Anti-vaxxers, the real welfare queens

Anti vax welfare queen

Oops, my bad!

Until recently I would have told you that welfare queens were a figment of the right wing (and often racist) imagination, but I’ve learned that they are real. They’re not women of color on welfare, though, they are white, relatively well off anti-vaxxers.

What is a welfare queen?

According to this piece on National Public Radio (NPR):

In the popular imagination, the stereotype of the “welfare queen” is thoroughly raced — she’s an indolent black woman, living off the largesse of taxpayers.

In other words, a welfare queen is an entitled person who expects the benefits of working (money) without the burdens (doing the actual work).

As NPR notes:

The term is seen by many as a dogwhistle, a way to play on racial anxieties without summoning them directly.

Hence the reference to welfare queens far exceeds the actual number of people who meet the definition.

The REAL welfare queens in our society are almost exclusively white and relatively well off; they are the anti-vaxxers.

Why are they welfare queens?

They are entitled people who expect the benefits of vaccination (herd immunity) without the burdens (vaccinating their own children). Simply put, they don’t bother to vaccinate; they just depend on everyone else to protect them.

But how can those who don’t vaccinate expect to get the benefits? And why are there any burdens to those parents who do vaccinate their children?

Both questions are answered by understanding how vaccines work. Contrary to popular belief, vaccine do NOT work by conferring 100% immunity on 100% of people who are vaccinated. They work by reducing the ability of the bacteria or virus in question to spread from person to person. Imagine that little Ainsley comes in close contact with 10 children per day. Now imagine that Ainsley develops diphtheria. Who is likely to catch diphtheria from Ainsley? If 99% of children are vaccinated and the vaccine is 95% effective, the odds are low that any of the 10 children she comes in contract with could get diphtheria. Thus, the outbreak of diphtheria ends with Ainsley (though it may end poor Ainsley’s life).

Now imagine that only 50% of children are vaccinated against diphtheria. That means that half the children are likely to be susceptible, and therefore diphtheria is almost certain to be transmitted. And since the children who catch diphtheria from Ainsley are going to expose additional children who aren’t vaccinated, the disease begins to spread like wild fire.

In other words, in 2015 if Ainsley’s mother doesn’t vaccinate her against diphtheria and she never gets diphtheria, it’s NOT because she was breastfed, eats organic food and has a strong immune system. It’s because herd immunity ensures that she’s never exposed to diphtheria.

Why are there burdens for those who do vaccinate their children? Because vaccines have risks. Doctors, scientists and public health officials have always been honest about these risks and they are quite dire. They include the risk of permanent brain damage and even the risk of death. That’s why the idea that doctors or Big Pharma are hiding the risk of vaccine caused autism is so absurd. They tell you that vaccines could KILL your child; why would they lie about autism?

The risk of brain damage and death from vaccines is tiny, but it is real and it DOES happen. We continue vaccinating our children because the risk of not vaccinating them dwarfs the risks of vaccinating them by 1000X or more.

Vaccinating your children is like going to work. Sure it has benefits (money), but it also has burdens (risks to your children). Anti-vaxxers are entitled free-riders. They enjoy the benefits of herd immunity, but leave the burdens to everyone else.

If that’s not a welfare queen, I don’t know what is.

189 Responses to “Anti-vaxxers, the real welfare queens”

  1. May 17, 2016 at 1:34 pm #

    Thank you for this!

  2. JJ
    January 29, 2015 at 7:11 pm #

    More fun from Dr. Jay Gordon!:

    “I have no evidence based medicine, there’s no research saying that,”
    said Gordon. “I have anecdotal data that has told me that. “

    • JJ
      January 29, 2015 at 7:36 pm #

      “Right now we don’t have that many cases of measles, and we should speak
      a little more quietly, we’re actually panicking people.”

      Whisper about the outbreak please.

      • Samantha06
        January 29, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

        “Right now we don’t have that many cases of measles”

        Ah but in Arizona 1000 people or so have been exposed, all the Superbowl folks are on their way…

        • sdsures
          January 29, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

          Oh, no.

          • Samantha06
            January 29, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

            Yes, and 200 of that 1000 are children… thanks anti-vaxxers!!

          • JJ
            January 30, 2015 at 11:16 am #


            Doctors are firing patients over not vaccinating. I want this at our pediatricians office because we have a high rate of exemptions here and I don’t want newborns exposed to measles and pertussis so they can have a well-baby check.

