How Quebec's health-care system uses "vaccine whisperers" to keep "vaccine hesitancy" from turning to anti-vax

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I guess time (probably not much) will tell how resistant this particular strategy is to being portrayed as just another technique of mind control. I mean, if the there’s an opportunity to change the branding to something less Alex-Jones-ready than “Vaccine Whisperers” I’d get on that…


“vaccine whisperers”

Illegal in the USA.


I’m glad that this works, but disappointed that it’s necessary. Still, more vaccinated kids is a Good Thing, no matter the process!


There are a lot of ignorant people out there who are easy prey for the anti-vaxx woo peddlers. If a non-judgmental approach works for them, I’m all for it.


If you don’t vaccinate your kids, CPS should take them – no excuses, no religion, full stop.

We have a society. People who don’t get that shouldn’t be part of it.


he told me that, whether I chose to vaccinate or not, he respected my decision

Yeah, no. If pediatricians aren’t going to straight-up ban unvaccinated families from their practices, they need to let the rest of us know so we can stop going there. Maybe Canada is different though.


It’s easy to be derisive of the anti-vax crowd. I’ve been hearing their concerns being voiced since the hippie days. And then again from the John Birch crowd who latch onto anything old enough to be considered a “tradition” even if its origin is forgotten or suspect.

If we’re honest with ourselves, isn’t “I have the right to inject something you don’t understand into your body – I’m an expert in what’s best for everyone” the kind of philosophical conundrum that deserves more consideration than mockery? I mean, sure, I’ve made fun of anti-vaxxers. But the issue is one of bodily autonomy vs. the good of society. That’s not something a liberal should take lightly, even if the bodily autonomy argument springs from misinformation. What if Mike Pence has the right to inject something into your body that will be for the good of society?

Edit: As always, Devil’s Advocacy is a risky business but I have no fear. And I still have some pity left for the undereducated and the misinformed, even now.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, Mike Pence has a shot for me that will cure my gayness. I never minded being gay, or whatever the hell it is that I am, but I am informed that it’s dangerous for the community. Who am I to argue with that?


If we’re honest with ourselves, isn’t “I have the right to inject something you don’t understand into your body – I’m an expert in what’s best for everyone” the kind of philosophical conundrum that deserves more consideration than mockery?

No, comrade, because its not ‘an expert,’ it’s 'an expert, plus science, plus empiricism, plus a historical track record."

That’s not something a liberal should take lightly, even if the bodily autonomy argument springs from misinformation.

Comrade, if you’re too boneheaded to get the above - that vaccines are not capricious, but backed by science, empirically proven, improved and improvable, etc, etc. I can have a difference of opinion. I can’t have a difference of facts. If you object to reality, we can talk; if you object because of fantasy, that’s your problem, and shouldn’t mean my kid dies of measles.


Science says vaccines work. But still he’s right of course.

You have to educate people. And educate them more convincing than the interwebs + confirmation bias + filter bubble will do. A hard problem, and one of the more pressing problems of our current society (not only concerning vaccinating).

Just plain forcing people to vaccinate will make sure people will get extremely boneheaded-anti-vax. And there is a philosophical/ethical discussion about individual rights vs common good. Like with lots of things. Just saying it isn’t so doesn’t help.


If you have to be argued into the benefits of your Society, you don’t deserve them. If you have to educate yourself about a known fact, you’re probably not that well educated. Vaccines work, and giving anyone a reason to get out of them is what makes them not work. I can respect the difference of opinion. I cannot respect a difference of fact, especially one that will sicken and kill people I love. If vaccination doesn’t make sense to you, that means you should be working harder, not the side which has the facts.

First of all, let’s not label other users here just because you disagree with them.

Second, there’s a point to be made about government trust here. Expecting every member of society to be up-to-date on medical journals and the effects of introducing compounds into one’s body is infeasible. Removing profit-seeking from healthcare has been a non-starter, even in nationalized healthcare (see work on cures being rejected over work on symptom relief, because the latter creates lifetime purchasers). Because of this fact, checks and balances over who can tell you what you are required to put in your body are warranted.

After all, it’s not like we live in a world where government-sanctioned, “safe” medications ended up resulting in birth defects or cancer after further analysis was performed.

So yes, vaccines are important, generally safe, or at least far safer than the diseases they prevent, and need to be universally adopted. How that happens in a way that doesn’t open the possibility of abuse, and can inspire confidence in the process is absolutely a topic worth discussing more. What Québec is doing helps by reporting the facts, research and science. But I still think more needs to be done to instil confidence in a process that expects every human being in society to adhere to.


No: Anti-vaxxers’ bodies ≠ their childrens’ bodies.

No: The issue is one of wing-nut woo-jobs claim knowledge domain about harm to individuals and populations versus trained experts with decades of research behind the training.


The comment thread here is GOLD:


They have the right to not vaccinate, but it comes at a steep price for their kids in being shut out of the rest of society until they are old enough to make that call for themselves. Because the only thing worse than being injected with something you don’t understand is for an immunosuppressed person to be invisibly tagged by a deadly virus from a kid whose parents are science-phobic.

So it’s really not so much a balance of “bodily autonomy vs the good of society” but a balance of “bodily autonomy vs random and untraceable murder of others.”

  1. Only vaccinate the children you want to keep alive
  2. All anti-vaxxers are alive today because of vaccinations
  3. Why is the unvaccinated 2 year old crying? Midlife crisis
  4. The rest of us do not need to be endangered by your poorly informed decisions

No it deserves mockery because one is attacking well established science based medicine because they are too ignorant and boneheaded to inform themselves.


This sounds like an expression of an idea I’ve heard a lot, that any form of social engineering is unethical. The example I hear often is “The only goal of taxation should be to raise money to fund government. It’s unethical to use taxes to push a social agenda.” The problem is, any policy has social impacts; if we don’t consider what those impacts are when shaping policy (i.e. “social engineering”) then those impacts are likely to be negative ones.

But yeah, “vaccine whisperers” and “motivational interviewing” definitely aren’t going to sound good to the ears of someone who’s already somewhat conspiracy-minded…


I think the problem for all of us is that we’re living in an era when you can’t trust anything, ever. No amount of proof is adequate if you’ve lost confidence in the very nature of knowledge.


Motivational interviewing has been proven effective. The problem, which is related to how our healthcare system is structured, is that it is very time consuming. I can provide well care and vaccines to 5-6 kids in the same time it would take to perform this technique with 1. And, surprise! It’s not reimbursable. We are currently dealing with a little bit of a panic now because an unvaccinated kid contracted pertussis and exposed a whole bunch if their antivaxx playmates. Guess how many of them suddenly decided that maybe one or two vaccines would not overly contaminate their purity? No serious illness yet, but lots of fear. Sigh.


This one: