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Consequences of Anti-Vax misinformation

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  • Consequences of Anti-Vax misinformation

    Originally posted by Dr. Steven Novella
    There is another major measles outbreak in Europe. The WHO reports:
    The World Health Organization said Thursday that France had 4,937 reported cases of measles between January and March – compared with 5,090 cases during all of 2010. In all, more than 6,500 cases have been reported in 33 European nations.
    That is four times the rate of 2010. I know – these reports are almost getting boring. The shock has worn off – we have come to accept that previously conquered diseases (at least reduced to minimal cases without outbreaks) have come back. The cause seems clear – outbreaks occur where herd immunity has been lost due to vaccine non-compliance. Fewer people are getting vaccinated, and not much fewer. But the numbers are falling below herd immunity levels in pockets. When vaccination rates fall below a certain level, then infectious organisms are able to spread and cause an outbreak.
    The anti-vaccine movement has successfully spread unwarranted fear of vaccines, resulting in the compromise of herd immunity. There is a toll of morbidity and mortality associated with this movement.

    Part of the challenge in raising public awareness about the dangers of pseudoscience and denialism is that the public rapidly become inured to the consequences, even complacent. When I saw this latest report about another measles outbreak, I had to think carefully before deciding to blog about it. I have blogged about outbreaks before, and there is nothing new with yet another measles outbreak. Will my readers be bored? It is hard to sustain outrage – things like unnecessary measles outbreaks become old news with a waning grasp on our collective attention.

    So it is useful, from time to time, to remind ourselves and the public that there are consequences to nonsensical and irrational beliefs, and to placing ideology above science and evidence. We live in an increasingly complex civilization, with vexing problems that require more and more clever and elaborate solutions. It’s not easing supporting over 6 billion people (and growing) on this world, while feeding them all and avoiding the endemic problems of a large population – minimizing infectious diseases, limiting our footprint on the natural world, providing enough energy and other resources, and not killing each other over access to limited resources.
    Our best tool in achieving our goals and solving the difficult problems of civilization is science – taking an objective, evidence-based approach to our problems so that we can work out the most effective solutions. Pseudoscience, denialism, and ideology are the enemies of science and reason, and therefore frustrate our attempts to find optimal solutions.

    Think about the billions that are being wasted on useless or even harmful medical interventions because the science of medicine is being compromised, by clever marketing, corporate greed, by rank pseudoscience, by the infiltration of sectarian belief systems into what should be a science-based endeavor. I see this every day – and yes, my outrage is blunted. I almost chuckle to myself when I see someone become aware of the extent and nature of the problem for the first time – their fresh outrage strikes me as naive. But it is preferable to the “shruggies” who are not even aware of the problem.

    Our most precious resource, arguably, is the human intellect. And that is being dulled by organized and well-funded movements to water down the teaching of science and critical thinking, because it conflicts with personal belief systems like creationism. It is impossible to tease out all the cultural effects that conspire together to hamper the intellect – anti-scientific ideology, anti-intellectual culture, politics, low standards in the educational system, and simple apathy. They all work together and reinforce each other.
    Despite the strides the skeptical movement has made in the last decade, I am still frequently asked why I waste my time with the whole skepticism thing. There are many reasons, but perhaps chief among them is the understanding that pseudoscience and quackery have consequences – increasingly dire consequences, for the individual, for any society, and for human civilization. Measles outbreaks are only the tip of the iceberg. The skeptical movement endeavors to be a force in the other direction – to make the world a more rational place, to increase the level of critical thinking , and to keep science in its rightful place as the best method for understanding the world and finding practical solutions to our many problems.

    There is also a certain love and respect for truth and intellectual honesty for its own sake. But knowing that beliefs have consequences is a huge motivating force.

    Like Sagan, I would rather know the truth than believe in a comforting delusion. And I also recognize that as a civilization, we can no longer afford the comforting delusions. They have consequences.

    Source
    [COLOR=#4b0082][B][SIZE=4][FONT=trebuchet ms]“If you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right.”
    -Henry Ford[/FONT][/SIZE][/B][/COLOR]

  • #2
    Re: Consequences of Anti-Vax misinformation

    I had the measles and chickenpox when I was a toddler. I know, it must have been a pain for my mother to take care of me. In hindsight, when chickenpox went around in grade school, I was one of the few that showed up for school because those that had been vaccinated still got sick. My guess is most of these cases are from immigrants. Those damn immigrants. Probably Muslim too.
    "Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it." ~Malcolm X

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Consequences of Anti-Vax misinformation

