In this NY Times article on parents who are opting out of vaccinations, one mom notes her objections:
“I refuse to sacrifice my children for the greater good,” said Sybil Carlson, whose 6-year-old son goes to school with several of the children hit by the measles outbreak [in San Diego]. The boy is immunized against some diseases but not measles, Ms. Carlson said, while his 3-year-old brother has had just one shot, protecting him against meningitis.
“When I began to read about vaccines and how they work,” she said, “I saw medical studies, not given to use by the mainstream media, connecting them with neurological disorders, asthma and immunology.” (emphasis mine)
She saw medical studies, “not given to use by the mainstream media” (huh?) connecting vaccines with “immunology”?! Do you think she even understands what she said? Did the reporter (who seems to write more about politics than science)?
There are some people out there who do an excellent job of educating themselves on some rather complex scientific issues. However, there are also people who can string a lot of fancy, medical-sounding words together and impress their friends, but who really lack anything but very basic superficial understanding of the science. Being frightened of vaccines because they “connect to immunology” is like the Penn and Teller getting people worked up over “dihydro
xygen monoxide”–it sounds scary to those who don’t understand what it means. How many more of these web-educated anti-vaxers are spreading the word about the dangerous immunology that a vaccinating parent might expose their child to?