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  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Jul 5, 2010
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    California, US

    So, I married an anti-vaxxer

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Steerpike, Oct 26, 2015.

    An interesting article from last month. I think it is the case with most personal belief systems that the people believing them aren't idiots, whether it is conservative view, religious views, progressive views, atheism, or what have you. The fallback position of "those people are stupid" is a kind of knee-jerk tribalism that humans seem wired to experience.
  2. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Mar 3, 2013
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    Ralph's side of the island.
    Those of us in the medical community concerned with vaccines and public health don't take the position anti-vaxxers are stupid. Intelligence and education don't correlate with anti-vaccine beliefs. Many of them believe they have taken the time to educate themselves about the issues.

    The problem isn't a knowledge deficit, it's a lack of skill understanding how one can assess evidence based medicine, but more than that, it's a problem trusting the medical community.

    CDC's research has found that many of these people trust their own physicians. But they believe vaccines are a corporate influenced government mandate that has more to do with profits than medical benefit.

    They don't see the infections around them like our parents (or grandparents for you younger folks) did and they sometime believe the narrative that sanitation and better overall health plus antibiotics can substitute for vaccinations. If measles mostly kills people in third world countries, rather than recognizing the reason is lack of vaccinations, anti-vaxxers attribute the deaths to poor health care.

    I've had long discussions with some of these people. They point out that the drug manufacturers have representatives on the ACIP (Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices). They don't realize (or believe) that manufacture and distribution of vaccines is key to the process. You need industry reps on the committee.

    Another argument, using measles again, is that the morbidity and mortality rate of 1 death and 1 serious sequala per 1,000 cases of measles is an unreliable number derived from data when data collection was flawed. However, if one looks at recent outbreaks of measles in the EU and the US, surprisingly even with antibiotics and access to medical care the morbidity and mortality rates were the same.

    Then there is the whole Andrew Wakefield fraud which was initiated with falsified data about measles vaccine risks he reported in a plot to market his own measles vaccine.

    That morphed into the unsupported belief that thimerosal (because it contains mercury) was the cause of vaccine related autism. Without going into all the evidence that belief is false, I give you an irrefutable fact: when thimerosal was removed from most children's vaccines in the US, the rate of autism went up, not down. One might even hypothesize the preservative had a protective effect. (I doubt the evidence would support that hypothesis if it were tested, but still it's an evidence based hypothesis.)

    My argument is simple, either I and all my medical colleagues are duped, in on the conspiracy or we don't exist, or, there is no vaccine/government collusion to sell people vaccines. And I'm pretty sure the answer to those first three is not in on it, not duped and we most certainly exist.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2015
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