      They're having outbreaks all over....
      [COLOR=#4b0082][B][SIZE=4][FONT=trebuchet ms]“If you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right.”
      -Henry Ford[/FONT][/SIZE][/B][/COLOR]

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Consequences of Anti-Vax misinformation

        Originally posted by KanadaHye View Post
        My guess is most of these cases are from immigrants. Those damn immigrants. Probably Muslim too.
        Which, if true (and I think it probably is), reveals the propagandistic nature of the article. "The anti-vaccine movement has successfully spread unwarranted fear of vaccines, resulting in the compromise of herd immunity. There is a toll of morbidity and mortality associated with this movement." That seems to be a blatant lie. Persons who have declined to have theirchildren vaccinated are small in overal numbers and, more importantly, are geographically evenly spread out and, generally, are from better educated and healthier families. It is only in areas where there is a substantial amount of unvaccinated individuals, such as found in certain immigrant groups, or in countries whose health services has broken down for a long period of time due to civil unreast, that mass outbreaks of measles, etc., occur. And there normally needs to be associated factors, such as people crowded together in poor-quality housing, before outbreaks become serious. I think it is the sort of attitudes held by the writer of that article - a member of a profession that thinks it is always right, so right that it can indulge in any amount of lying and questionable activities - that have done most to arouse public suspicion about state-sponsored mass vaccine programs. There is a religious-like fanaticism in their attitudes: their dogma alone is right, no deviation from it is accepted, and no errors they make should be publicised.

        ...a discredited 1998 British study linking the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella to autism. Parents abandoned the vaccine in droves and vaccination rates for parts of the U.K. dropped to about 50 percent. More lies and half-truths! There is no study that ever linked vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella to autism. There are studies (not discredited) that linked autism to the practice of combining 3 different vaccines together and giving them to children in one go. These combined vaccines were introduced through bribery (the Blair government got a donation of a few millions pounds to the Labour party by withdrawing the prevously available individual vaccines and introducing the combined vaccine which was provided by a single company - owned by the donor). Doctors also got more money when they gave the combined vaccine. If doctors really cared that vaccination rates were going down, then all they neded to do was reintroduce the older-style individual vaccines - but they did not, they cared more about their wallets than public health.
        Last edited by bell-the-cat; 04-27-2011, 06:17 PM.
        Plenipotentiary meow!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Consequences of Anti-Vax misinformation

          Those in the know know that vaccines are not good as they have mercury and cause alot of other health issues and who knows
          what they contribute to down the line!

          I know of a homepathic practioner (forgive my misspelling), and he concocted a stange combination of something,
          and told me to take it. I did, and wow, I did not get the serious what was it then? flu ? this was eons ago, and
          for the times before that he made also something for me. It really kept me from catching the darn thing
          that was landing everyone else in the hospital in droves! The other two times it got me over it in 2 or 3 days!

          So I am hesitant to take those so called "vaccines" they advertise and push in every place here. I wonder,
          do the doctors get anything on the q.t.?

          They sure write prescriptions as fast as you can imagine! They see you and in 5 mins or less, they are out.
          Vaccines do not protect someone from getting the flu or whatnot. It is amazing to see how many people
          rush out to get these vaccines every time the public is told it needs to.

          There actually are regulations in schools here, that state children have to have vaccines taken to be
          allowed to enter school!

          I notice a rise in alot of health issues I suspect stem from the corporations that stand to benefit from this
          product. Who knows what people suffer now can attribute it to the immunizations they had to have from
          infancy to early years.

          In a natural health magazine in a health food store, they discuss and evaluate and prove and debunk the
          myths and so called "facts" and "health industry" mumbo jumbo.
          Unreal!
          Last edited by Christina; 05-02-2011, 01:04 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Consequences of Anti-Vax misinformation

            Originally posted by Christina View Post
            Those in the know know that vaccines are not good as they have mercury and cause alot of other health issues and who knows
            what they contribute to down the line!

            I know of a homepathic practioner (forgive my misspelling), and he concocted a stange combination of something,
            and told me to take it. I did, and wow, I did not get the serious what was it then? flu ? this was eons ago, and
            for the times before that he made also something for me. It really kept me from catching the darn thing
            that was landing everyone else in the hospital in droves! The other two times it got me over it in 2 or 3 days!

            So I am hesitant to take those so called "vaccines" they advertise and push in every place here. I wonder,
            do the doctors get anything on the q.t.?

            They sure write prescriptions as fast as you can imagine! They see you and in 5 mins or less, they are out.
            Vaccines do not protect someone from getting the flu or whatnot. It is amazing to see how many people
            rush out to get these vaccines every time the public is told it needs to.

