Some Thoughts On the Anti-Vaccination Movement

For several years now, the antivaxx movement has gotten a lot of attention and gained converts. None of this is based on actual science.

There has been only one study which linked vaccines to autism and that study was retracted by the publication years ago.

What is really concerning is that anti-vaxxers consciously refuse to look at the morbidity and mortality related to the diseases which the most common vaccines prevent. One example-

Measles. Many people think of measles as being nothing but a short term illness, nothing more than an annoyance. Measles are dangerous. Measles can cause permanent damage to skin, lungs and brain, leading to lifelong disability. Measles can also be fatal. In regions with poor access to healthcare, the fatality rate can be as high as 24%. In the US, mortality has been 0.6% for decades. However, that has been during times when the disease has been controlled by vaccines.

More infections, more mutations. One thing most people fail to realize. The more active any infection is in the community, the more opportunity that infection has to mutate. Measles, mumps, yellow fever, polio have not been actively transmitted on a scale which has allowed this for many years. If that happens, then we could potentially see mutations which render current vaccines useless.

Don’t believe online claims. I have encountered numerous people online claiming they have a child damaged by vaccines. The interesting thing is that I have never encountered this in real life in 24+ years of nursing. Not once. Then the question arises as to how this was diagnosed. I find it extremely unlikely that any doctor made such a diagnosis. The exception being if a child were allergic to some component of the vaccine, such as eggs. An allergic reaction is not a condemnation of vaccines as a whole. It does not stop vaccines from preventing the illness and deaths of millions of people. Anyone can have an allergic reaction to any food or medicine they take or ingest for the first time. It cannot be predicted or prevented. It does not condemn the food or medication.

Autism. Most of the people claiming an increase in the rates of autism cannot state what the diagnostic criteria are for autism. Those criteria are primarily arbitrary and subjective. One doctor may state a person has autism while another doctor disagrees. The diagnostic criteria have also changed over the last 25 years. Screening for autism has increased over the last 10–15 years. Those two facts alone account for the vast majority of new cases of autism being diagnosed. Plus the fact that most people had never heard of autism before the same time frame.

Something else to consider about the rise in autism. Who makes money from it? Drug companies and therapists stand to make large sums of money from a diagnosis of autism. How much money do they make saying a child is completely normal? Now you have an answer to the rise in autism.

Drug company profits. Many anti-vaxxers claim drug companies promote vaccines because of the profits involved. Now, stop and think-

Do drug companies make more money from vaccines or from illness?

One outbreak. Endless profits. All it would take is one outbreak of one major disease for which we currently have vaccinations for drug companies to make profits far above and beyond what they make on all vaccines. How much more money would drug companies make from tens, hundreds of thousands of people hospitalized for that one major disease? How much would they make from tens of thousands rendered permanently disabled by such a disease and needing lifelong medical care as a result?

The literal fact of the matter is that if I were a drug company CEO, I would covertly support and fund the anti-vaccination movement. If I had no ethics, of course.

First world privilege. Just the idea of refraining from vaccinating your child is absolutely a first world privilege. Anti-vaxxers are under the assumption that either they/their children will not contract an infectious disease, that any disease they contract will not be deadly/disabling or that they can access treatment in a timely manner. If a large outbreak occurs, that may not be the case. Hospitals may fill up, medications could run out of stock nationally. Globally if we had a pandemic. Your money or insurance will not save you in that case. You even make the assumption that a doctor would diagnose the problem accurately when a disease has rarely been seen in this country for decades. First world privilege will mean nothing when your precious little snowflake is dead, comatose, has a brain injury or is permanently crippled because of a choice YOU made.

More research. Do I in any way suggest that more independent research is not needed regarding vaccine safety? Read back over this if you think I said that. However, until such research is done, there is no sane basis for refraining from vaccinations. Let me repeat that: No sane basis.

So, while so many people talk about vaccines as though they are a choice or which carry so many dangers, these are people who only read what confirms their own bias. They have become complacent by the fact that we have not had a major infectious disease outbreak in this country for many decades. Thanks to vaccines. It’s like saying we need no chlorine in water because nobody has died from tap water that they know of for decades. If you do not understand the subject, learn about it. Until you do, STFU and vaccinate your kids!!!

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