Thursday, March 2, 2017

Are Anti-vaccers Anti-logic?

Are Anti-vaccers Anti-fact?

The creation of the vaccine is among one of the most important tools mankind has ever produced. Diseases that once plagued civilizations such as the bubonic plague, polio, smallpox, yellow fever, measles, and even the seasonal influenza, have been brought under control in most parts of the world with access to modern medicine. It has been taken for granted that these diseases are no longer a threat to our everyday health and only through the complete vaccination of the population will this fact continue to be true. While vaccinations are widely undisputed, there is a small portion of people called “anti-vaccers” who are part of the anti-vaccination movement, which speaks for itself. The foundation of this movement’s ideology is founded upon fake, invalidated, science “fact”.

After doing a bit of research, it seems as though anti-vaccers cling to a statistic that the CDC releases every year called the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, VAERS for short. The system allows almost anyone -- from a doctor to a nurse to a pharmacist to a patient or parent -- to enter in any information about illnesses or medical issues that follow someone receiving a vaccine. The information is collected so that officials can spot possible trends or side effects related to specific vaccines. The CDC releases a disclaimer alongside the report, saying that “When evaluating data from VAERS, it is important to note that for any reported event, no cause-and-effect relationship has been established. Reports of all possible associations between vaccines and adverse events (possible side effects) are filed in VAERS. Therefore, VAERS collects data on any adverse event following vaccination, be it coincidental or truly caused by a vaccine. The report of an adverse event to VAERS is not documentation that a vaccine caused the event.” The CDC is literally saying that there is no scientific proof that any vaccine causes any of the medical conditions reported.
Anti-vaccers choose to disregard what the CDC’s claims to be science fact and continue to spread their beliefs to others who agree with them. They appeal to those who may have lost a child due to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) shortly following vaccinations. Although SIDS is truly devastating, and no parent should have to go through an ordeal like that, there is simply no evidence linking it to vaccinations. The CDC references a few studies done that have been published in scientific journals that support their claim. In fact, there was a study conducted by the National Institute of Health that measles outbreaks occurred among individuals who were intentionally unvaccinated. If anything, remaining unvaccinated leaves you more at risk to other dangerous diseases that have a greater chance of affecting your well-being. The fact of the matter is, without vaccinations, there is no way of knowing how many innocent lives would have been taken by a deadly disease once thought to be unpreventable.
Posted by Ross Cavalieri (Group A - Week 4)


  1. I really enjoyed this article because not getting vaccines is something that many people believe in. I never understood their logic aside from claims like "the flu vaccine gives you the flu so why should i take it or have my child take it?" Maybe the CDC should be the ones to make those reports and not allow people to write their own reviews since some will be biased or not related to the vaccine at all.
    Posted by Ana Carolina Nepomuceno

    1. This is spot on. It seems as though recently more and more people are becoming "experts on everything", which makes no sense to me. If someone who has years of experience in their field and has built up a lot of credibility claims something to be true, it is logical to believe them. Of course they can potentially be wrong, so usually there will be other professionals in their field who will validate or invalidate their findings. But for someone with zero knowledge and background of the subject to come in and declare it false is ridiculous.

      Posted by Ross Cavalieri (4)

  2. There is definitely a huge problem with anti-vaccers. Their confusion with VAERS increases the risk of their own children to become sick and spread the disease to other people. I have also heard that people believe that vaccines can cause autism. There is no scientific basis behind this, but some have suggested that the age a child can be diagnosed on the autism spectrum is also the same age range in which they get their first vaccinations.

    Posted by Sierra Tyrol

  3. I read once that the main proponent of anti-vaccination backed off his claims and said that they were wrong. There isn't any real, scientific basis or evidence to support the idea that vaccination is in any way linked to things such as autism or otherwise, yet people without good scientific backgrounds are probably more likely to fall for something if it sounds scientific, even if it's all wrong. The problem with citing sources like VAERS is that this data is not in any way or form scientific and cannot be used to arrive at conclusions. People are still using it to support their agendas and beliefs, which is disheartening.

    Posted by Peter Makhoul (3)

  4. The topic of vaccines, especially now a days, is so controversial and very interesting. Everyone has their reasons for what they believe. However, the logic behind not vaccinating a child is often from parents who are looking for an answer to the rise in autism or things of the like when in all reality, they are looking in the wrong place. On the note of Autism, I wonder if part of the rise in children diagnosed has something to do with the growing spectrum and "lax" list of signs of Autism. What do you think?

    It is sad that people decide to disregard the CDC's disclaimer because the VAERS is a very great way to make use of technology and gain information. Sometimes people do have tragic side effects to vaccines or a drug they are being treated with. However, often times it can be due to something else. VAERS can help scientists collect data and regulate trends. But, it does not determine that any one trend is necessarily related to any one substance. People are too easy to irresponsibly place blame when they are confused and uneducated in the subject.

    Posted by Anna Potorski

  5. To be honest, I have heard of people being against vaccines for various reasons but I never fully understood their argument. After reading this post, I am definitely going to do more research on the topic so I can be more informed, but I can definitely see why there are people making cases against vaccines. I feel like these people are misinformed and taking bits and pieces of information and distorting it. It sounds like they are taking information from a site that anyone can post on and directly correlating the signs and symptoms people report to the vaccines even if there is no proof that the vaccines actually caused them.

    Posted by: Katie Kossack (Group B)

  6. I think it is very unfortunate that people chose not to vaccinate their children based off of false claims. It puts many lives at risk when it is not necessary. There should be more information that is easy accessible to parents so they understand that there really is no increased risk of vaccinating their children. I think situations like this show just how important educating the public is.
    Posted by Hannah Jordan (2)

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