          • Samantha06
            January 30, 2015 at 12:06 pm #


          • Samantha06
            January 30, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

            I saw a pediatrician interviewed on the news tonight and he is firing patients left and right who have not vaccinated their kids. He was very adamant and basically said, tough luck, antivaxxers! Either get your kids vaccinated or go somewhere else! He said it’s working because all those parents are all of a sudden calling in and making appointments to vaccinate their kids! I hope other doctors follow suit..

          • HipsLikeCinderella
            February 3, 2015 at 7:13 am #

            Amen to that! I wish more pediatricians would adopt his policy. It is absurd to me that I have to be wary of taking my child to the doctor of all places. Just because some dingbats believed that someone like jenny macarthy has more knowledge than a doctor of medicine.

          • Samantha06
            February 3, 2015 at 10:37 am #

            I know, it’s amazing how people fall for the woo! You know, I wonder if parents are screening peds offices too, calling them and asking their policy re non-vaxxed kids, then only choosing peds who don’t accept non-vaxxed kids. Maybe pediatricians would sit up and take notice, then change their policies too. It’s a hard call for them though, but I think it will take something like that, or at least isolating the non-vaxxed in the office to change things.

      • mythsayer
        January 30, 2015 at 1:37 pm #

        OMG… we have a TON of cases out here! Statistically we don’t of course… but over 85 people! 85!! I’m in crunchy cali of course! And you know why it started at Disneyland? Because Orange County has a stupidly low vaccine rate. Why is that you ask? Well… although there are “poor” areas of OC, look at the demographics in South Orange County (San Clemente, Dana Point, Newport Beach, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Juan Capistrano, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, etc.) and you will find those areas have the lowest vaccine rates of any other cities in OC. They have destroyed herd immunity in OC.

        My dad came into the house one day a couple weeks ago (we don’t live in OC anymore so I’m not really worried) and was screaming about my daughter needing a vaccine. My mom and I told him she’s fine… she was vaccinated years ago. But only once. She is turning 5 in May and she’ll get the booster shot then (maybe I should push it up… hmmmm).

        I just said “look… she’s vaccinated… if it fails and she catches it, then she catches it. I can’t do much more than hope the vaccine took.” And he freaked out (both my parents had measles so they don’t want her to get it). He kept saying “No! If she catches it, it’s a tragedy! It’s horrible! How can you say that?” I just told him that I have to assume the vaccine worked because otherwise I’d drive myself crazy. We all know they aren’t completely effective so when herd immunity is gone, you just have to really have faith in that vaccine and hope it took with your kid. What else can you do?

        But now that I think about it, I think I will take her down and get her 5 year vaccines a little early.

        • KarenJJ
          January 30, 2015 at 6:24 pm #

          My boy will be getting his MMR booster a little early (it’s given at 4yo here). We’re nowhere near the Disneyland outbreak, but our suburb has had it’s own little measles cases scare this past month and my eldest is on immunosuppressant medication. We live in an area of high immunity so it looks like measles hasn’t spread here but with school starting soon I really just want the added reassurance.

        • Box of Salt
          January 30, 2015 at 7:19 pm #

          The second dose of the MMR is recommended between 4 and 6 years old:

          No need to wait until age 5.
          My kids in So Cal both got it at age 4.

          If I were you, I wouldn’t wait, especially if you’re in California. The official confirmed count is now 91, with 58 linked to Disneyland, and across 10 counties across the whole state.

        • Young CC Prof
          January 30, 2015 at 10:41 pm #

          Yeah, my son’s pediatrician usually does MMR at 15 months, but I just called and bumped it to next week. Hasn’t hit here yet, but I’m TIRED of checking the news to see when it does.

          Yes, I said when. I have no faith in humanity.

    • yugaya
      January 30, 2015 at 9:35 am #

      Lovely example how ‘evidence-based’ and ‘research saying that’ phrases keep being shoveled as an excuse for everything except when it’s an actual doctor with an actual license at stake speaking on the record. He made sure to disclaim any scientific basis for the nonsense that he is selling and kept it vague enough to prevent being caught lying in public.

