You can be skeptical and friendly at the same time.
Follow Patheos Atheist:
She already speaks out against getting scientifically-sound vaccinations, but now she can start promoting Un-Oculate! It’ll get rid of vaccines you already have!
(via the Cult Comedy Picture Show)
Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.
Beautiful. I was going to share this on my Facebook wall, but my conservative Christian sister is an anti-vaxer (she’s also into homeopathy >.<). It's my hope to perhaps to her the truth about the whole anti-vaccination crusade (for the sake of my niece and nephew), and I think posting this will just make that harder.
Post it anyway! If it’s your hope to share the truth, do it. Counter that crusade with facts and science.
Maybe snarky wouldn’t work as well, but you could always link to other things that may make her think twice.
You see, my sister is the type that would just get upset if I posted something like that, and that’ll make her less likely to listen to me at all. I do plan to have a civil discussion with her once I’ve been able to collect information to show her that antivaxer claims are bullshit.
There is actually no Hepatitis C vaccine yet.
This makes me feel so old. When I was a kid we only had Hep-A, Hep-B, and Non-A/Non-B Hepatitis.
My only problem with the sketch is the last line, which suggests because of their stupidity, anti-vaxxers deserve to take on the risks of not being vaccinated. Unfortunately, this only buys into the same claim that a lot of anti-vax parents make–that it should be each family’s choice whether to vaccinate or not because they’re only exposing their children. Unfortunately, vaccines work by herd immunity and when a portion of the population doesn’t vaccinate, it puts everyone at risk.
I realize I might be taking this too seriously, but it’s important to understand that everyone is at risk when someone chooses not to vaccinate.
While I agree with you that herd immunity is quite important, I took that line to essentially be a natural selection kind of joke: If the people that are so willing to believe the antivaxer crap avoid vaccines, then they have a higher chance of dying out. If they die out, it seems likely that the antivaxer movement will also die out.
There’s a kid in my child’s school now who came down with whooping cough, presumably by not being vaccinated (though can’t know for sure). If my child caught a disease from a non-vaccinated child, even though mine was vaccinated (vaccines vary in their coverage, and I believe generally are not 100% effective), could I then sue the parents of the unvaccinated child for our medical expenses, loss of wages while caring for our child, pain and suffering? Just a thought.
One fact that feeds the anti vax frenzy is that vaccines are not 100% safe. They are pretty close to safe but that tiny fraction of a percentage point is enough to fuel the confirmation bias of the people who don’t understand the complex biochemistry of the immune system and exactly how vaccines create immunity.
For any vaccine, there will always be a few who, through genetic predispositions, environmental factors or a combinations of genetic and environmental factors.
The antivaxer crowd takes an extreme knee-jerk response: the idea that vaccines are no longer needed and are all bad. Butt here are a number of people diametrically opposed to the antivaxers who completely deny the fact that current vaccine policy in industrialized nations is driven by profits with safety a distant second as concerns go. To these people, who also do not have a working knowledge of the molecular biology of human immunity.
Researchers in the the pathology of autism have documented a pathology in some cases where an immune system related genetic trait, combined with certain vaccine components, and transient environmental stresses can result in the creation of auto-antibodies against specific receptors. In cases studied, auto-antibodies attacked the 5ht5a seratonin receptors, which are concentrated in the amygdala, resulting in a progressive atrophy of the nerve fibers.
The researchers hope to be able to identify who is at risk, and find a way to prevent the autoimmunity while allowing the production of antiviral antibodies. This may be as simple taking a pill for two weeks before and after the vaccine, or offering an alternate vaccine such as a viral protein fragment vaccine in place of a an attenuated live virus vaccine.
And remember who “proved” that vaccines don’t cause autism or other problems? A group of scientists? no. It was a bunch of corporate lawyers and a group of corporate friendly judges who argued and ruled in favor of the pharmaceutical companies.
Don’t let your politics close your minds. Sometimes when someone disagrees with you,particularly when you allow yourself to be biased , you and your opponets may be eah only half right and the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
Follow Patheos on
Copyright 2008-2014, Patheos. All rights reserved.