Anti-Vaxx Loses its Edge

It's getting harder and harder to hate vaccines in America. The trend will only continue as diseases like measles re-emerge because of some parents' paranoia. Much of the anti-vaccine sentiment of the last twenty years resulted directly from scientific fraud—and most anti-vaccine propaganda likewise employs scientific terminology to sound credible. But more people are waking up to the fact that vaccines simply do not cause autism or other mental 'disorders,' and public figures are altering their stances accordingly. Some Republicans are embracing the right to withhold vaccines from a child based solely on the principle of parental sovereignty. Meanwhile celebrity Bill Maher says he is really only against the flu vaccine despite arguing for the basic infallibility of an 'all-natural' lifestyle. Actress Mayim Bialik said on facebook "I am not anti-vaccine. my children are vaccinated" despite her reputation for anti-vaccine attitudes. Watch as public opinion continues to shift: anti-vaxxers make indefensible decisions based on implausible explanations, endangering their children and other community members in the process.


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Those people who put forward anti-vaccine views without foundation need to spend a little time in Africa where vaccines are not freely available to the public, but are rather a luxury to a few privileged individuals. It is easy to adopt an anti-vaccine approach when you have lived your whole life in a first world environment where from the youngest of ages, everyone has access to any form of medication. However this luxury is more than often not granted in the third world counties and a vaccine is often the first and last line of defence against dreadful illnesses, where other forms of medication are not freely available.

By Keagan Loader … (not verified) on 01 Apr 2015 #permalink

I am glad that people are coming to their senses and realising that vaccines are necessary and are not exactly harmful although I do not blame them for believing that they do not need them because of their desire to lead an "all- natural lifestyle". However, I think an all natural lifestyle is almost impossible in terms of vaccinations and medicinal science, seeing that a lot of the harmful diseases the human race suffers from are not exactly "all -natural" ,and therefore cannot be combatted through natural means and require the intervention of science through vaccinations.

By Lucian (u15191479) (not verified) on 01 Apr 2015 #permalink

Vaccines provide active immunity to diseases. Small children still have to build immunity and vaccines help the body to build immunity against various diseases at a early age. So vaccinations are highly recommendable.

By J van Zyl (not verified) on 01 Apr 2015 #permalink

After vaccines have been used in a country for a number of years the prevalence of that disease will decrease because no one is infected anymore. So then what is the point of vaccinating children for a disease that does not exist? It is just unnecessary medical expenses and trauma for the child. 04551291

By Stephanie Bend… (not verified) on 01 Apr 2015 #permalink

I think that vaccines are very important because babies and toddlers don't have a very strong immune system yet. It still needs to develop and by vaccinating them, they are exposed to very little of the diseases that give their immune system the ability develop and fight these diseases later on. However there are some vaccines that are unnecessary, I think that overall vaccines are of utter most importance in the world we live in today where there are so many things that can cause diseases, we should do everything we can to prevent diseases that we have the power to prevent. Prevention is after all better than a cure.

By R van der Walt… (not verified) on 02 Apr 2015 #permalink

Stephanie Bender, just because a vaccine has been used for a couple of years does not mean that the virus/sickness has been eradicated. It is like you say the prevalence decreases, but because of the world we live in today it is almost impossible to totally wipe out a disease. Things like the fact that any person with a passport can leave their country and freely travel to another makes it difficult to control diseases. Therefore, one can not say that the virus does not exist anymore :

"The trend will only continue as diseases like measles re-emerge because of some parents’ paranoia."

like the example given in the blog.

By AE McKinnon (not verified) on 04 Apr 2015 #permalink

Vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles, are still an ever present threat whether people like to believe it or not. I find it reassuring that people seem to be realising the importance of vaccinating their children. As R van der Walt previously stated, if children aren't vaccinated, they can spread disease to other children who are too young to be vaccinated. Another risk factor is the spread of the disease to people with deteriorated immune systems, such as transplant recipients and cancer patients. This could inevitably result in long-standing difficulties and even death for these susceptible people. Considering we have the ability to prevent these diseases before they even become a problem I believe we all have a responsibility to our fellow people to protect one another and each other’s children by vaccinating our own family members.

By Chané Badenhor… (not verified) on 05 Apr 2015 #permalink

Its no doubt that Vaccines act as catalysts towards the reduction of the spread of diseases such as measles ,influenza etc. I find it very essential for children to get vaccinated because they still have very weak immune systems which will need the protection which is provided by the vaccine ,Besides the South African government provides these vaccines for free for he less fortunate so highly recommend vaccination and i'm glad it is now accepted by most by parents .However ,we need to all take into consideration people that cant use vaccines due to religious reasons,hence i feel like there should be an alternative method and the fact that most parents don't just refrain from it but they do if because they are only concerned about their young ones .Nevertheless i say THUMBS UP TO VACCINATION for a healthy nation !!!!!!!!!

By Minenhle Ramok… (not verified) on 05 Apr 2015 #permalink

I do believe that parents have the sovereign right to decide if their child will be vaccinated or not but parents must also consider that in order for vaccines to be effective in preventing outbreaks a 96 to 99 percent vaccination rate must be achieved and maintained. If the vaccination rate were to drop below these levels or even below the levels of where they currently reside an outbreak, which would be almost inevitable, would be far more devastating. By not vaccinating your children you endanger their lives but more importantly you endanger the lives of your entire community.

