I would like to give this letter lifted from Stop the AVN some more publicity. I don’t imagine the anti-vax loon who, until I adjusted my spam filter, used to post hundreds of abusive and anti-vax comments on this blog, will have the brains to comprehend it but you never know.
An open letter from a pro vaxxer to an antivaxxer. Please read and distribute widely. Originally penned by Megan Cran
You’ve asked on other threads whether or not us pro-vaxxers would be able to empathize and see things from your point of view.
I’ll ask the same of you.
Imagine that you’ve spent 6 + years of your life studying your ass off so that you can understand the mere basics of biology, chemistry, physiology, pathology, immunology, pharmacology, etc. Because you’d like to be a nurse or a physician. And these are the things you need to know to do your job.
Imagine that through your years of scientific training, frequently studying the available evidence, and relying on the educated opinions of those who are MORE educated than yourself on the matter that you have come to the conclusion that the majority of the biomed has come to: that vaccines are safe and effective.
Imagine that while in the course of doing your daily job, you see people who are immunocompromised or unvaccinated become incredibly ill or die of vaccine-preventable diseases and their resulting complications.
Imagine that you then learn that there is a group of people who INTENTIONALLY refuse to vaccinate their kids. Imagine your shock and dismay upon learning this. Imagine trying to engage these people, to find out why they refuse to use what is arguably the greatest innovation of modern medicine.
Imagine that when you engage these people, you hear some arguments that – initially – make you think about vaccination in a different light. They tell you vaccines are poison. They aren’t as effective as you are lead to believe. That the government and big pharma only push them for profits. That they aren’t actually tested for safety. That these vaccines are responsible for causing a myriad of devastating cognitive issues. They’re KILLING KIDS. And you begin to become concerned.
But, at the same time, these people are saying things that you – as a medical professional – know to be untrue. There’s people talking about injecting vaccines directly into the bloodstream when you know that they’re not given intravenous. There’s people saying that there are over 50 different vaccines – when you know that they simply give multiple doses of the same ones. There’s people saying bypass the immune system – when you know that they activate the adaptive immune system in order to confer immunity.
So, you think to yourself “if they’re wrong about these basic things, are they wrong about these other claims too?”
Imagine that you spend a great deal of your spare time looking into the original claims that first concerned you.
You learn that the “toxins” in vaccines are present in our daily environment in much larger quantities than any vaccine.
You learn that while the pertussis vaccine is waning is effectiveness (75% +), all other vaccines are extremely effective in preventing disease.
You learn that the cost to treat the disease is much much higher than it is to prevent it with a vaccine. And that if pharmaceutical companies really were keen to make as much money off of you as possible, they’d LET you get measles.
You learn that vaccines are thoroughly tested before release, each batch is tested and that their safety and effectiveness is constantly re-evaluated. You read about the switch from whole cell to acellular pertussis vaccine – which lowered the effectiveness but upped the safety.
You learn that a myriad of scientific studies from all over the world provide evidence of no correlation between vaccines and ASD. You learn how the changes to the DSM combined with increased awareness of ASD has contributed to an artificially higher rate of ASD. You read about the heritability of ASD and some of the commonly correlated environmental factors (such as maternal obesity and diabetes).
Imagine that you learn all these things. Imagine that not only can you read all these things, but that your medical training allows you to understand and evaluate claims in a way that laypeople cannot.
Imagine that you happily return to these people who had you so concerned. And you’re happy to explain to them how it’s okay, and they don’t have to be afraid of vaccines – and you can answer all of their concerns and questions.
Imagine that when you do answer them, they ignore you. Or they insist that you must be a shill for a pharmaceutical company. Or an idiot. Or a mindless automaton who is incapable of making up their own minds. Imagine that instead of these people being – as you had originally hoped – relieved and grateful that they didn’t have to worry about vaccines anymore, angry and irate that you would dare to contradict them.
Imagine you have to keep dealing with the same mistruths over and over and over. Imagine that you have to explain to people over and over that there is more formaldehyde in an apple than a vaccine. Imagine that you provide people with 20+ studies showing no correlation between ASD and vaccines – and they ignore them.
Imagine that these people start trying to find out where you work. Imagine they send you threatening emails and facebook messages. Imagine that they make up photoshopped pictures just to make fun of you. Imagine that they mass report comments you make to get you banned from facebook. Imagine.
Can you empathize with us? Can you understand why we’re sometimes quick to insult? Quick to react to insults? Can you understand why we may not always treat you with the respect you deserve?
From my point of view, you are intentionally endangering the lives of your loved ones. And my job is to take care of those loved ones