I’ve just learned that antivax ads are now running on the Times Square Jumbotron in NYC (ironically, I was just there, right at that intersection, but I was in a cab and missed seeing the ad). These ads are sponsored by Joe Mercola and the National Vaccine Information Center.
It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned these two fonts of rabid antivaccination nonsense. Mercola is an alt-medder who claims to only want to promote “natural health”, which must mean getting pertussis, polio, and measles, because he fights vaccines tooth and nail. He won’t let reality stop him, nor decorum and good taste. He’s another in a long line of alt-med bullies, hoping to shout so loudly they can drown out reality.
Vaccines have saved more people’s lives and produced better quality of life than virtually any other medical intervention. Yet so many people refuse to understand this and to make this social impact part of their decision-making process.
There is a small risk to individuals with vaccinations but huge social benefits, ones that protect all of us. Vaccinations not only help the large majority of people but also help protect the weakest among us – the very young and the very old.
Anti-vaxxers seem to have little regard here and seldom propose a course of action that will provide the huge individual benefit of vaccines with the tremendous social value they provide for those most susceptible to disease. They often suggest a course of action that has not been shown to be effective, for themselves or for society.
Vaccines save lives. Vaccines give people freedoms to live that would not be available without them. Anti-vaxxers need to demonstrate, convincingly and with facts, that another approach would provide better health and resistance to infectious disease.
I have yet to see that done.