Categories: Health

Cure the Anti-Vax Myth With Humor and Love

Autism, risk of active infection, sheeple blindly following Big Pharma, whatever the (mistaken) reason, millions of children around the world are not receiving critical immunizations because their parents are opting out. After over 14,000,000 children have been studied, medical professionals, schools, government officials, and religious leaders have embraced the science behind vaccinations. Yet, up to 25% of American parents believe that vaccinations may actually be bad for their children. How do you argue with someone unwilling to embrace the science? Stop trying to use an argument that is guaranteed to lose.

As the great Neil deGrasse Tyson put it, “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.” The sentiment wins points with me every time, but we’re going to assume that science without context isn’t enough. I’ve dug up the 4 meme-based arguments that were most compelling for me in my search for the truth. Let’s take a look at how to bring them to life and win over your misguided friend. For a sterner argument, check out GeekDad Matt’s article The Misunderstanding at the Heart of the Vaccine Debate.

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It’s safe to be immunized. It is unsafe to go without immunizations.
Original source unknown. Image found on I Stand for All of Us.

This one cuts to the meat of the issue. We won’t even entertain the thought that vaccines cause autism, because they just don’t. This little gem is meant to highlight the logical failings of avoiding vaccinations. The argument here isn’t about the bridge being safe or unsafe. The argument is the fact that crossing the bridge is safe, and that crossing the water is unsafe. That’s the core of the issue. It’s safe to be immunized. It is unsafe to go without immunizations. Break it down to its simplest terms for a smoother conversation.

Chemicals actually make the vaccine safer.
Image: Refutations to Anti-Vaccine Memes

“Toxic chemicals” is one argument that is difficult to argue with, for some. It just sounds so scary. Yes, formaldehyde is in your vaccines. It is there for a reason. Formaldehyde is used to kill the (very few) potential contaminants to the vaccine. Formaldehyde actually makes the vaccine safer, and the amount of formaldehyde in a vaccine is nearly nothing after most of it is removed as part of its packaging. Formaldehyde use is not dangerous, as the literally microscopic amounts involved are completely blown away by what our bodies actually need and use.

Come from a position of love, not judgement.
Image: Refutations to Anti-Vaccine Memes

The term “anti-vax” feels very troll-heavy, don’t you think? Yet, it could be worse. I beg you, don’t call your anti-vax friends “murderers” or “criminals,” okay? The goal isn’t to shame them; it’s to win them over. The sarcasm is strong in this comic, but the feelings are totally valid. Folks who don’t like vaccines feel side-lined by the science-backed majority. Make your friend feel heard, then give them a nudge in the right direction. Feel free to point out that lives are at stake, but come from a position of love, not judgement.

Let’s get back to driving medicine forward to save our kids from even more threats.
Image: Refutations to Anti-Vaccine Memes

The thousands of man-hours going into studies that have been done repeatedly is wasting everyone’s time and money. Instead of being able to drive science forward, the medical research community is still struggling to provide “adequate” evidence to convince parents that vaccines are safe. Is it worth it? You bet your butt it is. Every single parent convinced to vaccinate their children is a win for all children (and adults). But should we move on? Absolutely. Let’s get back to driving medicine forward to save our kids from even more threats.

In the end, this argument will not be won by force, logic, or science. The people who don’t vaccinate their children are misinformed, but they are also parents trying to take care of their children. I cannot say this enough: Win them over, don’t chase them away. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to keep your children safe. Appeal to that desire, and success is on the table again.

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Rory Bristol

Rory is a gender-queer stepparent to two awesome geeklings. He works as an editor for court transcripts and also writes for mental health awareness at Terminally Intelligent. He/Him/His

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  • You say 14,000,000 children studied showing no autism from vaccines? How do you argue with someone unwilling to embrace the science? Good questions. Let me answer. Answer my science. I have a study that studied about 1.4 billion children, about 1000 times as many. They did correlate more vaccines with higher rates of infant deaths, showing that vaccines in the USA kill about 1 in 250 births, or about 16,000 deaths. Here's the study:

    Next, you switch to "meme based arguments"? That's not science. It's not even logic. It's just pictures, cartoons. You were swayed and convinced by cartoons? Really? Maybe I should stop replying right now.

