were vaccinated. Imagine that!
Apparently, typing the words “how does immunity work” is far, far too much work for this author. But it isn’t for me. Here’s a PDF explaining just how in the fuck vaccines actually work.
9: They Speak Out
Truth be told, part of the problem people have with anti-vaxxers is that they won’t just do their business and keep it quiet. Instead, they want to share their unpopular opinion. They want to blast it on Facebook every day so that it’s the first thing their pro-vaxxing friends see when they wake up and scroll through their feed.
They want to shake things up for their friends. They want to get them questioning vaccine safety. They want them to worry that they may have been wrong all this time. They have every intent of shedding light on the vaccine safety debate and leaving parents wondering which path is right for them.
They actually want parents to start to think about vaccines instead of blindly accepting them as a part of life. That would make me uncomfortable, too if I were trying to avoid my conscience and slide by on this issue without actually researching it before consenting to having it done to my kids.
Oh, I make sure I can see what the anti-vaxxers are saying. I make damn sure to check out what they’ve been saying. And it is shit.
I’m a member of “Things Anti-Vaxxers Say”. If you want to see some interesting viewpoints–and that’s being extremely polite–just check that group out. I mean, I had no idea that the reason why the police were violent was possible vaccine injury. Or that shaken baby syndrome isn’t A Thing That Exists and is just made up bullshit to cover for vaccine injury. Because parents never abuse their kids ever. Or that being gay or transgender is an illness caused by vaccines. Or that someone thinks that they now have an autistic cat because it got a rabies shot.
I wish I was kidding. I really do. But their own words damn them.
8: They’re All Conspiracy Theorists
There are absolutely people who don’t vaccinate who also believe the Earth is flat, there are aliens here disguised as people, and the Illuminati is real. I’m not here to speak on any of that. I am always entertained by these conversations; I’ll admit that. I don’t aim to close myself off from the discussion of almost anything.
That said, I don’t invest much time in exploring these theories, because well, they don’t have the data backing them the way vaccines do. There’s no proof for me that the center of the Earth is a safe haven where the elite can do hide out when the world comes to an end. I have no way of knowing for sure or supporting a stance — even to my own self — that Beyoncé is a cult ringleader. Nor do I feel that impacts my life or my children at all. So, I stay in my lane and try to only give my full attention to subjects we’ve studied well. As the popular saying goes, I made my tin hat from the aluminum in your vaccines.
But did you add animal DNA so you could become a chimera?
All joking aside, just read some of the claims that anti-vaxxers make. That’s all I’m going to say about this because that’s all I need to say.
7: It’s All Crunchy Hippie Nonsense
Just because someone doesn’t vaccinate doesn’t mean they are relying on God to protect their child from illness. In fact, many religious folk avoid vaccines for religious reasons, but not because they are stupid and believe their child won’t fall prey to illness. Instead, they don’t agree with the aborted fetal cell lines that are used to produce vaccines.
Others simply aren’t interested in exposing their children to increased risks of ADHD, autism, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, brain swelling, SIDS, and more that are all linked to vaccines.
Vaccines prevent SIDS, try again. ADHD seems to be genetic, not linked to vaccines. Autoimmune diseases may be caused by infections or may be genetic as well; we don’t have enough information as to what causes them. Diabetes has a genetic risk and I know that because of my family history. Brain swelling can be caused by a little virus known as “influenza” but guess what? There’s a neat thing called a “flu shot” that can prevent flu infections! I got mine in October of this year. Again, research! Do some actual research instead of fearmongering! Is it so damned hard?
As an aside, it isn’t so much that some people object to the aborted fetal cell lines, it’s the fact that they believe that fetus are aborted to create vaccines. I’m not joking. To hear these people talk, you’d think that a vaccine vial contains tiny little arms and tiny little legs and itty bitty little sad faces, rather than just cells.
And yes, there are plenty of people who are leaving the fate of their children in the hands of a capricious god. We had a girl die from diabetes here in Wisconsin because her family prayed over her rather than actually taking her to a hospital. Yes, there are parents who see disease as part of god’s plan and will not vaccinate their kids because that might screw up what god had planned out for these kids.
6: Cognitive Dissonance
You’ve got to have the courage to look away from what you’ve been taught and trained to believe. Some people will research and still decide to vaccinate, but in my experience, most end up refusing vaccines. You’ve got to ask yourself, why?
