Those were the words I read from a “thinking MOM’s” blog who has decided that she will not be vaccinating her five children. Ever.
I always knew there was an “anti-vaccination” presence out there on the “Internets”. I honestly never bothered with them. That is, until a link showed up on my Facebook page, placed there by a friend. I was curious. I checked it out. I read from some of her links and several of her pages. I read some of the articles she recommended by other Moms that, like her, have decided not to vaccinate their children.
And then I got depressed.
The misinformation presented on these websites is voluminous. It would be somewhat humorous if it wasn’t also so dangerous. Statements are made as “fact” without any corroborating data to back them up. Assertions are presented that are just plain false.
Here’s just one example from an anti-vaccine Mom, found on the Gianelloni Family blog:
“Did you know 28 studies from around the world support Dr. Wakefield’s controversial findings?”
Well…..If you follow the link provided, from which I’m assuming this assertion came from, you are lead to an article about Dr. Wakefield on Mercola.com. There you will find links to the “28 studies” that supposedly support Dr. Wakefield’s “controversial” findings. I randomly clicked on six of these. Not one of them even discussed vaccines, specifically MMR, as a cause of autism or any other disorders.
But what about these studies?
Oh yeah. Those are all flawed.
And here’s another quote found from the same blog attributed to the World Health Organization:
“…the odds are about 15 times greater that measles will strike those who are vaccinated against the disease than those who are left alone.”
Of course, there was no link provided to verify this quote so I looked for it on the WHO website. I didn’t find that quote but I did find these:
- Measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children even though a safe and cost-effective vaccine is available.
- In 2012, there were 122,000 measles deaths globally- about 330 deaths very day or 14 deaths per hour. Most of these were children under the age of five years old.
- Measles vaccination resulted in a 78% drop in measles deaths between 2000 and 2012 worldwide.
As a “thinking MOM” myself, I find these statistics very compelling. Yet, if we listen to some of these anti-vaccine blogs, we should believe that measles is just not that big a deal and herd immunity is a myth.
I disagree. And so does science.
I think the study blogged about here was probably the most depressing of all. I’m guessing most anti-vaccine moms agree. Even in the light of ample evidence to the contrary, they will never change their minds.
And that’s the problem, isn’t it? These are cognitive biases run amuck.
Personally, I don’t want to return to a world where deadly, communicable diseases are making a comeback. Perhaps part of the problem is that we don’t know or remember what that’s like. My father-in-law does. He saw what it was like to suffer from polio. That was before the development of a vaccine to combat it.
Yep. I do support vaccinations in light of the overwhelming amount of evidence that speaks to their efficacy. Would I ever change my mind about it? I sure would. All I would need is to see the verifiable evidence to the contrary (and by evidence, I mean sound, repeatable, statistically significant evidence). Where is this evidence that herd immunity is a myth (this one is particularly ridiculous)? Where is the evidence that vaccines causes autism or a variety of other illnesses in children? Please-show me these studies.
I can relate to wanting to do best by your children. I’m a mom who wants my child healthy, safe and protected, too. I’m starting in the same place as these moms. We just land on completely opposite ends.
Thanks, but I think I’ll stick with vaccines.