  3. attitude devant
    January 29, 2015 at 6:36 pm #

    I just had to fill out a screening questionnaire for a mother who wants to become a milk donor for the milk bank that our NICU uses They want to know dates of her HIV, syphilis, rubella IgG and HepBSAg tests. That got me to wondering, what percentage of peer-to-peer milk donors (who as we know do not get the same screening) are vaccine refusers? My (educated) guess would be a lot. So they have little kids that they don’t vaccinate…..the donors aren’t getting boosters on things like pertussis, or annual flu shots, and their kids aren’t vaxxed….. Shouldn’t that scare the shit out of the recipients?

    Or maybe I’m just living in some fantasy world where people actually think before they accept a bodily fluid from a stranger.

    • Bugsy
      January 29, 2015 at 6:40 pm #

      I think you’re absolutely correct. My little boy developed a nut sensitivity at 2 months, and I had no problem gifting the milk I had previously stored to another mom in my moms’ group, no questions asked. It amazes me how relaxed some moms are about it – and I think the anti-vaxxers are probably some of the biggest proponents of donated breast milk.

      (Using donated milk for my own child is something that doesn’t appeal to me…)

      • KeeperOfTheBooks
        January 29, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

        Me tooooooo on your last point. I wouldn’t be squicked out by a close friend who I knew well nursing my baby for some reason (this was brought to mind by a blog post I read some time ago in which the writer forgot to bring her pump to a conference of some sort and was in agony until she “borrowed” a friend’s baby), but expressed milk from someone I don’t know and who isn’t screened? *twitches violently*
        (Obviously, this is different from donated milk if I had a preemie and the same supply problems I had with DD: donated milk in a hospital setting is screened appropriately.)

    • sdsures
      January 29, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

      There’s some nut in Bristol, DH tells me, who tried to sell her breast milk as ice cream. It was vetoed by the council.

    • Elaine
      January 29, 2015 at 11:53 pm #

      I think there is kind of this “we’re all just folks” attitude about it. Another crunchy mom isn’t a stranger, she’s just a friend you haven’t met yet. You already have something in common because you both are crunchy moms and you believe in the power of breast milk.

      I can’t talk really because I have informally donated milk to the babies of 3 different moms ranging from a close friend to a total stranger. In the case where I donated milk to someone I had never met before, I felt slightly bad for being part of the informal milk-sharing scene, but reasoned that my recusing myself wasn’t going to make any impact on this total stranger who had already decided to feed her child with donated milk and was going to do it regardless of whether I gave her mine. And the alternatives were either dumping it out or lugging it home on a plane and I didn’t want to do either of those things.

    • Sia
      August 22, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

      They think the only way bodily fluids are transmitted are through sex and dirty needles so….

  4. January 29, 2015 at 3:56 pm #

    Anti-vaxxers are the epitome of social irresponsibility…on a par with those who think that there’s no obligation to pay a reasonable amount of tax to support public goods and services. If it’s a social problem (public health) it requires a social solution (vaccination) – every man for himself generally leads to situations where the outcome is far less desireable than what could be had if every man would together under certain circumstances.

  5. noodlestein's danger tits
    January 29, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

    Marry me.

  6. Bugsy
    January 29, 2015 at 1:22 pm #

    Completely off-topic, but might be interesting to some of you: “A Letter to my Friends About Why I Can’t Attend a No-Child Event.” Fits in well with the discussions on hyper-involved parenting and attachment parenting I’ve seen here – some of the comments on the post are excellent.

    • Alenushka
      January 29, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

      Stupid . Letters like these are the reason why some child free are afraid to invite parents over.

    • Cobalt
      January 29, 2015 at 1:36 pm #

      “Back in the day, having children was just something adults did; it was not some momentous achievement that consumed all of the parents’ lives and attention.”


    • rational adult
      January 29, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

      I read that and rolled my eyes. Kids are a great excuse for not attending events you didn’t want to go to anyway. But if you do want to go, find a way. No one likes a mommy martyr. I am invited to a wedding in July and already have a tentative childcare plan for my toddler and likely 4 week old because hell yeah I want to go to a wedding! Adults and adult conversation and champagne please!

      Oh and, if you keep reading at the end the author talks about how yeah, they can’t be bothered to go to your wedding, but they’ll be there for your ultrasounds and new baby and whatnot. So in other words, call me when you decide to spawn, childless friend.

