Death toll from the American anti-vaccine movement




The name of the website is a bit unfortunate I get the reasoning behind it but it detracts from the message a bit.

Overall the site is incredibly professional with a boat load of information.


Who is Jenny Mcarthy again?


These anti-vaccine nutjobs need to be called out. Unfortunately, JM is receiving even more publicity with a gig on a high profile women's chat show.


I know. But, why is it again that people who are famous, because they are famous, get to have a say in stuff like this?


Because they're famous. Sick but true.


Well in JM's case it is even worse than that. Her fame is for the trivial genetic accident of her superficial physical attractiveness. it isn't for any sort intelligence or expertise.


Embarrassing Confession time. When I went to my small nursing school, my instructors were against vaccinations, touting most of the crap misinformation. When I got out, I started nursing, and that's when there was that whole measles thing, and the facility I worked for, plus the local hospital were supposed to vaxx the staff. The director of nursing put us all down as "trying to conceive" because then we wouldn't get a "pointlessly dangerous vaccine". She assured us the head of the hospital nursing staff had only vaxx'd two nurses because it was a terrible idea.

That meant that myself, and most of the nurses in my local area learned from the top down that vaccinations were bad. I have to say I spread this crap misinformation during my career as well. This culture permeated the health care facilities I worked in. I find it no shock that Washington state has such a huge resurgence of whooping cough

It wasn't until I stopped nursing, and started really getting into the science behind it, that I was embarrassed to learn how wrong I, and my instructors, and bosses, were. This is why this anti vaxx crap keeps going. It's everywhere, even amongst health care workers.


I have a relative who, for a while at least, was banging the autism/vaccine drum. The main appeal seems to be a feeling of self-righteousness, with a side-order of anti-authoritarianism.

Mind you, it's generally a good thing to beware of marketing guff from pharmaceutical companies. But dang it, vaccines simply aren't money makers. Lumping them in with Viagra or Claritin is delusional.


Eh. It keeps the population in check.


I think what you're missing is that it's not just the children of the nutjobs that get sick, the problem is they weaken herd immunity and the illnesses are allowed to spread to other children who haven't been vaccinated yet (too young, other health issues preventing their innoculation, etc). Without the morons, these children would be okay, but they're dying.

If something like that happened to my own kid, I don't know what I would do...if I saw someone preaching this stuff I'd want to kill them with my bare hands.


It's a good site, except this line is debatable:
"The primary scientific reason for the increase in autism diagnoses is due to more disorders being included in the Autism Spectrum and doctors getting better at diagnosing the characteristics of autism."
CDC and other mainstream sources do not draw that conclusion. I think if they want to be science oriented, they should not go out on a limb.


To add to that, a fair amount of vaccinations that are given do not "take". Only way to be 100% sure is to run a blood test weeks after the vaccine. It's totally a game of statistics, if enough people become anti-vax, the less crazy portion of society are going to have to start being super prudent and blood test their kids to check that it takes.

I totally applaud the schools and kindergartens around the world that are now requiring immunisations to take children into the system.


Everything is not black and white. There are some vaccines which are most likely very safe but there are others which may be less so. The vaccines listed in the referenced websites "What is the Harm" section are most likely very safe. But just because some vaccines are safe does not mean that all vaccines are safe for everybody. Its easy to put up a rather meaningless statistic in hopes of swaying public opinion rather than pick into the details but blindly following the lead of a for-profit-industry can lead to dangerous situations. There are lots of details.

Something to think about:

And some statistics from the other side.

Call it a healthy perspective of distrust but I believe its important to keep a critical eye on the vaccine industry and not shame or harass those of us who are not in lock step agreement with them.


While I agree that the anti-vaxxers are sadly misled about the autism link - even if they were right, "the number of autism diagnoses linked through scientific evidence and review to vaccination" would still be zero. All that would happen if they were right would be that there would be a statistical correlation, possibly even one well-enough studied that we could reasonably conclude causation.

We know quite well that smoking causes lung cancer - but there are still lots of non-smokers with lung cancer, and smokers who live long cancer-free lives, and smokers who would have gotten lung cancer even if they hadn't smoked. The number of individual cases of lung cancer linked conclusively to the person's smoking is still zero.


This is the right approach to the problem. I find all the anti-vaccination bluster of the usual suspects dissolves in the face of a cost to themselves.


I heard that the anti vax movement was a conspiracy to trick vulnerable, sick, old and paranoid people into avoiding vaccination, as an exercise in eugenics. Most likely started by Big Medicine, so they don't have to pay for their escalating cost of treatment if they live to a ripe old age. Now that smoking rates are going down they need something to "take care" of their problem customers. Luckily for them these people are also the sort who take health advice from celebrities and internet chat boards, so here we are.


Are they more or less safe than the illnesses they prevent? Disease kills.

Unfortunately, I believe it is the lack of direct experience of the dead and maimed that allows anti-vaccination stupidity to continue to flourish. The reality is that without this direct experience a subset of the population will default to believing the unscientific ravings of people like Jenny McCarthy.

If you have evidence, present it. Otherwise, you deserved to be shamed if you are espousing an anti-vaccination position. How is endangering people (something all the evidence suggests) not a shameful act?


Which, I note, work so well that no Lottery ever went bankrupt.


Same nut jobs over here, too. One of the biggest not only claims that the falling numbers of Measles infection are caused by better nutrition, but advises to consult a homeopathic doctor if bitten by rabid animals.