I’ll occasionally catch The Daily Show on comedy central for a few good laughs. I watched this past monday show and they had a segment on vaccines and science denial. They were of course, in classic comedy prose, setting up the skit to make it look like right wing nutjobs are the science deniers like they tend to be on high propaganda issues like global warming. However, they were trying to say that left leaning, white, educated suburbanites are the primary science deniers in the case of vaccine effectiveness. For a show that does such a smart job of portraying the absurdity in a lot of subjects, this was a horrible false equivalency for many reasons.
Most, and in my experience, pretty much all of the left leaning anti-vaccine parents don’t deny the science behind vaccines. What they rail against is the safety of the toxins that exist in vaccines today. There’s still much debate about how these toxins such as aluminum and thermisol metabolize in the body. But even major government and private bodies can’t deny that they have some adverse effects. The American Pediatrics association has admitted this and has stated that it can interfere with a variety of cellular and metabolic processes in the nervous system and in other tissues. Put that together with the fact that Virus adverse reporting system has over 350k reported adverse reactions a year. These are reported cases, and not everyone is running out to report their adverse reactions like my best friend had with his child after a vaccine.
Just about all of the right wing leaning anti-“vacciners” tend to deny the science behind vaccine and the effectiveness. They usually tend to be christian and home school their children and deny a whole slew of science based data on a range of topics.
Now that’s not to say that there aren’t fringe groups on both sides, and that there aren’t left leaning science deniers and right wing science advocates. I have two children I did not vaccinate, and that’s a main reason this segment struck a chord. I know it’s a comedy show, but Stewart does do a good job of staying with facts. It seems like they were trying to force a square hole into a round peg on this one.
I never try and tell anyone what to do with their children’s lives. Those are very personal and difficult decisions for any parent. I chose not to vaccinate at an early age, but was open to possibly vaccinating them at a later age. I could not justify a lot of the viruses they wanted to vaccinate for like rotavirus for example, where it has <20 deaths annually in the U.S. This versus the .0009% chance my child has an adverse reaction or death. It just didn’t make logical sense to me when a lot of these diseases can still be treated once contracted, but you can’t reverse neurological damage or death.
If we had some major outbreak or issue going on, I’m sure my stance would change. However, as it stands right now, we WAY over vaccinate and you cannot deny the link between big pharma, the bio vaccine industry and hospitals/doctors. Remember, it was only about 40 years ago that these same doctors and hospitals were telling young mothers based on their “science and research” that baby formula was better for their babies than breast milk. We know now that’s incredibly untrue and that corporate profits and big money were behind all of this propaganda. Only 30 years ago children under the age of 2 received 12 vaccines, now they are recommended to have 49 shots. That’s just insane. What do you think?