A lot of parents these days are not-so-patiently waiting for researchers to do some important studies on vaccines that haven’t been done before. Especially a vaccinated-vs-unvaccinated study that is well-designed and looks at a wide range of health outcomes. (There are survey-based studies that have been done, which showed far better health outcomes for unvaccinated children, but they have been widely criticized by the mainstream.)
We still do not have adequate, far-reaching studies to put to rest some of the very important questions that parents have. It seems like the mainstream is more interested in mocking and trying to discredit people who ask questions instead of actually doing the necessary research to answer those very valid questions.
If you ever wondered what they’re doing instead of legitimate research…I have the answer.
Instead of Doing Real Vaccine Studies, They’re Doing THIS….
We have all heard some rumors over the last few years that the education on vaccines in medical schools is woefully inadequate, and that professors spend more time teaching medical students how to “overcome vaccine hesitancy” (i.e. manipulate parents) than they do on the actual facts.
There have even been recorded conferences of doctors and professors doing exactly this — trying to teach young medical students and residents how to convince reluctant parents to vaccinate, using emotive language instead of facts.
The whole thing is frankly disgusting. If vaccination has such solid science behind it, then all of these primary care doctors should know the science (since vaccines are kind of the base of their practice; one of the most commonly-given drugs) and should be able to explain it to parents who have questions. They should not be afraid to actually address concerns using calm, rational, science-based language.
(Of course, they either can’t or don’t. One study even showed that pro-vaxxers tend towards emotional arguments, while “anti-vaxxers” tend towards rational explanations and scientific citations.)
The more that they yell and scream and try to manipulate, the more people are going “What is going on here? Why can’t they just answer our questions? They must have something to hide!” Ultimately, by refusing to do the real science and instead relying on anger and propaganda, they are shooting themselves in the foot.
So what’s happened now?
A Ph.D. epidemiology professor at Kent State University, Tara C. Smith, has completed a paper entitled “Vaccine rejection and hesitancy: a review and call to action.” Here is her bio and contact info. Why a professor and experienced researcher doesn’t have anything better to study, I don’t know.
It displays all that is wrong with the pro-vaccine camp right now.
That this topic was even allowed as a Ph.D. dissertation, instead of real research, is incredibly disheartening. And that’s before we even dive into the content.
The abstract says this: “This review examines the arguments and players in the United States anti-vaccination scene, and discusses ways that experts in infectious diseases can become more active in promoting vaccination to friends, family, and the public at large.”
As the article actually starts (it’s not even really a study), the author first regurgitates all of the usual pro-vaccine arguments: the 1998 paper that linked the MMR to autism (it didn’t), vaccines are a victim of their own success because people have never really seen these diseases (they’re not, and we have), and so on.
Then, the author decides that all of this really the fault of several “thought leaders,” including mommy bloggers (like me!). Apparently, we use falsehoods to sway people to think vaccines are dangerous and illnesses are safe. Nowhere does the author address any of the legitimate arguments made, nor any of the studies linked. I wonder why?
The author also makes the argument that these “thought leaders” profit from the “spread of misinformation.” i.e. if they get clicks to their blogs, or sell books or movies, they earn money — and she implies, that’s why they’re doing it.
(Trust me. The amount of money any of us earn pales in comparison to the amount of hate we have to deal with, and it’s not worth it. We could also get paid far more for being willing to promote vaccines — I have been approached on more than one occasion to work with a pharmaceutical company and have turned them down. And, of course, the amount of money any of us could possibly make is far, far, far less than what pharmaceutical companies make on vaccines, so this is a pretty weak argument all around.)
The author goes on to suggest that anyone who completely rejects vaccines cannot be reasoned with and is usually just a conspiracy theorist. Only people who are “hesitant,” but who could be swayed by medical propaganda, are actually potentially intelligent and rational people.
Then, the author says this: “scientists do not always know the rhetorical tricks and tactics  that vaccine rejectors and their leaders (see Table 2) frequently employ…”
I don’t know about others — can’t speak for them — but my only “tactic” is to share the actual studies and shed light on the issues that the medical community is not discussing. There is evidence to back up what I say in every post. Often, pro-vaccine advocates choose not to click on those links, do not read the studies, and then say I have no evidence. It’s the equivalent of a preschooler covering their eyes and saying “you can’t see me!”
The Propaganda Begins….
At this point, the author begins to discuss ways to overcome hesitancy and convince parents to vaccinate. While she allows that providing scientific information and actually answering questions is important, she says it is not enough.
