My Sincere Apology Letter To Anti-Vaxxers
As a person who is adamantly “pro-vaccine,” I have to apologize to you. I have been an absolute monster on social media and various web forums. I have called you names, ridiculed your beliefs, and have automatically unfollowed you online, so I no longer have to see your anti-vaxxer posts in my Facebook newsfeed. This course of action is simply not productive.
When you wrote online about how you refuse to vaccinate your children because of the mercury in vaccines, I called you dumb. What I should have done is point out that the only vaccine that contains mercury (a component of the preservative thermisol) is the flu vaccine. The mercury found in the flu vaccine is miniscule and has not been shown to cause any harm to anyone. Are you still skeptical? You can ask for a flu shot that does not contain thermisol in it.
When you posted an article to Facebook that claims that vaccines cause autism, I blocked your posts from my newsfeed. I should have pointed out that the infamous study that linked autism to vaccinations has been refuted, over-and-over again, to the point of absurdity. While we are on the topic of autism, I should mention that the increased diagnosis of autism does not necessarily mean that more children (adults too for that matter) are developing autism. The increase is at the very least partly due to how autism is reported.
Regarding that time you posted that photo shopped image of Bill Gates murdering children with vaccines, I am sorry for calling you an insane person who should be institutionalized.
What I should have done is post this photo of a real child who is actually suffering from polio.
Along with these quick facts:
- Cases of people infected with polio have decreased 99% since 1988. This is due to a huge global effort to eradicate the disease.
- There is no cure for polio.
- It can only be treated through prevention.
- There is no way to prevent polio other than the polio vaccine.
- Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are the only three countries left where the disease is considered a major problem.
- The strategy for eradicating polio has been almost the same that was used to eradicate small pox. Which has been considered globally eradicated since 1980.
I must apologize for the time I disregarded you as a conspiracy nut job for claiming that vaccinations are part of a plot to control the world’s population. You turned out to be right – sort of.
When you give healthcare access to women, they tend to have fewer children – which is actually awesome for women and society. Being able to receive vaccinations is an important part of a quality healthcare system. When women have access to a quality healthcare system and have family planning options something remarkable happens. They tend to be more educated (cannot go to school if you are sick), they tend to make more money (cannot get a good job without an education), and they tend to have fewer children (Who has the time when you are going to college or running a business?). So sure, vaccines, along with access to clean water and food, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, and sanitation measures do help to stabilize population growth. No forced sterilization required.
Lastly, I saw you post that image macro that said:
Instead of scrolling past it, I should have given you the answer. Some kids cannot get vaccinated for various reasons. Some kids don’t develop the permanent immune response that the majority of people do when vaccinated. It is rare these days (in post-industrial nations), but sometimes there isn’t enough doses of a vaccine to immunize an entire population. What keeps people safe who cannot get vaccinations is this thing called herd immunity. It basically means that if enough of a population is vaccinated, then the people who aren’t vaccinated won’t get the disease. If concentrations of populations don’t get immunized, then those who can’t get vaccinated will get sick. So will kids whose parents decided not to vaccinate them.
As a self-proclaimed new-media-fact-warrior, my goal in life is to make the world a better place by spreading useful knowledge far and wide across the internet. I hope you do accept my apology for not doing my job. I will try to correct my behavior in the future. I will try to not be quick to anger, I will not call you names, and I will present the facts. Even if you deny them, I will know that I have done my job.