      • Bugsy
        January 29, 2015 at 4:07 pm #

        “So in other words, call me when you decide to spawn, childless friend.”

        Yep. So that I can then give you advice on the _proper_ way to parent…because I assume that you will naturally want to receive all of your parenting advice from someone as wise and self-taught as myself.

  7. attitude devant
    January 29, 2015 at 1:16 pm #

    What do you think of this analogy; just tossing it out there: Not vaxxing your kid, thereby using herd immunity to protect your kid from a terrible disease while other parents accept the (statistically small) risks of vaccinating, is the epidemiological equivalent of dressing your child in darling little outfits made by children in sweatshops in the Third World.

    • Cobalt
      January 29, 2015 at 1:28 pm #

      A lot of parallels, but overall too many variables on the scenarios that lead to sweatshop exploitation of children and the invisibility of the exploited. Also, vaccines no where near as risky as child labor.

    • Young CC Prof
      January 29, 2015 at 1:39 pm #

      In a world where some clothing is made by child sweatshop labor and some is made by properly paid adults in safe factories, AND the consumer can reliably figure out which is which, your analogy works.

      • Liz Leyden
        January 29, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

        It helps if the customer can *afford* both, instead of having to choose between a $5 sweatshop-made shirt and a $60 non-sweatshop shirt. What if the $5 shirt and the $60 shirt are both made by children in sweatshops?

      • Dr Kitty
        January 29, 2015 at 5:50 pm #

        And if you don’t have to have a side of Skeevy with your guaranted sweat shop free clothing (American Apparel, I’m looking at you, hard).

    • fiftyfifty1
      January 29, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

      Oh I’m sure the darling little outfits my own child wears are probably sewn by Fair Trade sweatship children, not common sweatshop children.

    • Cobalt
      January 29, 2015 at 2:18 pm #

      It’s more like punching a hole in the wall the rest of us build. The wall we hide the babies and the truly unvaxable behind.

    • Therese
      January 29, 2015 at 3:41 pm #

      Seems like for most people that just minimizes not vaccinating since buying outfits made in sweatshops is probably something that has been done by 99% of the population or so at one time or another. They’ll hear, “Oh, not vaccinating is like shopping for clothes at Wal-Mart? I do that every week, so….” Also, I don’t think it works because in this analogy vaccinating would be the equivalent of what, having your children sew their own clothes instead of having other children do it for them? Because it seems like what you’re trying to get at is children should take some of the risk for making their own clothes and rather than parents expecting other people’s children to take all the risk.

      • attitude devant
        January 29, 2015 at 3:43 pm #

        A lot of the anti-vaxx people I know are hipsters who are all about Fair Trade, social justice, etc, and would be appalled at this analogy. They are that self-righteous. That’s why I posted it.

  8. Eskimo
    January 29, 2015 at 9:21 am #

    Hilarious take down of a mommy blogger trying her hand at being an epidemiologist.

    • Cobalt
      January 29, 2015 at 2:24 pm #

      I have to share the following comment from that thread…

      Concussed Duckling
      01/28/15 22:44
      This cracked me up, because just last night I was reading a sci-fi short story for which the premise was that that a mother goes to the pediatrician and tells her she has decided against vaccinating her son. A device beeps, and the doctor tells her that she has lost her privilege to science.

      In the course of their discussion/argument, as he’s telling her all the things she’ll have to forgo now because no science (cars, refrigeration, computers, etc) she challenges him to explain something or another. He says, “Oh, that’s easy. Magic.” Her eyes widen and she breathes, “Really?! Magic is really REAL??”

      The doctor replies, “Of course not. But I’m not allowed to explain to you how it really works because you’re not allowed any more science.”

      I kind of wish we had such a device…

      • Bugsy
        January 29, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

        Your comment reminds me of the story below regarding a Waldorf school; I came across it when researching Montessori programs for my son:

        “Another time a sixth grader asked me how the copy machine in the office worked. Before I could even open my mouth, a teacher ran over to the child, and told him that there was a gnome asleep in the box and that when you pushed the button, a light went on, woke him up, and then he quickly copied the paper placed in front of him and pushed the copy out of the little hole. After the child left, I was told that we couldn’t ‘poison’ the child’s mind with ‘stone cold facts’.”

        • Cobalt
          January 29, 2015 at 5:04 pm #

          Wow. Just wow.

