A Comprehensive Review of Vaccines – Part 1 of 12
What is With All These Vaccine Skeptics?
Most people have a difficult time understanding why any parent would choose not to vaccinate their children. After all, we have been assured by our doctors that clinical trials show that vaccines are safe and effective and that we need to vaccinate to protect everyone. So what’s the reason for these people to refuse vaccination for their children?
Unfortunately, the further we objectively researched the whole body of evidence surrounding vaccines, the more difficult we found it to come to the conclusion that vaccines are safe and effective. The truth is, there isn’t just one reason for vaccine skeptics to forgo vaccination. There are many.
Parents, (and people in general), are discouraged from researching vaccines and are told to blindly trust the experts. In fact, there is a running vaccine skeptic meme that goes something like this: “Parents did some google searches on vaccines and now they think they know more than scientists or doctors.” Yes, it’s true, researching vaccines probably won’t get you any closer to an epidemiology degree, however, there are more than a few highly credible scientists and doctors with conflicting information about vaccines, and most people will be very surprised to find out what is being put forth as scientific studies these days. It became clearer to us after completing our own extensive research why researching vaccines is discouraged like it is.
One of our primary goals with this article is to shed light on the fact that there is an enormous amount of credible information that directly contradicts the official story presented to the public about the safety and efficacy of vaccines. This is information which you won’t hear from traditional media sources and is not currently part of the national vaccine debate. In fact, there is so much information that this article needed to be written in a 12 part series to properly present just a fraction of the information available. Most people already know the official version of this story which is what’s broadcast the loudest and most often to the masses. We want to present the other side of the story that vaccine skeptics see when researching the topic, to give some perspective on what makes up their belief system. No meaningful debate can occur in the absence of the whole spectrum of information.
It is not our intention to offend vaccine proponents and our hope is that the information presented here might help bridge a growing divide between the two sides of the debate. Our health officials and the news media are using fear and completely exaggerating the risks of disease in the U.S. as well as the risks un-vaccinated children pose, which is pitting neighbor against neighbor and parent against parent, using the classic divide and conquer strategy. Vaccine skeptics are experiencing a lot of pressure to conform through bullying, name calling, shunning, and discrimination. Because of this acrimony, some hard lines have been drawn. Unfortunately, this has the effect of shutting down any meaningful dialogue between the two sides, obscuring the facts and preventing progress. This strategy serves to keep the truth of the matter more elusive than ever.
This article is actually written for vaccine proponents and we are asking for a cease fire for one moment so we can present some of the evidence that skeptics see when evaluating the decision to vaccinate. At the very least, we would like to give vaccine proponents a better understanding of the reasons behind the decision of so many not to vaccinate. Vaccine skeptics know why vaccine proponents believe in their position – because most skeptics started as vaccine proponents. But we don’t think proponents really know why skeptics feel the way they do. Rather than summarily dismissing vaccine skeptics, it is far more productive to understand why they feel the way they do because they do have valid concerns.
We would venture to say that over 90% of the general public is not aware of all the information presented in this twelve part series. With any luck, vaccine proponents will see the information which skeptics have seen, and realize that there is a enough conflicting data to make any parent think twice about vaccinations. In the final analysis, maybe we can agree that skepticism can be a healthy perspective and those who choose not to vaccinate are not the lunatic fringe we’ve been led to believe.
We also hope that after reviewing all the information presented in this article, vaccine proponents might feel more compassion toward skeptics. Many skeptics were pro-vaccine until an adverse event or death of one of their children caused them to change their stance. Imagine how heartbreaking and frustrating it is to have a perfectly healthy child one day and then, hours or days after they’re vaccinated, watching them develop a debilitating condition or even die. Imagine then having your doctor tell you it was just a coincidence. Then, to add insult to injury, you may be ostracized by your friends, media, and community when you decide against vaccines for your other children. As a parent of a vaccine injured child, you saw the cause and effect with your own two eyes but no one validates your experience. This is why we urge compassion when dealing with these parents — their worlds have been turned upside down. We also hope to open a productive dialogue between the two sides and find out the truth behind this complex issue together, because this is something that affects all of our children.