I was recently “tagged” into a FB debate about vaccines.
(not for the first nor the last time….)
The article in question was called 4 Ways to Restore Trust in the US Vaccination Program and and can be found here.
Apparently the problem anti vax people have with vaccines is that they haven’t been given sufficient reason to trust the US Vaccination System.
So…. Stop taking the medicine because the doctor’s office hasn’t been touchey feely enough to make you feel good about it?
Ok, that was overly snarky. I’ll try to tone it down.
Here was my response to said article, in case any of you are interested.
(Since I respond to tha author’s pints directly –in my own circular way- you might want to at least skimt he article before jumping into my rant.-
First off I will agree with her that a lot of us “vaccine pushers” do tend to lump those whorefuse to vaccine into the “anti vax” category. Because, well, if the shoe fits. And yes, the majority of those who are against vaccines (and are loudly vocal about it) tend to belong to the camps that cite random websites, old (disproven) data, or also spout gems of child rearing wisdom as “Vitamin D will save us all! Take tons of it!!!!” So yeah, it can be hard to have a rational debate.
That being said, her arguments are old and tired and have been written against far more eloquently than I can (http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/nine-questions-nine-answers/) In fact if you want to just ignore the rest of my rant and read that, I think it addresses many of the points raised quite well….
I am not an expert either, just a concerned citizen, aunt and hopeful mother –to-someday-be. (Can we just agree right here to cease with any of the “you don’t have kids, you don’t understand” nonsense? Please?
See, already my hackles are up, as I am sure her’s were when she wrote this.
(Tangent time: we seem, as a society to get fixated on polarizing viewpoints and debates that could be civil find their way into the personal attack mode. No longer are those on the other side people on the other side, they become enemies…. And our continued discourse reflects that. This happens on both sides, sadly, and I really hope it doesn’t happen here. Ok, back to it…)
Her first point: Yes and no. It would be ideal if such studies were a viable option. They aren’t. Partly for the reasons she lists, partly because you are looking for causation without any sort of parameter. It is, from my understanding, virtually impossible to see all the possible long term effects of anything in a way that she asks for. And we do have decades worth of vaccine information showing us that mortality rates lower with vaccine use. They have already been scientifically proven to work. Proven! Yes, there are risks. There are risks inherent to everything in life from having a glass of water, to getting a tetanus shot to crossing the street. But the teeny tiny highly unlikely risk to my kid in order to big picture increase the health of the majority of people,… well for many of us that is acceptable risk.
-This gets into an argument that she didn’t make about the self vs the society. If you are interestedin talking more about that one, let me know. I’ll try to stick to what she said though in this already very very long response.-
Next: Support Informed Consent: Sure! She says that she wasn’t given the VIS sheets… well that is a problem with her medical office, not a problem with vaccines. Let’s differentiate between the two, okay? Some doctors are assholes. Some doctor’s offices are lazy. That I no way means that the medicine they have is tainted or evil. She also says the VIS sheets are misleading. How so? I read her example… it lists horrific stats about HepB that can be avoided with a vaccine? And yes, your child might not be super susceptible right this second to whatever, but they will be exposed later on. Better to get the vaccination done now. Again, they don’t hurt you. Again, they are medically proven to work. So, sure, get informed consent, but no one should be able to cherry pick what that means.
Nest: Choice: Again, sure! Her examples (anecdotal I might add and therefore not really statiscially viable) indicate the failings of people… not vaccines. Okay, the staff wasn’t ware of the rights of the patient. That is a staff awareness problem, not an issue of the vaccine. She wants to work on increasing awareness, I’m all for it. Sure, you can refuse based on XYZ. But then you have to live with the consequences… and if that means your potentially germy kid can’t play with mine or that my doctor’s office can and should refuse to treat you in order to protect the rest of us… well, that was your choice. Then we get into separate vaccines.
Ok… a while ago the big upcry was the number of shots…. Poor baby! Getting shot after shot! So, they combined them for fewer shots and now the uproar is that there are combined shots. Come on people. Also, in most cases the vaccines are available separately. But it is more convenient for the patient, the doctor, and yes the evil Pharma, to do them all at once. Yes, Pharma makes money off vaccines. So what? Big Pharma mongrels could be drinking puppy urine and having S and M parties with albino Martians. Their products are still safe and scientifically proven effective.
Which brings us to the next point: The vey short “we don’t trust their motives” part of the piece. This is ,again, an od argument. So what? So what if they make money givins us life saving treatment? Woldn’t you pay anything for the safety of your child? And today everything is connected to everything. And… if you want to talk about government corruption, fine! Let’s talk. Let’s get on the same side of th protest line and hold those jerks accountable. That DOESN”T change that the vaccines work and should be administered.
Her last arguement: a rehash of above. Pharma hasn’t been shielded. And if you think they have, work toward fixing that… but leave the products out of Because again, she is mixing the issues. Being anti government, being anti government corruption or court rulings that corporations are peole is totally a separate thing than being anti medicine… that is proven effective.
And lastly, she comes full circle. Don’t be misogynistic towards anti vax people. (Yes, I am sticking with that term as I seem to have been labeled a Vaccine Pusher). Don’t lump them all into one group, call ‘em stupid and leave it be. I…. actually agree.
To a point.
Because once you are presented with the mountain of evidence that vaccines work, that they help the general public, that they aren’t any more or less dangerous than anything else, that they won’t make your kid autistic…. And you still refuse to do them? You still willfully put your kids and then my kids at risk? Then, it is hard to be polite. The discussion, as I said before, gets muddy with emotion. On both sides.
Ok. I’m sure this is just the beginning….