What concerns me in the vaccination the most?
You can’t disagree with an official pro-vaxx position or otherwise, you will be labeled crazy. No one will try to explain anything but they will try to force you to vaccinate. For some reason, most people will care about your choice if you are against.
I think the conversation about immunization is irrational and people don’t listen to each other. Also, it feels like there is a division in two groups:
- The smart: “smart, educated scientifically proven”
- The stupid: “stupid religious fanatics, homeopaths, lunatics”
I’m in a third group. I am a skeptic. I’m concerned.
My son has all the vaccines recommended by the CDC. I started to think about the risks and benefits of vaccination when he turned one. I just realized that I have no clue what the nurses inject and what does it protect against.
Step 1: I asked friends and family
I was very surprised in a bad way.
Friends with kids in New York, Tokyo, Munich — all gave me a look. Trusted friends. My brother said, “are you one of these crazy people?”
There was pretty much no conversation. But what struck me the most is that there is anger. I also felt like I asked something bad and inappropriate.
My takeaway is that people who vaccinate for some unknown reason hate people who don’t. And they also think they are right. No conversation is welcome.
Step 2: I read media outlets
They are against anti-vaxxers. Plain and simple.
NYT published articles on how to talk to anti-vaxxers, so did the other media outlets. Sometimes it’s the opinion column, often it’s the official position. I haven’t found anything critical about vaccination on any official sort of established legitimate media (like WSJ, NYT, Wash Post, etc).
Step 3: I tried to be in the shoes of conspiracy theorists
It was kind of easy.
- I learned that pharma firms have teams of people working against anti-vaxxers. It’s more of a marketing tool but it makes me believe that the fight is between Big Pharma and parents who try not to believe them.
2. Facebook plans to curb anti-vaccination content. I would ask: don’t these guys have anything else to do? Like a political advertisement, lost passwords, privacy violation. Is
3. There are numerous low key articles and posts about conflicts of interest and fraud in the vaccine business. For example, WSJ Merck is Accused of Stonewalling Over Effectiveness of Mumps Vaccine. I would question why it happens.
4. I tried to find information about the risks of vaccination. CDC put together a decent page with information. What it essentially says looks like a lawyer’s promise to me
Serious side effects after vaccination, such as severe allergic reaction, are very rare and doctors and clinic staff are trained to deal with them (REALLY?). Pay extra attention to your child for a few days after vaccination. If you see something that concerns you, call your child’s doctor.
It took me a while to find the VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Effects Reporting System). It’s well hidden and not on the main information page. Do you know why? It’s so freaking scary
I’ll cover my insights into the data sets later. To give you an idea, the data set for 2019 shows 84 deaths related to vaccines. The majority had DOB in 2018/2019. To tell you the truth, I was scared (I still am) to apply a filter in excel in the column “death” and filter for “Y”. It’s heartbreaking to see that 84 little people died this year only.
What I know and what I don’t
- it’s impossible to have a productive conversation. It’s easier for me to talk about abortion, guns, and Trump all together than about vaccination with people
- there is a lot I don’t know and I assume other people also don’t know. though I found only one person so far who was able to agree that it’s uncertain
- probably WHO, CDC, and other agencies are right that the side effects and serious issues are extremely rare. 84 deaths and probably hundreds of disabilities for every few million of people aren’t common
- pharma companies and doctors are absolutely interested to have no problems with that topic. It’s really a lot of money guys. My bills are in hundreds of dollars for each vaccine. Multiply it by millions of kids a year, no or minimal R&D costs (all this stuff is developed decades ago), high margin guaranteed business
- there is a public benefit of vaccination. People who can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons benefit. Government benefits. Business benefits (fewer sick people), doctors benefit (there is no treatment for most of the vaccine-preventable deceases), society benefits
- It’s a kind of game theory, where individual interests potentially suffer for a public benefit (that I believe exists)
- there is no discussion and not even willing to discuss the issues. Majority of media coverage is like “how to make stupid people vaccinate their children”