Here is one way she shares: “For those who want to get more deeply involved, Shelby and Ernst put forward the idea of a “vaccine ambassador” program at physician offices . The authors noted that “There is a growing passion among parents who vaccinate to begin speaking up about the importance of immunization, and yet we continue to hear from these parents that they don’t know how to help.””
Effectively…they want to take pro-vaccine parents, who may or may not know anything at all about vaccine science, and use them to try to sway other parents to “follow the leader.” They want to put cultural and societal pressure on these parents to make them think vaccinating is normal.
I’m sorry, but I’m not seeing how this is okay. If they’re speaking out about the “uneducated” people who discuss the potential risks of vaccines because they don’t know what they’re talking about, how is it okay for them to recruit “uneducated” people to spread their message — that all vaccines are safe and you should get them?
I don’t understand why doctors who have serious concerns about vaccines are so easily dismissed, and they’re recruiting parents to promote vaccines. This only proves what I learned long ago — saying vaccines are great makes you right; saying there are concerns makes you wrong. Regardless of your educational background.
This is hugely concerning to me, and should be to everyone else, too.
Towards the end of the paper, the author says:
Finally, while there may be no single leader of an anti-vaccine “movement,” many of those listed in Table 2 are highly media-savvy and unafraid to push their opinions that vaccines are dangerous, full stop. Scientists, by our training and often by our nature, are often loathe to think of issues without bringing in shades of gray, while vaccine thought leaders frequently express strict black-and-white thinking. Advocating for vaccines isn’t always easy; it may necessitate leaving one’s comfort zone, and open one up as a target of harassment .
Well, that’s interesting. Very interesting, given that pro-vaccine advocates are actually extremely black-and-white. “Vaccines are good, normal and necessary and basically everyone needs to get all of them. Period. Anyone who questions that is anti-science.” That has been the message that has been clearly shared across the media and in many medical offices for years.
Meanwhile, the “anti-vaccine” leaders are saying “Wait, hold on, we have some questions. What about this issue? What about that one? We haven’t adequately studied this. Let’s be skeptical until we have some better answers.” That’s a very ‘shades of gray’ position!
Let’s not even start on the “harassment” angle! The “anti-vaccine” people suffer much more harassment than pro-vaccine people do! They regularly receive death threats, are told that people hope their children are taken away or even that they die. They are ridiculed, kicked out of places, mocked mercilessly in the media. I don’t see a single leg to stand on here for pro-vaxxers.
This is all so very backwards. It’s like the author is so firmly entrenched in her worldview that she literally doesn’t understand why people might think differently. She has made no effort to truly understand the concerns or “arguments” of those who question or refuse vaccines. She has made no mention of children who have been harmed by vaccines, or that many of the so-called “thought leaders” are such because their children were injured.
The whole thing is really very bizarre. It gives us great insight into the minds of these blindly pro-vaccine puppets…but it does nothing to actually help medical professionals understand. Legitimate arguments and the science supporting them (and there are entire books of published studies) have been completely ignored. Why?
But it gets worse….
Well, there are actually two lists here. One is a summary of “anti-vaccine arguments,” and one is a list of “thought leaders.”
Let’s start with the arguments!
Vaccines are Toxic and Contain Dangerous Chemicals
Actually, they do. Take a look at the full ingredients list HERE. (In case you don’t click it — and you should — it’s a link to the CDC’s website. It’s the official list.)
These ingredients have been linked to all kinds of harm here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. And that’s not all the studies; not by a long shot. (If you’re curious, I only linked to actual studies, not opinion pieces, and many are full-text.)
Vaccines are a Tool of Pharma Shills
No, I don’t think this is true. I think they mean well but have gone completely wrong. There are people who do think this. But let’s set that aside, as it has nothing to do with science.
Too Many, Too Soon
No one is concerned about the level of antigens that a child is exposed to, which is what the pro-vaccine camp pretends is the issue. They are actually concerned about the levels of all the other ingredients that the child is exposed to, with an underdeveloped immune system, difficulty eliminating high levels of heavy metals, etc.
And, it’s not fantasy anyway. This study says that “young infants respond poorly to vaccines.”
Natural Immunity is Better
Natural immunity is longer-lasting than vaccine-induced immunity. It is not always life-long/permanent, but it is longer.
More and more studies are coming out, showing that the “protection” from vaccines doesn’t last as long as originally thought.
Vaccines Not Properly Tested
Specifically in a “vaccinated vs unvaccinated” study or as the full schedule. This is accurate. No well-designed studies have looked at either issue.