        • Dr Kitty
          January 29, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

          My mother used to do school health visits.
          She had only terrible things to say about the Steiner School she went to.
          I mean TERRIBLE things.
          It was rare if the kids didn’t kick or punch her, and I think the only school she was less impressed with was the one that didn’t notice that one of their twelve year olds was pregnant until mum pointed it out.

          • Cobalt
            January 29, 2015 at 8:18 pm #

            Again: Wow. Just wow.

        • yugaya
          January 29, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

          Psychos. There is a huge difference between allowing children to form and express their opinions freely and indoctrinating them to fit within a prescribed mold. It makes no difference if you are claiming your mold is somehow freer or better, it!s still breaking the spirits while they are young and vulnerable.

          Fucking psychos.

          • KarenJJ
            January 29, 2015 at 6:52 pm #

            How does learning about how a machine works “poison” a child’s mind? My kids and I (much younger than 6th grade) love working out this stuff.

        • JJ
          January 29, 2015 at 7:16 pm #

          The truth about the mechanics of copy machines destroy childrens’ innocence daily.

        • Life Tip
          January 30, 2015 at 12:54 am #

          The gnome inside the copy machine at my office today must have been drunk as shit. Damn thing wouldn’t do anything I asked it to all day.

          • sdsures
            January 30, 2015 at 5:53 pm #

            Did he need some coffee, perhaps?

        • sdsures
          January 30, 2015 at 5:53 pm #

          Dear lord… I want off this planet.

      • sdsures
        January 30, 2015 at 5:49 pm #

        I wish we had idiot detectors.

    • Roadstergal
      January 29, 2015 at 5:08 pm #

      I am in love with the commenters.

      • Samantha06
        January 29, 2015 at 5:51 pm #

        Me too! One of my favorites– Chairman Meow (love that name):

  9. Elaine
    January 29, 2015 at 8:42 am #

    I can’t wait until my son’s 1 year checkup when he can get the MMR. It is next week. I guess I probably shouldn’t take him to the play spaces frequented by the crazy granola hippies until then.

  10. Ellen Mary
    January 28, 2015 at 10:41 pm #

    I still say that being statistically rare is a cold comfort to those who sustain actual damage and/or death. As is any small compensation one would be able to extract from the VICP. I’m taking my one year old for an MMR as soon as I possibly can, but if it were my child that was the rare victim, I wouldn’t be able to stop telling my story to anyone who would listen & there would be no end to my sorrow. I pray that someday we won’t have to make a choice like this.

    • Who?
      January 29, 2015 at 4:02 am #

      The risk of damage from vaccination is statistically smaller than the rist of being damaged or dying from the illnesses prevented. The difference is in one case, you’ve taken a smaller risk, but it is scary because you actively choose to take it.

      If the child gets a serious vaccine preventable disease and is tragically left damaged or dead, you could convince yourself it is bad luck, ie not your fault.

      I’d always consciously choose the smaller risk.

      • Ellen Mary
        January 29, 2015 at 7:37 am #

        That is the smarter, more ethical choice, in the end. But I disagree that no one will try to silence you if you have a Vax adverse effect. First objectively, there are gag orders in settlements. Second, cognitive dissonance is hard. Maybe thought leaders in ProVax can handle it & certainly they do concede adverse effects as a inevitable part of the deal, but the rank & file either believe that adverse events are made up OR that a child who experiences one was genetically defective & it was thereby really his fault on some level . . .

        • KarenJJ
          January 29, 2015 at 7:45 am #

          Who are the “thought leaders in ProVax”?

          The immunologists that research this? The vaccine specialists? The immunologist that asked me about my reactions to vaccinations (to his surprise I hadn’t noticed any), the vaccine specialist at the Children’s Hsopital that researched adverse reactions to one of the Flu Vaccines that my daughter’s specialists sought a second opinion on for her receiving the MMR?

          Honestly, what do you think scientists and doctors do to justify calling them “thought leaders” as though this is a political discussion?

          • Ellen Mary
            January 29, 2015 at 8:47 am #

            I didn’t realize that ‘thought leader’ would be perceived as an insult. I meant those who write and speak on this issue to the public . . .