Now, I clipped some of this out, because if you happen to be a regular reader of this blog, then you have a handle on cognitive dissonance. But the ones with the cognitive dissonance sure seem to be the anti-vaxxers. Show them a scientific study and they just plug their ears, close their eyes and shake their heads violently. When confronted with information that goes against what they believe, they will shut down. So tell me again that anti-vaxxers don’t have cognitive dissonance.
5: The Media Tells Them To
There is definitely bias in the media. Donald Trump could be wrong about everything else, but this he is not. Fake news exists, but we’re going far deeper than satire here. The news organizations in America are markedly biased. Why wouldn’t they be? The same people who own the news stations also own major pharmaceutical corporations. They are constantly stuffing your commercial breaks with vaccine and antidepressant ads for a reason. And did you know the U.S. is one of only two nations that even allow drug companies to advertise on television? Make note of how many drug ads you see next time you’re binge-watching. It’s a lot!
The other nation is New Zealand. I have no idea as to why Danielle doesn’t mention that. Question: if Big Pharma gets so much money from vaccines, then why are they advertising drugs? Just asking for a friend.
I’ve only seen one vaccine ad and it’s for pneumonia. Trust me, when I hit fifty, I am getting that vaccine. Pneumonia is no joke; I’ve been in plenty of nursing homes. That stuff is lethal.
But, vaccines aren’t drugs. Drugs treat illnesses while vaccines prevent them. Two different things here. However, if you want to blame anything for these ads, blame capitalism here. Remember, the US loves it some capitalism. Also, it loves it some free speech as well.
Also, reality doesn’t agree with science deniers. Seems there’s a huge bias in reality itself. I hate to be the one that says it but hey.
4: That Wakefield Guy Was a Discredited Fraud
Once upon a time, a gastroenterologist named Dr. Andrew Wakefield co-authored a study on the relation between enterocolitis and the development of neurological disorders in children. The aim of the study was never vaccines, and the result wasn’t either. The doctors never expected to discover measles in the guts of the sample children, but they did. So, they reported it.
They made a casual link between the MMR vaccine and these children and noted that it required further investigation. That was all. There was no claim that the vaccine caused autism or any other disorder in these kids. Still, Wakefield was getting too close to the truth for the comfort of the CDC and medical industry. So, they vilified him. His career was ruined. His name tarnished. His paper retracted, and so forth.
To this day, people associate his name and face with the word fraud. What they fail to realize is that the claims that his study was performed incorrectly have now been confirmed false. His co-authors were never penalized the way he was. Why not? In a nutshell, because they had the money to defend themselves in court while they let their partner take the fall alone.
What’s Wakefield up to now? In 2016, an important documentary came to light that he took part in titled Vaxxed: From Cover-Up To Catastrophe. The film included many prominent doctors in the medical field and their testimony upon realizing vaccines were not safe. It was produced by Del Bigtree, who had to walk away from his job on the popular show The Doctor’s to make this film.
Just gonna leave this here… and this about Del Bigtree as well. I don’t think I have to go on any further, do I? Because it is more than obvious to anyone who is awake that Wakefield is a fucking fraud and his movie is utter shit, too. But if you want to hear a skeptical take on Vaxxed, head on over to God Awful Movies.
Also, Wakefield wanted to patent his own alternative to the MMR vaccine. Think about that.
3: They’re More Afraid Of Autism Than Death
It’s an easy argument to make. They’d rather have a dead kid than one with autism. How sad! The thing is, anti-vaxxers don’t fear death from illnesses like measles, mumps and polio, because they have researched the truth behind them. Vaccines were never truly responsible for the decline in these diseases. Instead, proper hygiene and sanitation factors that were put into place did most of the work. In fact, these diseases were all well into declining before vaccines ever came to be.
On the autism front, it’s very easy for a parent of a neurotypical child or even one with mild autism to say a parent shouldn’t fear the diagnosis. But when autism is now estimated to be at a diagnostic rate of 1 in 45, something is wrong. In the 1990s, this rate was only 1 in 10,000. That kind of leap does not come from more awareness, and perhaps awareness is the last thing we need.
“Vaccines didn’t save us” is bullshit and proper hygiene did not save us. Also USA Today debunked ten myths about vaccines including the autism myth and Vox debunked it as well. There’s no evidence that vaccines cause autism. What little we know points to genetic factors as a cause but no, it isn’t vaccines.
