This morning, I subjected myself to a bleeding hemorrhoid of a blog post, and because I am a cruel woman, I am going to subject you to it, too. If you haven't been vaccinated against raging stupidity, you might want to wear a surgical mask to protect yourself from the toxic fumes being emitted here.
If you get your medical information from the CDC and your pediatrician, a guy named Levi Quackenboss wants you to know that you are drinking the Big Pharma Kool-Aid. And you should be drinking his weird, conspiracy-flavored Kool-Aid instead! Really, who wouldn't want to take medical advice from a guy whose About Me page looks like this?
His anti-vax blog featured a guest post yesterday written in response to a pro-vax open letter. And while the open letter that started it was its own flavor of ridiculous (pro-tip: do not threaten to tackle someone else's kid on the sidewalk to inject them with an MMR vaccine, and do not invent a cancer diagnosis for your children for the sake for 'creative license'), the anti-vaxxer response kicked the level of inanity up to 11. Is your protective gear in place? Then let's dive in.
First of all he tries to turn the original author's statement that public vaccination protects kids with cancer on its head, by claiming that chemotherapy patients can get the measles from people who have just gotten an MMR vaccine. Okay, first of all, no; second of all, what? And third of all, GOD. NO. Just no.
It's true that the MMR vaccine contains a live, albeit weakened version of the three viruses it protects against - it's just not true that people who get an MMR vaccine are contagious. (See also: the 'weakened' part of 'weakened version'.) Co-opting cancer patients, who are actually in real danger from the teeming unvaxxed hordes, to prop up your sagging anti-vax agenda is the most offensive thing I've read today, which is really saying something.
The guest poster also dismisses out of hand the multitudes of studies that prove the safety and efficacy of vaccines (but somehow puts full trust in the crappily-done, long-since-retracted study that suggested there's a link between vaccination and autism). Here's a safety study you may have heard of: it's called 'the past fifty years'. You know, the several decades where five thousand people a year stopped dying of the measles? During that time period, vaccine injuries were a thing - but not as common a thing as they appear to be in the fantasy world where this author is living. One thing I can think of more common than an MMR vaccine injury? Dying of the measles before the vaccine was introduced.
The author actually refers to pro-vaccination sentiments as having 'undertones of intolerance, discrimination, and bigotry'. Yes, bigotry. Because being criticized for making a harmful personal choice that could kill your child, or someone else's, is exactly like racism, homophobia, and sexism! But my favorite thing in this post, by which I mean my least favorite thing, is the author's dismissal of this disease as "just a bullshit rash". He also selectively copy-pasted one sentence of a description of measles from a CDC website:
Measles is an illness characterized by a generalized rash lasting ≥3 days, a temperature of ≥101°F [≥38.3°C], and cough, coryza, and/or conjunctivitis.
The part he left out from that very same site? The first sentence, which happens to say this:
Measles is a highly contagious, acute viral illness that can lead to serious complications and death.
Funny; I wonder why he left that section out?
Anti-vaxxers have been able to coast by thanks to overall high vaccination rates, but as more and more people buy into this garbage, cancer patients, the immunocompromised, and babies too young to be immunized won't be the only ones at risk for long. Anti-vaxxers' kids are in danger, too: danger their own parents are subjecting them to while fighting off imaginary monsters of their own. The only 'bullshit rash' I see in these parts? That would be the rash of uninformed people taking a huge gamble with their kids' lives.
(Image: Kim Reinick/Shutterstock)