Diseases Declined Due to Better Nutrition/Sanitation
There’s a lot of conflicting evidence for this one. Some will show charts of how other diseases declined at a similar rate to the ones we have vaccines for. We did for sure see a sharp drop in death rates prior to the introduction of the vaccines due to better nutrition and sanitation. (In my opinion, it’s the death/disability rates that really matter, not case rates.)
Vaccines Shed and Cause Illness
They can, and some do.
This study shows that rotavirus sheds heavily for as long as 28 days. This study deals with a vaccine not used in humans, but demonstrates how shedding works to infect others. This study shows how measles spread from a recently-vaccinated person, and how difficult it is to tell whether the strain spreading is wild or from vaccination (thereby proving when they blame “unvaccinated children” they don’t actually know).
This study shows that OPV (oral, live polio vaccine) sheds for up to 2 months in most patients. It’s no longer used in the US, but is in developing countries (you know…the places where polio is still epidemic).
This is a case study of vaccine-strain varicella shedding to a family member.
The point is…when it comes to live virus vaccines (rotavirus, nasal flu, MMR, varicella), it CAN and HAS happened.
Supposedly, they were going to “debunk” these in other materials…but I just shared plenty of studies proving many of them, so….
The “Thought Leaders”
The next table lists 16 “thought leaders” who are supposedly strongly influencing the anti-vaccine movement. I’ll list and link them all for you.
Dr. Andrew Wakefield — Wrote the 1998 paper that supposedly kicked off this movement (but it really started way before that). This paper dealt with colitis in children with autism and had nothing to do with vaccines. They noted a potential correlation between vaccine-strain measles and recommended further research. That’s it.
Dr. Robert Sears — Wrote The Vaccine Book, and has promoted doing more vaccine research and looking at alternative/delayed schedules (but is not against vaccines as a whole).
Dr. Sherri Tenpenny — Has written a couple books on vaccines, and is a private-practice doctor.
Dr. Toni Bark — Private practice doctor; integrates homeopathy and alternative medicine in her practice.
Dr. Suzanne Humphries — Wrote Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines and the Forgotten History and is a private-practice doctor.
Dr. Larry Palevsky — Private practice and holistic doctor, has participated in a couple major documentaries (The Truth About Vaccines and The Greater Good).
Dr. Joseph Mercola — Author of Mercola.com and promotes health freedom.
Jenny McCarthy — Was active in the movement 10+ years ago, but has little to do with it today. Most who question vaccines do not know who she is now. She did speak out about her son’s vaccine-induced autism in the early 2000s and was an important figure for those starting to speak up.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. — Environmental lawyer, politician, and vaccine safety advocate.
Barbara Loe Fisher — Founder of National Vaccine Information Center. (The author snarkily notes that she has a child “she believes” is vaccine-injured.)
Sarah Pope — Author of The Healthy Home Economist and medical freedom advocate.
Megan Heimer — Author at Living Whole and medical freedom advocate.
Vani Hari — Author of Food Babe.
Mike Adams — Author of Natural News.
They actually left out many, many important figures. Note that almost half of these people are doctors. (And there are many other doctors, too, like Dr. Tetyana Obukhanych, Dr. Russell Blaylock, Dr. Paul Thomas, and lots more.) Others you may be interested in include The Thinking Moms Revolution, Your Baby Your Way, Collective Evolution, and Levi Quackenboss. There are plenty more beyond that…these are just the ones I first thought of.
I’m quite honored to be named among these “thought leaders,” honestly. It means the work I’m doing to share the real science is making a difference!
But, this whole thing does strike me as strange. If they really are interested in the science, and the science surrounding vaccines is solid, why was any of this necessary? Why waste time trying to ferret out arguments and pretend that they have no merit — when I showed that some do? Why worry about “thought leaders” and what they’re telling people? Why not examine themselves instead of going after others?
Time to Refocus
All we’re interested in is children’s safety and health. That’s it! If it were about money, believe me, there are far easier ways to earn it than this. (I mean, I trained as a music teacher and my husband is a website developer, I’m just saying. No harassment, quiet life, lots more money if we just went that route.)
Maybe, instead of writing these ridiculous “studies” and holding conferences on how to coerce and manipulate people into accepting vaccines, they should actually just go out and do the proper studies to answer peoples’ questions. That would go a lot further.
I don’t think I could trust them less…but if this is new to you, it might affect how you feel. Is someone who’s pushing you to vaccinate really listen to your concerns and answering your questions? If not…this might be why.
It’s time to refocus our efforts on demanding medical freedom and real, scientific answers. We deserve them — not this ridiculous propaganda.
How do you feel about seeing this instead of real vaccine studies?
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