Yesterday I posted this message to Facebook along with a link to a New York Times article:

I believe in science. I believe that vaccines save lives.



So why did I insert myself into this?  It started with hearing an NPR report about the measles research in the article above.  I then heard a story regarding bullying on Facebook.  It was about a woman who added a pro-vaccination post and was threatened, as in death threats.  She received a detailed description of how she should kill herself.  No one should be treated like that when they speak the truth.  So I decided I needed to act.  And yeah, exposing ignorance is part of it.  So is blocking stupidity from my news feed.  And if I’m threatened?  That works too.  I’m happy to fight back.

What has happened since then?  Mostly support, some ignorance, two people blocked.  I’ve added a couple more comments:

I don’t just believe science, I believe in observation. My mother is 81. She was in elementary school before vaccines for things like polio were available. If you have a parent, a grand-parent around that age, ask them what it was like. Ask them how many children they went to school with died of diseases that we don’t see anymore. I started elementary school in the 1960’s. We had one kid die. One. And that was because he was hit by a car. None died from disease. None. My mom can’t say the same. She lived through the polio horror in the late 1940’s. Diseases kill. Vaccines save. It’s not just science. Ask. The stories are out there.

A long time friend added his experience:

My mother had polio and survived. Later in life had a blood clot in her leg which was apparently associated with polio. I am older than David Valade and remember my first vaccinations for smallpox, polio, and tetanus/ whooping cough. I suffered through both types of measles, mumps, chicken pox. My son was vaccinated against all of these. I’m very thankful that medicine has given mankind a means to prevent these and indeed, in some cases wipe them out.

In reply to one comment I added (to someone who is now blocked):

No on has said there are no risks. The CDC doesn’t hide them. Follow the science. The risks are small compared to the benefits, the lives saved. Want to deal with real risks? Somewhere around 30,000 or more die each year in automobile accidents. That’s way higher by many magnitudes than those even injured by adverse vaccine reactions. So we should ban cars? Read the numbers, the statistics on gun deaths. Guns are far more likely to kill, to maim our children than are vaccines. #factsmatter.

Like my friend who vaccinated his son, my daughter is fully vaccinated.  It mattered to me and to her mom.  She minuscule risk of an adverse reaction from the HPV vaccine pales in comparison to her risk of cervical cancer should she not have received it.  With the MMR vaccine we protected not only her against rubella (German Measles), but also a potential future grandchild from dying before birth or being born with birth defects.

So why would I put myself in the middle of this?  Easy answer: because I can.  And close friends might say: because he doesn’t know how not to.

#resist #factsmatter #supportscience

Leave a Reply