As for the increase in autism diagnoses? Let me tell you a story. It’s a bit of a long one, I should warn you.
Many years ago, back in the Stone Age of the mid to late 1990s, I dated a guy. He was a great guy, but he had some personality quirks. Well, quirks might be putting it gently, as he could be downright and damned odd at times: when our dog had puppies and my then SO dropped by to visit, he picked up one of the puppies and bit it on the nose, causing it yelp in pain. I was too surprised to say anything and so were my parents. When my SO was in the car driving and something upset him, he would roll down all the windows and start screaming at the top of his lungs, right in the middle of traffic. On New Year’s Eve, when he and I went to visit with a few friends, my SO bought himself a frozen concoction at a local gas station. He had been sipping on it for the past ten or so minutes when we arrived at our destination. When one of friends came out to say hi, he pitched the drink at her feet, very nearly hitting her, and muttering that it was the worst thing he’d ever had. Again, I was too stunned to say anything; five minutes after this had happened I couldn’t help thinking, “You couldn’t have just poured the damned thing out?”
When I suggested that my SO and I take in a movie, the start time was just a suggestion to him. He’d show up at least ten minutes after the movie was already rolling. One day, he went to classes at the local university with mismatched socks, a non-matching pair of pants, two different shoes–one sandal, the other sneaker–and a coat-hanger on his head, saying that his closet had attacked him. He didn’t get anyone gifts unless it was a holiday; when, on the fly, he got me a mug filled with candy, I told him it was romantic and he couldn’t understand as to why such a thing would be romantic. He couldn’t process that information, just like he couldn’t process the idea of why I was pissed at him when he couldn’t show up in a timely fashion.
Then, in 2005, at the age of 32, my ex was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. He was on the autism spectrum. When I heard this news many years later, a lot of things made sense. His quirks and odd behavior were all signs and symptoms of his condition. He wasn’t normal. He never truly was. But he was treated as a normal child, a normal person, for most of his life.
The first time I ever heard of autism was in tenth grade, back in 1990. One of my classmates gave a speech on the condition and I was stunned. I had no idea that this even existed until that day.
Bottom line: Wakefield is a liar and a fraud but is still believed. And there are anti-vaxxers who have outright said that they’d rather have a dead child than an autistic one. This was actually said to an autistic poster. One said that their vaxxed child was “gay” and a “disappointment” because he spoke about politics all the time. The unvaxxed child? Well, that kid is sickly but he isn’t a disappointing homogay who won’t shut the hell up about political crap!
I’m not kidding about that. If you’re on Facebook, join “Things Anti-Vaxxers Say”. They yank some of the “best” things that these people post and put them up for public consumption. Though I am not responsible for the amount of brain breakage you might encounter. Trust me, it is a lot.
As for the idea that “we don’t need more awareness” when it comes to autism? I have two words for you, Danielle: Fuck. You. If we’d had the diagnostic tools back in the 1970s like we do now, my ex might be living a semi-normal life. His Asperger’s might have been caught early and maybe, just maybe, he could have gotten some help and support and maybe, just maybe, he’d have a decent life. But you don’t care about that, do you, Danielle?
It’s this kind of attitude that pisses people off, that makes anti-vaxxers look like utter shit. Give them the rope and they will hang themselves.
2: They Don’t Trust Doctors
Doctors are mere human beings. They make mistakes. They have to carry massive insurance policies to cover those mistakes. They are nothing more than what they were trained to be.
They were trained to do exactly what they were told to do in medical school. They are not educated on vaccines in any thorough manner. They are not even educated on the illnesses that vaccines aim to prevent. Their textbooks are printed with funding from pharmaceutical companies. They are repeatedly told that vaccines save lives, and it’s never actually explained to them how. If the doctor is on a need-to-know basis, where do you stand?
Of course, there are doctors that also don’t believe in vaccines. Some just don’t think they’re effective. Some trust the body’s natural immune system to do its job. Others have researched vaccines and find them to be dangerous, and even deadly. Anti-vaxxers commonly cite the work of these doctors to back up their beliefs, and they are met with anger and vitriol on the other side. Why? Is Suzanne Humphries not credible? Is she not accredited by the same medical boards as your pediatrician or family doctor?