    Well, your first meme says not vaccinating is dangrous, and vaccines are safe. Ok, here's the opposite facts, from the government. The CDC says nobody in the USA has ever gotten polio since 1979. Here's their page where they say this exact quote: "The last cases of naturally occurring paralytic polio in the United States were in 1979"

    Next, how dangerous are the polio vaccines? Here is the exact page where you can look it up. It's VAERS: Last time I checked a few months ago, there were over 1600 death reports assocated with the polio vaccines. And the reports to VAERS, survey's show, are very low, as in only 1-5% of doctors ever report anything. So the real death numbers could be 20 to 100 times higher.
    Found 939 cases where Vaccine is OPV (live polio) and Patient Died
    Found 753 cases where Vaccine is IPV (inactivated polio) and Patient Died

    Next, you say, "We won’t even entertain the thought that vaccines cause autism, because they just don’t. " But you claim we are the closed minded ones? Here's a thought. Aluminum is a nerve toxin. It is associated with Alzheimer's disease, brain destruction in old people. Aluminum is in vaccines, more than ever since they replaced mercury with aluminum. It's known that aluminum causes destruction of brain tissue. But 30 vaccines, many containing aluminum, can't possibly cause the brain destruction known as autism? Are you sure? Becuase last time I checked, it's not only plausible, but backed up by over 100 scientific studies.

    Next, ah, formaldehyde. Yes, I'm sure this scares some worried moms. Guess what? I don't care, and I didn't mention formaldehyde, I mentioned aluminum. Are you sure it's my side of the debate that's the side that's not listening? Are you sure?

    As you may have guessed, I'm addressing your EXACT arguments, so you can feel that you have been heard. Do you feel it?

    I agree lives are at stake. I sincerely believe 16,000 infant deaths per year are from vaccines. I sincerely believe 60,000 autistic kids per year are from vaccines.

    You seem to bemoan the thousands of man hours wasted on studies. Given the risks, I think more than thousands of man hours are warranted. How about you spend at least 2 hours on your next article? Maybe 10?

    Let me help.

    Doctors don't know and are not taught anything about vaccines. They admit this:

    Here are three links to vaccine ingredients lists and warnings; those "package inserts" doctors have never read and don't give patients to read.

    Here is a link to the government's own vaccine injury table:

    You call me "misinformed". I can't call you that. You show no evidence that you are informed in the slightest degree. You are completely uninformed, totally ignorant of what we believe, why we believe it, and you openly state your willful refusal to investigate the facts. That's not even calling yourself ignorant. You say you are willfully ignorant. I'll quote you again:

    "We won’t even entertain the thought that vaccines cause autism, because they just don’t."

    I beg you to actually inform yourself. I beg you. Lives are at stake.

  • Ah, Rory the Geekdad..."who are you, who are so wise in the ways of science?"

    All vaccines are 100% safe, in all cases, for all patients, in all doses, with all the myriad toxic chemicals and metal salts, all the time?

    Injected into babies?
    How many other blends are always safe to inject directly into the bloodstream of toddlers...with treated diseases, dead embryo tissues, toxic metal compunds, organic molecules, and other assorted by-products of biochemical processing and enzymes known to cause various tissue inflammation and reactions such as adjuvant hyper-stimulation of the immune system?

    And keeping with the spirit of your use of humor to enlighten and reach the heart of the matter, I'd like to end this summary with an appropriate cultural meme-like quote that matches the validity of the anti-anti-vaxx perspective:

    "This new learning amazes me, Sir Rory. Explain again how sheep''s bladders may be employed to prevent earthquakes?"

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Tags: humor

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