Anti-Vaxxers and the Lizard Brain

Dave Noon makes a very cogent observation about resistance to vaccination:

Advocates will have to explain why, if the risks are so minimal, the packaging inserts for commercially available vaccines all warn of horrifying potential complications (with no reference to their statistical unlikelihood); or they'll have to explain why the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System exists in the first place if vaccines are so uncontroversially "safe." There are, of course, strong and convincing responses to both of these detours among many others, but I can attest from personal experience at least that most vaccine delayers/refusers don't give a shit about the history of VAERS or about why product inserts are written the way they are. For some people, terms like "febrile seizures" trip all the circuit breakers simultaneously, after which point you might as well be offering advice to your cat.

Of course, aspirin has scary inserts too (although a lot of people end up getting hospitalized for aspirin overdoes). In my experience, the way around this is to point out the consequences of not getting vaccinated--and even then, that doesn't always work.

Humans are stupid.

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Advocates will have to explain why, if the risks are so minimal, the packaging inserts for commercially available vaccines all warn of horrifying potential complications

Why? Informed consent is an ethical and legal requirement.

In contrast, the anti-vaxxers recommend healthcare decisions without mention of the potential downside.

Disclaimer: I work for a drug company, but not one that makes vaccines.

By Anonymous (not verified) on 30 Jan 2011 #permalink

You are a moron.