This will come as a shock to you; it did for me. As a physician, not everyone followed my advice. In fact, some people sought second opinions choosing other paths and other physicians! Why would that be?!
The anti-vaccine group Children's Health Defense is mis-using preliminary research to fuel doubt about the efficacy of COVID-19 shots. Let's break down one of its latest attempts to distort the facts.
As the COVID-19 vaccines roll out, the anti-vaxxers have been increasingly more militant in their misinformation campaigns, actively and effectively dissuading vaccine uptake. The question becomes what can we do about this activity which harms us all?
A dangerous five-step program converts "vaccine-hesitant" people into full-blown anti-vaxxers.
A substantial proportion of frontline healthcare workers are refusing to accept the COVID vaccine. This poses an unacceptable risk to public health. They should take the jab or lose their job.
People with lower levels of antibodies against mumps -- the second "M" in the MMR vaccine -- are likelier to have a severe case of COVID.
America is now facing its second lockdown. Other countries are verging on a third. Repeated efforts at COVID-19 containment seem elusive. No respite seems in sight – other than hope of a vaccine. Along with concerted efforts in this direction, the vexing incidence of escalating vaccine resistance is raising its ugly head – yet again, stoked by a growlingly effective anti-vax movement and false prophets of vaccine doom. This trend seems to have hit the Black community particularly hard.
A very disturbing paper published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases proposes that vaccines can have unexpected side effects. Some are good, such as protecting against unrelated diseases, while some are bad, such as increasing all-cause mortality. This is highly useful and potentially life-saving information that must not be hijacked by anti-vaxxers.
American culture, specifically our disdainful attitude toward expertise and leadership, is not conducive to making improvements to public health policy. Don't expect many changes in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Being anti-science and anti-technology is a luxury for when times are good. In times of crisis, people beg for help from scientists, doctors, and pharmaceutical companies.
Children's Health Defense says governments and corporations are using the coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) to advance a "global immunization agenda." The anti-vaccine group claims that our leaders just needed the right pandemic as a pretext to goad us into getting vaccines. This is a clever story. It's also false.
Many public health officials have called for mandatory vaccines to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. The motivation for this policy is understandable, but forcing parents to immunize their kids emboldens the anti-vaccine movement. By incentivizing people to vaccinate and holding them legally accountable when they don't, we can preserve individual autonomy, maintain herd immunity and undermine the anti-vaccine movement.