            There actually are regulations in schools here, that state children have to have vaccines taken to be
            allowed to enter school!

            I notice a rise in alot of health issues I suspect stem from the corporations that stand to benefit from this
            product. Who knows what people suffer now can attribute it to the immunizations they had to have from
            infancy to early years.

            In a natural health magazine in a health food store, they discuss and evaluate and prove and debunk the
            myths and so called "facts" and "health industry" mumbo jumbo.
            Unreal!


            Funny how your bullsh!t detector failed you with the homeopath, but when it comes to something with overwhelming evidence for its efficacy and safety, you're suspicious.

            There's no mercury in vaccines. I suggest not getting your information from swindlers or health food store magazines. Try looking up the scientific research instead. The interwebs have made it so we can look for ourselves instead of trusting these sorts of secondary sources. One dishonest Andrew Wakefield fabricated his data and since then there has been study, after study, after study, after study confirming what we'd already tested and established before Wakefield, that vaccines are safe.

            Here ya go...

            http://forum.hyeclub.com/showthread....xx-Movement%29
            [COLOR=#4b0082][B][SIZE=4][FONT=trebuchet ms]“If you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right.”
            -Henry Ford[/FONT][/SIZE][/B][/COLOR]

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Consequences of Anti-Vax misinformation

              Originally posted by Siggie View Post
              Funny how your bullsh!t detector failed you with the homeopath, but when it comes to something with overwhelming evidence for its efficacy and safety, you're suspicious.

              There's no mercury in vaccines. I suggest not getting your information from swindlers or health food store magazines. Try looking up the scientific research instead. The interwebs have made it so we can look for ourselves instead of trusting these sorts of secondary sources. One dishonest Andrew Wakefield fabricated his data and since then there has been study, after study, after study, after study confirming what we'd already tested and established before Wakefield, that vaccines are safe.

              Here ya go...

              http://forum.hyeclub.com/showthread....xx-Movement%29
              Are you aware of the term "snake oil". Large organizations today are far more profitable than the con man going door to door selling his grossly exaggerated product. Now that the swine flu and Bin Laden have come and gone, what will be the next fear tactic?
              "Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it." ~Malcolm X

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Consequences of Anti-Vax misinformation

                The fear tactics were utilized by the anti-vaxxers. "Snake oil" is not backed by the YEARS of programmatic research of vaccinations.
                I linked the thread from the last round of running circles with you... I'm not in the mood for rehashing that stuff.
                [COLOR=#4b0082][B][SIZE=4][FONT=trebuchet ms]“If you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right.”
                -Henry Ford[/FONT][/SIZE][/B][/COLOR]

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Consequences of Anti-Vax misinformation

                  Originally posted by Siggie View Post
                  The fear tactics were utilized by the anti-vaxxers. "Snake oil" is not backed by the YEARS of programmatic research of vaccinations.
                  I wonder how many vials of swine flu vaccine are sitting on shelves paid for with my tax money and given to corporate thieves.
                  "Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it." ~Malcolm X

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Consequences of Anti-Vax misinformation

                    Originally posted by Siggie View Post
                    One dishonest Andrew Wakefield fabricated his data and since then there has been study, after study, after study, after study confirming what we'd already tested and established before Wakefield, that vaccines are safe.
                    What you are repeating here is just an example of the religious-like fanaticism of the medical establishment and its penchant for witch-hunts against anyone who dares speak out against its orthodoxy.

                    All the past mistakes that the medical establishment has committed, all the false views that it has held, is ignored by themedical establishment as if it had never happened. It is a profession that seems to learn nothing from its mistakes. EVERY advance in medical science has been opposed by the medical profession. If it were up to them, we would all still believe in blood-letting to cure infections. I don't need to go back centuries - as recently as the early 1990s doctors still thought stomach ulcers were a result of diet or, even, "stress" (about as laughable an opinion as blood-letting to cure "bad blood"), and they tried to cure ulcers by risky surgery. But then two doctor working away from the establishment centres decided to do their own research and discovered that almost all stomach ulcers wre caused by a bacterial infection and could be easily cured by antibiotics. That was in 1882, but it still took over a decade for their research to be accepted. In that decade, how many hundreds of thousands of people suffered needlessly, went through unnecessary and painful operations, until the medical establishment accepted the obvious? How many actually died because of it? And how many millions had suffered or died because for generations the medical establishment had held that its laughable orthodoxy about what caused peptic ulcers was correct. And how much money was made by the medical establishment administering its quack "cures" for peptic ulcers?
                    Last edited by bell-the-cat; 05-02-2011, 09:23 AM.
                    Plenipotentiary meow!

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