Talking about vaccines in 2017 is kind of like talking about the earth being flat these days. While all scientific and empirical evidence points towards vaccines being good for us, there's a fringe group out there that believes that everyone is lying to us for some nefarious purpose and that vaccines exist only to make us less healthy and drain money from us for the sole benefit of 'Big Pharma'. This is actually a relatively new thing because it wasn't always this way. Vaccines were seen as huge technological and medical advancements, which they are because there weren't children dying of horrible, communicable diseases anymore. Now that a lot of really terrible diseases like polio and smallpox have been eliminated, some people have forgotten what those days before vaccines were really like.
There's a huge community of anti-vaxxers on the Internet, and no social media platform brings these people together better than Facebook. We found some of the craziest posts made by anti-vaxxers and we can promise that you will be blown away by what these people have to say. There are many reasons why people choose not to vaccinate their children, but considering that most, if not all, of those reasons have been debunked by science and basic logic, it holds that all of their reasons are dumb.
Here are 15 really dumb things anti-vaxxers have said and why those things are incorrect.
15 Not Vaccinating Makes Your Kids More Alert
Uh, what does this even mean? The idea that you can pick out the unvaccinated kids from a group just from the "alertness of their eyes" is straight up laughable. I don't care how these people justify this, by the way. Vaccines don't make kids dead behind the eyes, they make kids more alive behind the eyes. Vaccines do what they're designed to do: protect people against diseases that have long since stopped being a major problem, primarily because the vaccine exists. If anything, I want to question this anonymous person and find out how dead they are behind their eyes for believing any of this. More than that, hundreds of people liked this post, making me weep for humanity.
14 Tonsillitis? Break Out The Tumeric!
Okay, so there's nothing wrong with going with a holistic approach if you feel like that's warranted. I'm an adult and I swear by manuka honey for everything from getting rid of acne to curing a sore throat within a couple of days. It's expensive but worth it for its many applications, but I'm not about to skip strep throat medication because I think some expensive honey's going to fix the problem. When a doctor prescribes me penicillin for tonsillitis, I'm going to take it because I value my health more than I value my weird cures. Clearly, not everyone thinks this way, because instead of giving their kids the antibiotics they were prescribed to get rid of what is presumably a serious infection, they'd rather mess around with colloidal silver. Sure, that can work, but the penicillin will also work! This isn't really about vaccines, but most anti-vaxxers are all about these holistic cures because they'd rather do those things than mess with vaccines or any sort of proven method of treatment.
13 The More People Complain, The More Vaccines Will Go Away
This kind of thing is patently false, sorry to say. Sure, these people managed to kill a vaccine awareness program by annoying the managers of the stores to the point of having to pull the program, but vaccines aren't just going to go away because you complain loud enough. Complaining doesn't make the proven benefits of vaccination go away. Complaining also doesn't make dangerous infectious diseases avoid your unvaccinated children because you hope real hard. If anything, these people are actually making it so real information can't get out into the world, which means potentially more unvaccinated kids. That can make a lot of problems for those who can't vaccinate for whatever reason, because less vaccinated people means herd immunity no longer works.
12 Vaccines Ruin A Baby's Perfectness
This makes literally no sense whatsoever. This mother was vaccinating the way she was supposed to until her baby was three months old, then she decided to stop because... her kid is too perfect to vaccinate? Well... okay. Sure, your kid is too perfect for vaccines, but is your child too perfect for whooping cough, a disease that makes babies cough so hard that their ribs can break? What about diphtheria or measles? What about chicken pox, which can pack a punch if you get it when you're older? Is your child so perfect that those diseases can't touch them? Babies are awesome, but they're not perfect, and they certainly can't fight diseases with their adorable little faces.
11 Meningitis Is Better Than Autism
This one bothers me more than most, to be honest. One in 68 people will be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, and I'm personally one of them. I find it pretty terrible that there are people out there that would rather their children die of meningitis, which is a pretty terrible way to go, than have an autism spectrum disorder. Dealing with autism isn't the easiest thing in the world, but people with autism go on to do great things despite, and even because of, their autism. To make matters worse, the woman in the comments had her child actually get meningitis, and even then she decided that she'd rather have her child go through that than have autism. To add insult to injury, vaccines don't cause autism and never have, so people who don't vaccinate for this reason are doing it for nothing.
10 Vaccines Are Made Of Chemtrails
For those of you who are lucky enough to not be exposed to the chemtrail conspiracy theory, this is the idea that chemtrails (the lines that come out of planes after the planes pass by) are filled with biological agents that are sprayed, or otherwise given to, an unsuspecting public for an unknown purpose. Sometimes it's about mind control, while other times it's just because making people unhealthy serves 'Big Pharma'. Many anti-vaxxers believe that these chemtrails are also in vaccines, which is why they're pushed so much. Sure, chemtrails can be a thing, but we know what's in vaccines, and unfortunately for these conspiracy theorists, there really isn't any proof of this.
9 Not Vaccinating Makes Kids Talk Sooner
Yes, your super cute, precocious child is talking at fourteen months in full sentences. That's great! Your child is ahead of the curve in a big way. Unfortunately for you, I can tell you right now that your child's early speech has nothing to do with vaccines. This is anecdotal evidence at its most misleading. Keep in mind, just because your adorable little germ sponge is talking early, doesn't mean that every unvaccinated kid is going to. If anything, there are lots of vaccinated kids who are talking and walking early, too. If anything, I question this mom's healthiness and intelligence, because vaccines have about as much to do with intelligence as colloidal silver, which is none.
