How did a debunked theory become a potential worldwide health catastrophe?

By Oskar Andersen

No vaccination sign on white backgroundWould you believe a 20-year-old inaccurate theory and base all of your opinions off of it?

Does it make sense to risk the revival of deadly disease because you don’t trust the medicine that kills it?

Don’t ask an anti-vaxxer.

It pains me to see an increase of people disregard years of scientific research for their own selfish needs. Anti-vaxxers, much like flat earthers, are fueled by misinformation and studies from the early 2000s. It is so frustrating to see an ever-increasing group of people being swayed by the nonsense of their own community, basing their opinions on a disproven study from 1998. These beings dwell in their closed off facebook groups where they spread lies to each other.

You may be wondering why I have such an aggressively negative opinion of anti-vax. When you look at the intricacies of what the community of anti-vax does and could do to the world, you will understand me better.

In 1998 a study published by British Medical Journal (EBioMedicine), scientist Brian Deer stated that there was a link in childhood autism rates and modern vaccines, he also went on and later said that vaccinations for measles, mumps and rubella were a complete fraud. This sparked a revolution. Led by the outdated, 20-year-old study, parents all around the world believed that vaccines will actually, in turn, make your children autistic without having any real benefits.

Even though countless study after study disproves this report, the stubbornness persists.

It not only puts the child at risk but the children will act as gateways for an almost extinct disease to grow and develop into a more powerful disease and pretty much revive itself while the child acts as a catalyst. The worldwide increase in powerful vaccines and other antibiotics has led to the extermination of smallpox, the near eradication of polio, and measles, and decrease mortality rates associated with other infectious diseases (National Center). However, they still linger due to the mob mentality of this community.

Another problem with anti-vax is how they force their opinions on their own children. These kids are our future, by feeding them anti-vaccine propaganda they will grow up (if they grow up) to complete the cycle.

To see an ever-increasing group of people being swayed by the nonsense of their own community really makes me wonder if these people can do their own critical thinking. These people are, much like what they will get sick too, a bacteria. They feed off of each other own shared insecurities and loosely based opinions in order for them to grow and expand their campaign.

Anti-vaxxers are genuinely detrimental to society.

Like I’ve said before measles could be completely obsolete now that we have vaccines and because of this we should be having any outbreaks since the early 2000s, right? In 2015 (Centers for Disease Control), a measle outbreak appeared in many states around the US, sources say that it all started in Disneyland where an unvaccinated child became a vessel for the disease and passed it on to other children. The impacts of this were 52 outbreak cases with 55% of the victims being unvaccinated, proving that measles are now back and anti-vax are a threat to global health. You can see now why this issue is serious.

 

You might be thinking:

Why do people still choose to ignore facts?

Why put the life of your children in danger to prove a point?

 

But also, if the following is so large, maybe they have a point.

Yes, over 13% of people worldwide (Vax report) believe that vaccines were unnecessary and unsafe, and to be completely honest, I understand where they are coming from. Modern medicine is crazy, unnatural and unpredictable. We live in an age of misinformation where nothing can be trusted but at the same time everything is trusted; everyone is a victim of this. Even though the following is so large it doesn’t mean they were right. The problem is that study after study debunks anti-vax to the point that it physically hurts me when these people cannot open their minds to the facts.

As a (hopefully) future dad this topic affects me and people alike. I don’t want my child contracting a preventable disease/illness from another child because the parent couldn’t be bothered to pay 40 dollars to protect their child. I just want the best for the future.

Don’t do it for yourself, do it for the kids.

 

Works Cited:

  1. Lewis, Casey, and Casey Lewis. “Searching for Dumber: A Thinly-Veiled Attempt to Defend Anti-Vaxxers.” Medium, Medium, 13 Feb. 2015, medium.com/@caseyplewis/searching-for-dumber-a-thinly-veiled-attempt-to-defend-anti-vaxxers-f03556df2c3b.
  2. Stein, Richard A. “The Golden Age of Anti-Vaccine Conspiracies.” National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 7 Dec. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/.
  3. Arson, Heidi J, et al. “The State of Vaccine Confidence 2016: Global Insights Through a 67-Country Survey.” EBioMedicine, Elsevier, 12 Oct. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5078590/.
  4. “U.S. Multi-State Measles Outbreak, December 2014-January 2015.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 23 Jan. 2015, emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00376.asp.
  5. “Research That Sparked Anti-Vaccination Campaign Called an ‘Elaborate Fraud.’” Vax Report – Research That Sparked Anti-Vaccination Campaign Called an “Elaborate Fraud”, Jan. 2011, www.vaxreport.org/vax-january-2011/561-research-that-sparked-anti-vaccination-campaign-called-an-elaborate-fraud.