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Anti-Vaxxers Bully the State of Arizona and Win

Anti-Vaxxers Bully the State of Arizona and Win

Anti-Vaxxers Bully the State of Arizona and Win

The state of Arizona found that more and more children were coming to school unvaccinated. So the state decided to establish an optional program informing parents of the importance of vaccines. However, about 120 anti-vaxxers found out about it, and effectively bullied Arizona into discarding the program.

Now you’d think that people would welcome information so they can make an informed decision, right? As an Arizona state representative said,  “I’m not sure why providing ‘information’ is seen as a negative thing. Providing information doesn’t take away a parent’s choice to seek an exemption.”

Not according to anti-vaxxers, apparently. Don’t confuse them with facts; they’ve already spent hours consulting with Drs. Internet and Facebook. They believe that such a program is out to “create an emotional response, creating fear and pressure in order to compel parents to vaccinate. Do lawmakers think we’re stupid?”

Well, I can’t speak for medical professionals in Arizona, but I sure think they are.

anti-vaxxers

This is bullshit. Credit: JasonEppink at flickr.com.

Perhaps these anti-vaxxers are of the generation that fondly remembers Mrs. Frizzle and her adventures on The Magic School Bus. Here, thanks to the wits at College Humor, she explains in a simple way about the benefits of childhood vaccines. Plus Jenny McCarthy and Chris Christie show up, too!

Besides Mrs. Frizzle, there are loads of bona fide medical experts who point out facts about vaccines.

For example, they don’t contain thimerosal, and they don’t cause autism.

Here’s Dr. Steven Novella of the Yale School of Medicine:

“There is no evidence linking any vaccine or vaccine ingredient, or the childhood vaccine schedule, to the risk of developing autism or any neurodevelopmental disorder. . . .”

“The most compelling evidence against a link between thimerosal and autism is the fact that thimerosal was removed from the childhood vaccine schedule in the US in 2002, and this did not result in the predicted decline in autism diagnoses.”

So forget the thimerosal argument.

The flu vaccine doesn’t cause autism in an unborn baby.

A 2017 report from JAMA Pediatrics concluded this after a 10-year study:

“There was no association between maternal influenza infection anytime during pregnancy and increased ASD risk.”

But what about those arguments anti-vaxxers spew all over social media explaining why they refuse to get flu vaccines?

Dr. Harriet Hall has compiled a handy-dandy list of all their reasons, and has debunked each one. Here are just a few of the most popular:

  1. “I don’t need the vaccine because I’ve never had the flu. (Yet. There is no guarantee that you won’t get it. I’ve never had a house fire, but that’s not a reason to drop my fire insurance.)
  2. The vaccine gave me the flu. (Impossible. The injectable vaccine contains no live virus, and the nasal spray vaccine contains an attenuated form of virus too weak to cause the disease.)
  3. It doesn’t work: I was vaccinated but I got the flu anyway. (You may have had another flu-like illness or flu from a strain not covered by the vaccine. And if you got the flu from a strain that was covered, you probably had a much milder case than you would have without the vaccine.)”

Anti-vaxxers glean information from quack sites like Natural News and David Wolfe. However, they don’t know much about history.

For example, I wonder how many of them know that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic? There were no flu vaccines back then, of course, and as a result a whopping one-third of the world’s population became infected. Of Americans infected, 675,000 died. In fact, during the years of the pandemic the life expectancy in the United States dropped by 12 years. Moreover, the flu struck young and healthy people between 20 and 40 years old.

And then go to any cemetery that contains graves dating back to the early 20th century. You’ll probably find a good share of young children buried there, because there were no vaccines for whooping cough, or polio, or the flu. My own mother, who was born in 1924, nearly died of whooping cough when she was young.

anti-vaxxers

Credit: MelissaWiese at flickr.com.

How terrible that anti-vaxxers were able to intimidate the state of Arizona. This is sheer censorship by a small group of bullies, and not only that, they’re dangerous bullies, too.

 

Featured image cropped from Jason Eppink photo at flickr.com.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

15 Comments
  • Nicki says:

    I recommend that we take all the anti-vaxx morons and resettle them and their unvaccinated spawn on an island far away from civilized society where they can infect one another and leave the rest of us alone. Idiots.

  • For anti-vaxxers who ask “do you think we’re stupid?” the answer is “yes, of course. And unfortunately, we have neither a vaccine nor a cure for stupidity. There’s only natural selection, which — given that you insist on imposing your stupidity on us — it taking far too long.”

  • Paul Izzo says:

    Many eco zealots hope for a pandemic to depopulate the earth. Encouraging the spread of a deadly disease is one way to go.

  • Thomas says:

    I wouldn’t confuse this issue with the flu vaccine. I’m all for vaccinations but there are some valid arguments against the flu vaccine. and/or we are not thinking about possible unintended consequences to not occasionally getting the flu… One; getting the flu gives you a better long term immunity to variates of the flu you fought off. If your middle aged this might help you live longer once your elderly. Another; the fever response has some positive benifits to the body… like killing off other problems like some pre cancerous masses… and catching up on cleaning out accumulation of sticky beta-amyloid in the brain. I also have a couple problems with the chicken pox vaccine… similar line of thinking; unintended consequences / it might be better to just get chicken pox once. Otherwise I am all for them and had my daughter vaccinated with even the painful / optional TB vaccine…

    • GWB says:

      The only possible disagreement with this would be the current claim that you can get re-infected with chicken pox later in life. But, I don’t how much validity there is in that – I was skeptical when I first saw the articles discussing it, but haven’t looked at the actual data.

  • No Name says:

    Vaccines do contain thimerosal. Some are available without, but many do.
    https://www.fda.gov/biologicsbloodvaccines/safetyavailability/vaccinesafety/ucm096228

  • I say this all the time on MD websites, so I’ll say it here too. If you want to know why anti-vaxes don’t listen, listen to yourself. You sneer at those people without making any effort to understand them. They legitimately feel hated, condemned as parents, and treated as social lepers. That’s not the way to change someone’s mind.

    Keep in mind that this isn’t just an Arizona problems or a ‘near Whole Foods’ issue. If anything, the situation is worse in Europe, which is suffering from a major measles outbreak.
    —-
    A raging measles outbreak in Europe may be a warning sign of what could occur in the U.S. if something doesn’t change soon, experts say. So far this year, there have been 41,000 cases in Europe and 40 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. The European experience may offer a window on how quickly things can go awry when parents choose not to vaccinate their children, doctors caution.
    https://www.nbcnews.com/health/kids-health/measles-outbreak-raging-europe-could-be-brought-u-s-doctors-n922146
    —-
    I suspect there are multiple, deeply embedded cultural causes that are feeding a trust of medicine and of anything that can be labeled “unnatural.” But who can know, when about all the pro-vaxes do is lob verbal shells at the anti-vaxers from afar.

    I’d add another. Everything in medicine has a downside. All to often the pro-vaxes deny the downside. I can give one. I came along before the measles vaccine and had a mild case. I’ve read that the CDC has never found a case of someone who had measles later getting it. One the other hand, according to the National Vaccine Information Center, “Measles vaccine acquired immunity is reported to wane in at least 5 percent of cases, within 10 to 15 years after vaccination.”
    https://www.nvic.org/vaccines-and-diseases/Measles/measles-vaccine-effectiveness.aspx

    People are right to be suspicious when the information they’re given is selective and typically driven by a public health mindset that thinks of people in mass rather than individuals.

    For the record, I get every possible shot I can. I believe in vaccination. I just don’t think you persuade people by attacking them.

    –Michael W. Perry, medical writer

    • GWB says:

      This, too.
      (Though it’s likely the measles outbreak in Europe is also driven by non-European cultural factors – like the fact of a huge un-assimilated foreign population plopped into their midst in the last several years.)

      (I had mumps and measles at the same time as a kid. NOT fun.)

  • GWB says:

    You know, I had a whole anti-anti-anti-vaxxer bit typed up. But nobody is going to listen.

    I’ll just say that you shouldn’t believe all the traveling medicine show hype the gov’t and some doctors love to spout about vaccines.
    (You also shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet, even if the guy puts a “Dr” in front of his name.)

  • John Doe says:

    Funny that you must treat anti-vaxxers with shame and ridicule. Just vacinate your lemmings, er evil spawn, and leave those who choose not to alone. I had smallpox and tetanus shots when I was a kid. That’s it. I somehow survived measles, mumps, chickpox and the flue serval times. I didn’t kill off any of your evil spawn either. Darn it.

  • @Michael W Perry – I have read pro-vaxxers that sneer and condemn. I have read many, many more, including the official publications passed out in clinics and at schools, that use neutral language and rely heavily on researchable facts. I don’t notice that these are having much effect. Your claim that those in favor of vaccination are doing nothing constructive (“.. without making any effort to understand them…” “…about all the pro-vaxes do is lob verbal shells at the anti-vaxers from afar.”), though likely delivered in frustration, is not accurate.

    • GWB says:

      the official publications passed out in clinics and at schools
      Ummmm, some of them are the worst. Not that they are “lobbing verbal shells”, but they are really filled with hype and marketing. And they very often rely on an appeal-to-authority more than anything else.

      Having been lied to a LOT by gov’t and the medical research field over the decades, I really just don’t TRUST them. Rebuild that trust and I’ll be more willing to listen. (Not an anti-vaxxer, just a don’t-listen-to-the-hype type.)

  • Jim says:

    In over 40 years when working with developmentally disabled children and adults, whether intellectually disabled, autistic or whatever, I met only one [1] client who had had a proven negative reaction to childhood vaccination. He had a severe allergic reaction and suffered an acquired brain injury leading to moderate intellectual impairment and mild Cerebral Palsy [Spasticity]. However I did meet a considerable number of children whose impairments were the result of in-utero damage due to Rubella. Then there were the children – an increasing number – affected in-utero by alcohol [and also ‘recreational’ drugs] leading to Foetal Alcohol Syndrome and similar conditions. As for myself and my brother, we present with what used to be called Infantile Autism. Autism is clearly traceable coming down the paternal line of our father’s family; it’s genetic and not caused by some vaccine in spite of what that evil charlatan Andrew Wakefield claimed. The issue of unvaccinated children is a constant source of concern here in Australia; such children [and their families] have funding for and access to early childhood services withheld under legislation so as to protect the health of the majority.

  • There’s a great difference between militant anti-vaxxers and people who are simply skeptical of or fearful of medical advice.

    There’s also something scary about them. I had polio vaccine as a child – but not chicken pox, measles, or mumps vaccines, which didn’t yet exist. My parents – both MDs – told us about the days of polio and the invention of the vaccine. It’s just as well Jonas Salk didn’t have to contend with the anti-vaccine movement.

    While getting our dog vaccinated against Lyme disease, I was told by our vet that there had been a human vaccine but that it was removed from the market bc of lawsuits. This anti-vaccine idiocy harms people.

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