8 Pay For A Flu Shot You Didn't Get! That'll Teach Big Pharma!
I actually don't understand why someone would pay for a flu shot they don't plan to get. I mean, I think I can see an argument for paying for the shot so you can have the receipt to show to people who you need to fool into believing that you got a flu shot. But you can just as easily not pay for a flu shot and say that you got one, only that you lost the receipt. It wouldn't be that hard. It's certainly easier than potentially going to different locations in order to make this con work. As a person who just got over the flu, I can tell you that getting the vaccine, if you can, is a good thing. You can get the vaccine and potentially eliminate the risk of getting the flu strain of the year, or you can be like me: forget to get the shot and be knocked out for a week and a half. If anything, paying for the shot and then not getting it is really dumb because 'Big Pharma' still gets your money!
7 Vaccinating Is Child Abuse
This kind of thing scares me, to be honest. As much as I don't agree with anti-vaxxers, I would never say that they're abusing their children with their choice. I would say that the choice is dumb, but not that it's inherently abusive. However, there are people out there who are all about judging others for their parenting choices. That's not just insulting, it's dead wrong. On top of that, these are former nurses, who know about vaccines from their time in nursing school, who chose to basically throw out all that knowledge to embrace an ideology they found on the internet. They're also judging parents for not researching a topic that has been discussed to death, primarily by the doctors who invented these vaccines and eliminated diseases that were a huge problem for both kids and adults.
6 Doctors Are Getting Killed Over Anti-Vaxx Science
I actually fact-checked this one a lot because it was such a huge claim to say that doctors are getting killed over anti-vaccine science. I thought I'd be down a rabbit hole for at least a couple of hours, but I ended up finding out that this claim has been debunked time and time again after only a few minutes of reading. The story was thoroughly debunked on Snopes, and there's a lot of proof that the story was deeply exaggerated to fit into the anti-vaxx agenda. The story claimed that 61 doctors died because of this, but neglects to mention that at least one of the doctors in the author's data was repeated twice, and that all but five of the 61 cases had nothing to do with alternative medical practices at all, and even the five remaining aren't directly connected. Yet people still believe this.
5 The World Will Change When All Vaccinated People Are Dead
Well, tell us how you really feel, anonymous anti-vaxxer! I will admit that I enjoy debate, and I also like talking to people who consider themselves anti-vaxxers or conspiracy theorists because I like to know what makes people think in certain ways. Maybe I can learn from them even if they don't change my mind. I'm sure others are that way, as well. Sometimes it's the only thing that gets you through awkward family dinners with a family full of conspiracy theorists. However, reading posts like these have basically convinced me that for some people, the free exchange of ideas and a person's freedom to make their own choices isn't important to them. All that matters is their version of the truth, even if their version of the truth is based on all sorts of half-truths and outright fabrications. It's honestly, genuinely depressing.
4 Facebook Is Censoring Anti-Vaxxers
Okay, first let's debunk the idea that the HPV vaccine is harmful in any way. While any medical procedure comes with some risks, the huge claims that the HPV vaccine is outright harmful is speculation at best, meaning that you don't have to worry about the vaccine making you sick. It might not be as essential of a vaccine as, say, the polio vaccine, but it's definitely something worth having! Now that we've covered that, we can talk about Facebook censoring anti-vaxxers. I think we can say that anti-vaxxers are all over Facebook just from this sample of posts we've found, so no, their opinions aren't being censored. If anything, Facebook is now synonymous with "fake news" because of the sheer wealth of half-truths and conspiracy theories you can find there.
3 Vaccines Cause Eye Issues And You Can Detox A Vaccine Away
First, let's talk about vaccines and your eyes. This is actually something that has some basis in science. Some evidence has been put out there that shows that vaccines can be connected to optic neuritis, which is when your optic nerve gets inflamed. This can lead to eye pain and even temporary vision loss. It's normally associated with multiple sclerosis, but vaccines can cause it in extremely rare cases. The operative word there is "rare". Even if it was common, vaccines certainly don't cause lazy eyes like this poster is saying. Even if they did, you can't detox from a vaccine, no matter how many blogs and alternative health websites tell you that you can. Even if you can detox from a vaccine, you're not going to be able to do it the way they tell you (lavender oil and Epsom salt, for example, will not get rid of your vaccine).
The reason why detoxing isn't really a thing is for this simple reason: your liver detoxes your body for you! If you have toxins building up in your body, it's not because you need a juice cleanse, it's because you have a liver issue, which means you have much bigger problems than a vaccine.
2 Vaccines Cause "Anything Negative, Anything"
Okay, this is just an irresponsible thing to say to anyone. Sure, vaccines can cause some side effects, like a fever, muscle aches, or irritation where you got injected, but not everything bad is caused by a vaccine! Vaccines aren't the worst things to give your kids. If anything, the worst thing your kid can come into contact with is a deadly, contagious disease. Full disclosure: I have a few members of my family who are either anti-vaxxers or sympathize with them. I had a family member straight up tell me that they didn't want to give their children weakened forms of deadly diseases. As scary as it can be to give your kid something that could potentially harm them, it should be scarier to leave your kids exposed to deadly diseases because you think you know more about medicine than the doctors telling you to vaccinate.
1 Messing With Herd Immunity Is Funny
When you choose not to vaccinate like anti-vaxxers, you're not just making a decision for your children, you're making one for the kids around them as well. A community that vaccinates creates a phenomenon called "herd immunity", which is what protects kids who can't get vaccinated for actual health reasons or babies who are too young to get vaccinated. When people don't vaccinate, they endanger the community's herd immunity, which allows for diseases that wouldn't spread thanks to vaccines to go around from kid to kid, or even adult to kid, like wildfire. That's why parents don't want to risk having unvaccinated kids around their own, especially if their children can't be vaccinated for whatever reason. However, this mom and other moms think it's funny to mess with the health of other kids because they don't seem to realize that their decisions can affect others. Sure, no harm might be done, but it doesn't take much to have a sudden measles outbreak in your neighborhood.