By Liam Waddicor … (not verified) on 06 Apr 2015 #permalink

I was never vaccinated and I am thankful for it.

Both my parents agreed that a natural life is a life worth striving for. I have not suffered from diseases preventable by vaccinations and I am aware of individuals contracting vaccinated diseases even after vaccination. I am aware of the fact that vaccinations wear off and are not always full proof. However I am proud to say that whatever disease I may contract, I would rather have it cured, than prevented. Due to radical changes in the biological world, such a diseased prevented by vaccinations could have altered over the years, becoming more and more resistant to vaccination, eventually causing a possibility of vaccinations no longer being as effective.

Though it could mean that I could be a "test bunny" in curing a disease someday, I would much rather be part of such a process than only avoiding the problem of cure by preventative methods only.


By Mehan van Huys… (not verified) on 07 Apr 2015 #permalink

Vaccines are there to help people. I agree that a toddler needs them in order to built immunity against diseases and even adults, especially the elderly, need them too to prevent upper respiratory infections.The measles outbreak in South Africa during December caused many deaths of children. This outbreak could have been prevented by giving the children the necessary vaccines. Many children could't be vaccinated due to the shortage vaccines. Some diseases like meningitis can be prevented through vacations. (u15021875)

It is difficult for me to decide whether I am for or against vaccination, I was vaccinated as a child and has no problems resulting in it, but that can't be reason enough to believe that vaccinations aren't harmful. Blogs like this really help me to make an informed decision for my children someday.

By Christelle Coetzee (not verified) on 07 Apr 2015 #permalink

It is not scientifically proven that vaccines lead to mental illnesses. The fact that it has not been proven does not mean it will not eventually but at the same time there is nothing to suggest that it will. Majority of people have been vaccinated as children and this will most likely continue to happen. What is it that suggests this is a bad thing? For people that are anti-vaccines, what do you not trust about vaccines?

By Davison, K (not verified) on 07 Apr 2015 #permalink

Building immunity against the ever growing variety of diseases in the world is crucial. Yes many diseases may adapt to their environment over time preventing the vaccines from working at full potential.

I close friend of mine recently, after being vaccinated as a child, showed symptoms as measles re-emerged, at 19 years of age a disease like this can have many negative effects.

I, however, still agree that children must be vaccinated at a young age. Vaccinations were created for a reason, they provide a solid platform to build immunity against diseases, increasing the chance of survival in many countries.


By Marinette Pretorius (not verified) on 07 Apr 2015 #permalink

I have been vaccinated for numerous, and i think most preventable diseases. I think that if one has the sources to prevent harmful diseases it's better to make use of such resources. We travel around a lot, and a lot of the time we go to countries where sewage systems are outdated, or where water can easily be contaminated. I would much rather be vaccinated for diseases and be assured that my body is prepared for any disease that might be contracted, than have worries throughout the entire travel.

Having immunity against the new and old diseases circulating in the world is important, or at least, this is what i believe

By Carla Lecuona (not verified) on 08 Apr 2015 #permalink

It is important that we don't take for granted the great scientific work put into creating vaccines in order to save lives. If givin the resources to stop the spread of contagious and deadly diseases, why not use them? Anti-vaccination groups make little to no sense in this day and age where medicine has already altered many natural occuring diseases and therefore only medical prevention and help, can hinder the spread and the destruction caused by these diseases.

By Sandisiwe Mkhi… (not verified) on 10 Apr 2015 #permalink

It is important that we don’t take for granted the great scientific work put into creating vaccines in order to save lives. If given the resources to stop the spread of contagious and deadly diseases, why not use them? Anti-vaccination groups make little to no sense in this day and age where medicine has already altered many natural occuring diseases and therefore only medical prevention and help can hinder the spread and the destruction caused by these diseases.

By Sandisiwe Mkhi… (not verified) on 10 Apr 2015 #permalink

A child with a vaccine-preventable disease can be denied access to some child care facilities and schools.Therefore vaccinations are important as their immune systems are not the strongest,and vaccinations aid the child to withstand the diseases around him/her.To add on how the immune system of a child is not strong,the flu (influenza) vaccine is just as important as the other vaccines because flu could become fatal.I am not anti-vaccination. (u15089054)

By Monique Williams (not verified) on 16 Apr 2015 #permalink

I am not anti-vaccination, as old as it sounds, prevention is better than cure. Why would one put their lives at risk with something that has not been proven scientifically to cause metal problems? Our immune systems are not advancing but diseases are getting stronger. Our bodies need help, and vaccines can do that.

By Martha Ledwaba (not verified) on 16 Apr 2015 #permalink

I say before anybody rushes to make any big life changing decisions. Weigh your options. Life without vaccination puts one at risk but life with vaccination can lead to mental problems. Yes, yes it may not exactly been proven to be true but everything medical related has side-effects. Vaccinations should have one too.

I have nothing against vaccinations and I encourage people to vaccinate their kids, but do a bit a research before hand.