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The real truth about vaccinations
I want you to imagine a medical product which can save and has saved many millions of lives, the majority of them children. Imagine that the procedure is safe (not 100%, absolutely safe, of course, because nothing is that) and has been used literally billions of times with only a small number of bad reactions. It is cheap and can be administered by people with almost no training. It is not very profitable for the pharmaceutical industry because research is expensive but the buyers are mainly governments and charities who are very cost conscious.
Now I want you to imagine that there is a highly organised opposition to this procedure. The opponents are prepared to lie without remorse about non-existent dangers of the procedure (and we know they are lying because the truth has been pointed out to them many times). They lie about the manufacturing process and they even lie about the ingredients in order to suggest that parents who allow their children to undergo the procedure are sentencing those children to eternity in Hell. Researchers associated with the procedure are vilified and even receive credible death threats. It is even claimed that people undergoing the procedure might be marking themselves out for extermination in a plan for global genocide.
And what is this terrible procedure which is so awful that its opponents have to discard all truth, science and apparently even sometimes sanity to defeat it?
I have often been accused of being offensive when I call some of the opponents of vaccination "anti-vaccination liars". Well, what else can I call people who lie about vaccines?
There is no anti-freeze in vaccines. There are no parts of aborted foetuses in vaccines and the Vatican has not advised Catholics not to vaccinate their children because of this. There is no pork in vaccines, so Muslims and Jews can safely protect their children. There are no microchips in vaccines that can be used to track your location and schedule you for extermination. Vaccines are not being used by the WHO and Save The Children to spread AIDS in Africa as part of a plan of deliberate genocide. (You might think that these last two, the microchips and the genocide, are things I just made up. They are not, and I have been told both by people who are highly respected in the anti-vaccination community.) Vaccines do not cause autism, SIDS or Shaken Baby Syndrome. Vaccines do not kill children.
If you leave out the insane ones, such as those who are claiming that there is no such thing as swine flu and it is just a scare tactic to encourage people to accept injections of microchips in preparation for a cull of 95% of the world's population, and the ones who deny the safety and efficacy of vaccines for commercial reasons, such as the purveyors of snake oil and quackery, it is hard to determine the motivation of most of the anti-vaccination campaigners. I used to think it was a hatred of children, but the almost rabid opposition to the recently developed vaccine against human papilloma virus suggests that they hate adult women as well. Cervical cancer is the fourth largest cause of female death from cancer in the world (and the leading cause in developing countries), but those 250,000 dead women each year are dismissed as insignificant.
Look at your children. Look at the kids in your local schools. Then think about the latest figures from WHO that indicate about 2.5 million children under five are dying each year from vaccine-preventable diseases, or about 7,000 each day. Then tell me that I should be polite to the liars.
A version of this article was published on the Yahoo! 7 News Blog on October 13, 2009
A wonderfully unhinged response to this article can be seen here.
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