No, she’s not credible because Humphries is a liar. And a loon. And a fucking quack. I’m sorry but real doctors don’t say shit like “Well, I have the sads, so it must be because vaccines!” Again, do some actual fucking research and you can find this shit but the author is too busy shouting into her echo chamber–namely, her backside–to actually use Google for its intended use.
That is the problem here. We’re not being given any real evidence against vaccines and their efficacy and when we call the anti-vaxxer out on it, they get upset. They believe that their feelings are of equal value as someone else’s knowledge and they get the sads when someone says, “Life doesn’t work like that.”
1: They Think For Themselves
This is absolutely terrifying to some people. It truly is. We have been indoctrinated into believing doctors are superior to us as parents. Without a medical degree, we must be completely incapable of reading a study and ascertaining what it means. We’ve been pushed to believe that organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration are the ultimate authority on our health and safety. But those organizations are hotbeds of lawsuits and fraud that cherry-pick which studies they discern as credible — and those studies are often funded directly by them and their pharmaceutical partners.
Anti-vaxxers refuse to accept those studies. They present with major conflicts of interest. If I were to invent a product for your baby and claimed it was safe, you would want to know that it is. You would want evidence. Well what if my only studies showing its safety were performed by me with my money? What if there were independent studies out there that I had no parts in and those studies showed my product wasn’t safe? Would you still trust my product based on my word alone? Anti-vaxxers don’t.
I’m not a doctor by any means, and I have no desire to be one. But I did graduate from four-year top-100 university. While my bachelor’s degree in Psychology didn’t earn me much acclaim in the psych field, it did teach me a whole hell of a lot about scientific research. So much so that I landed a job in the pharma sector not long after I graduated. I’ve since left that position, because I couldn’t keep promoting things that I knew were harmful to people. But hey, I knew my stuff enough to be employed in that field. Now you’re going to tell me I don’t know it well enough to speak out against it?
Uh, yeah: you spoke out about the “myth” of morning sickness in a little article titled 15 Reasons Morning Sickness Doesn’t Actually Exists. You and science aren’t even in the same room, lady. Don’t even get me started on the basic grammar fuck up because damn, Danielle! But hey, you haven’t even provided any evidence for this; tell me again why I should take you at your word?
She doesn’t know enough to speak out about this. This is tantamount to me giving a dissertation on nuclear fusion. I know the very basics of the idea, but I lack in-depth knowledge of the subject matter. However, I am intelligent enough to say that I don’t know everything about it. Now, if the author does have information on the pharmaceutical industry, why isn’t she sharing it? If she had to sign an NDA, then I understand that but she’s making all these claims without evidence. What were these companies promoting that she knew was harmful? Yes, she knew “her stuff” well enough to have a job there but did she do any actual work on the products themselves? Did she actually see any reports or work on any scientific journals? Did she attend any clinical trials and crunch the numbers on how a new cancer drug was working for a patient with basal cell carcinoma?
To put it another way: I collect toys. I have some very basic knowledge about how toys are marketed and that sort of thing. But I am not an expert by any means. I have no idea what process goes into mixing the plastics for a hip joint to a Masterpiece Bumblebee. I can’t tell you exactly why certain plastics don’t take paint well, I just know that they can’t. Now, I have more knowledge at my disposal than some other fans–namely the ones who want to know why Hasbro “can’t make a toy like that” and point to a third party figure that would never pass safety regulations here in the States–but I don’t know the intricacies of the industry. This is a simple fact.
The author might have a degree in Psychology but that doesn’t mean she has a grasp on molecular biology. I was working on getting a teaching degree back in the 1990s; that does not mean that I have basic working knowledge of business management or of veterinary medicine. You can have a degree but degrees are specialized and just because you went to college, that doesn’t mean you are an expert on everything. I’ve been to college. I can’t claim to know everything because I do not and I have the intelligence to admit that I do not.
Doing research is difficult and arduous. Google can help but you have to pick the pearls out of the turds constantly. You have to check your sources. If something sounds fantastical or seems too good–or too bad–to be true, you have to double check it. You need a healthy dose of skepticism on a lot of subjects and this happens to be one of them.
People aren’t “hating” on anti-vaxxers. What skeptics are demanding is proof of the claims that they’re making. Again, disagreeing with someone doesn’t mean you hate them. It means you disagree with them. If you have evidence that explains as to why you disagree with them, that’s not hating anyone either. That’s called being skeptical, which quite frankly, is something that we need nowadays. Considering the current administration, we need a lot more of it.