An LJ comm I frequent is filled with both anti-vaxxers and what I call ‘the birth elite’ (y’know the type, not just opposed to hospitals but absolutely convinced that if you don’t have a dolphin for a midwife that you’re psychologically scarring your baby for life). I posted a thread a while back, right before the school year, about how Merck (and probably other Big Pharma companies) provide free or low-cost vaccines, including some such as MMR, Pneumococcal, and Hepatitis that some schools require their students have, but also Gardasil (HPV vaccine). Now this part is important, because literally the first response I got was someone earnestly telling me that:
…With a cite from an anti-vax group to ‘prove’ this, along with this gem:
I replied to this poster explaining, very coherently I felt, that I had taken all reasonable measures before getting the Gardasil shot, including reading medical literature and discussing my choice with my doctor, and moreover, I am a responsible adult woman that can choose what I do with my own body. Here’s what I got:
So getting vaccinated against HPV puts me in the same risk group as HIV+ people, people who run around in the woods with bears and stuff, and lifelong chain-smokers?
Another poster pointed out that the ‘facts’ in the article the anti-vaxxer linked to were misinterpreted findings from another research article. Not only was this anti-vaxxer preaching to me about how Gardasil was going to kill or sterilize me, her only evidence was completely wrong. And all this was caused because I was providing a link so people could get free or low-cost vaccines that they might need for school.
Here’s what pisses me off - there is nothing, short of a HUGE number of people dying from H1N1, that is going to shut those people up. So if the vaccination efforts are successful, which I hope they are, then this will further their belief that it was all nothing.
There is a small, evil part of me that kind of wants to get it so I can go cough on some antivaxers.
How do you think vaccines work? The vaccine itself doesn’t protect you from H1N1; it gets your own immune system to protect you from the virus. In a way, vaccines are the one of the most ‘natural’ methods of health protection ever devised by mankind.
That’s a good point. Are the anti-vaxxers even aware of how vaccines work?
The whole concept of letting your system build an immunity to a miniscule amount of a virus on it’s own so it in effect becomes immune to the simialr virus.
I was coming in here to post that as well. I was glad to see Paul Offit get exposure in a mainstream magazine. His book, Autism’s False Prophets, is definitely worth reading.
It was a pretty good article, although they should have gone into more detail about the diseases vaccines had virtually wiped out and are now returning because of the anti-vax movements. They only mentioned the Hib vaccine, which I think is one of the best examples because Hib meningitis was a major problem in recent memory (1980’s) and now is virtually non-existent.
I posted in another thread that there seems to be a whole extra special layer of “crazy” surrounding the pig flu vaccine. I don’t know if this kind of crazy surrounds all vaccines, or just the ones with good publicity like Guardasil and the H1N1 vax, but I too have FB friends who post about the WHO and Rockefellers’ secret plan to depopulate the world through use of these vaccines. It’s kinda entertaining, actually, so long as you read it like outlandish sci-fi or something.
Being 31 weeks pregnant (GAH! HOMESTRETCH! EEK! :::nestnestnestnest::: ), I’ve heard and read way more than I care to from girls on a pregnancy message board who are just freaked about this and won’t listen to research and reason.
A couple of months ago, I started a thread herebecause every single girl in a thread on the H1N1 vaccine over at the pregnancy forums was spouting, “No, it’s unsafe, I don’t trust the government/drug companies/etc.” I shook my head and walked away after calmly and concisely explaining the reason behind why I would be getting the vaccine.
Then a month ago, I came down with what my OB is convinced was H1N1. (The culture they did was negative, but the test is only 40-60% accurate if done early in the illness; I was tested on day six, after a full regimen of Tamiflu. My OB completely dismissed the results.) Despite the Tamiflu, I ran a fever nearly two weeks, needed to go in to my doc for a breathing treatment, missed over a week of work, and spent many days in an achey, fatigued fog on the couch. Through this, I posted a tad about my struggle with the illness on the forums. A few girls posted something to the effect of, “I wasn’t going to get the H1N1 vaccine, but after reading what you’ve gone through, I’ve changed my mind.” That’s not the ideal way to fight ignorance, but hey, if it helps keep them safe and wises them up, so be it.
Now there’s a thread about someone who actually got the vaccine, and the ratio has been inverted: now nearly all girls posting are saying they are getting the vaccine, with just two or three saying they won’t because it’s supposedly not tested and the like. I’m guessing as we all near the end of our pregnancy and hear more about women DYING because of this (just three days ago, a woman in her 5th month died in my local area after succumbing to complications from H1N1), it’s less conjecture and more reality. A big, scary reality.
And note–even though my OB is convinced I had H1N1, I’m scheduled to get the vaccine this Wednesday anyway. I don’t want to find out the hard way that his belief was wrong.
I’m not an antivaxer, but I’ve also never had actual influenza (or it was so mild it didn’t even last 24 hours). I also had a seizure from a shot when I was 16 months and almost died (well, they thought I was dead for like 45 minutes). So when I was required to get a booster of that particular shot to get into junior high, I went out of my way to prove I was already immune and didn’t need it. And I am now left with an irrational fear of taking any shot that I don’t absolutely need.
I guess my main point is don’t assume that everyone who doesn’t want to get the shot is an antivaxer.