          • lawyer jane
            January 29, 2015 at 10:03 am #

            It’s because by saying “thought leader” you’re implying that vaccination is something new and edgy that needs “though leaders” outside of the mainstream. When the fact is that vaccination is anything but – it doesn’t have “thought leaders”; it has a universal scientific consensus that nobody (outside of quacks and internet message boards) challenges.

          • yugaya
            January 29, 2015 at 11:29 am #

            “those who write and speak on this issue to the public”

            Yes on one side there is global scientific census, and on the other there is fringe beliefs supported by a handful of nutjobs who unfortunately occasionally even have credentials .

            The MD who is the ‘thought leader’ of the anti-vaccination “movement” in my region posted a reply on facebook to someone who was asking about causes of ALS. The woman is a practicing doctor with a valid license, and her reply is this:

            “Dear X, I researched that disease, and I think that it is caused by a parasite that lives in the brain and digs tunnels through the body. I did not find confirmation for this on the internet but I was in close contact with a person who has it and I followed the symptoms. This parasite needs the body to be acidic to grow, so the therapy would be to eat only raw food, then drink juices for three weeks, look at the Sun and follow everything else from my instructions”

            (Medical Doctor promoting Raw Vegan Food + Sunshine + Bearfoot Walking)

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

            Wow, I don’t think I could even make up anything that stupid.

          • yugaya
            January 29, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

            She is napalm-grade ignorant.

            “When my mother in law got flue vaccine she fell ill soon after that and died a year and a half later. I started researching this and soon came to my amazing discoveries”.

            Her version of the answer to all questions is that: “There is only one disease, therefore, only one treatment.”


          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 2:04 pm #

            I’m just trying to figure out how she “researched the disease”, concluded it was caused by an ear-wig or whatever, “but couldn’t find confirmation on the internet.”

            I’m really interested in what she did for “research”?

          • yugaya
            January 29, 2015 at 2:27 pm #

            Most probably she googled hard in English as non-native language and mistook certain ALS symptoms being described as worm-like for actual … you know, worms:


          • Cobalt
            January 29, 2015 at 2:40 pm #

            There exists an idea, any idea, for which there isn’t confirmation on the internet? Is that the sound of Google freezing over?

          • attitude devant
            January 29, 2015 at 3:45 pm #

            LOL! We need to come up with a handle for that! Like Rule 34, only, you know, not!

          • Cobalt
            January 29, 2015 at 4:35 pm #

            Gene Weingarten came up with the “googlenope”, which is a phrase that doesn’t produce a single hit when entered between quotes in Google. That’s closer, but not quite there.

          • Cobalt
            January 29, 2015 at 8:23 pm #

            Googlecorn (rhymes with unicorn): theory which Google is unable to prove. Believed not to exist.

          • Ellen Mary
            January 29, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

            I’m implying nothing of the sort. You actually made that up. I am sure you could have found something else to critique in my writing besides deciding that now saying someone is a ‘thought leader’ is an insult and implies that they are novel or edgy.

        • Sullivan ThePoop
          January 29, 2015 at 7:50 am #

          My daughter had a moderate and rare reaction to her first gardasil. The doctor reported it right away and told me how important it is to track reactions like hers. Now, I didn’t need any compensation because it wasn’t anything permanent, but no one tried to cover it up or say it didn’t come from the vaccine.

        • yugaya
          January 29, 2015 at 8:07 am #

          “the rank & file either believe that adverse events are made up”

          No I don’T believe that adverse reactions to vaccines are made up, just like I do not believe that humongously greater benefits of vaccines are made up. I don’t believe that cases of justice system going wrong are made up, just like I don’t believe that we would be in order to prevent them better off without any laws. I don’t believe that cases where CPS has erred on the wrong side are made up, which still makes me trust that in an overwhelming majority of the cases their actions were warranted.

          Of course, I like to believe what is proven and documented, and will lend my support to any victim of the mistakes that are inherent to any system that is in place for the greater good of us all – no human design is ever perfect.

          I think you should read the testimonials of the Holocaust survivors , there are so many around on the web right now because of the 70th anniversary of liberation of Auschwitz to maybe think about why is it that despite suffering as individuals they still have the ability to trust the greater good in human civilisation.

          I believe that the greater good of our social norm systems (vaccination included) is indeed crucial for our prosperity and growth and all of our futures. If you are still asking yourself but what about me, in my opinion, you are asking yourself the wrong questions.

          • Ellen Mary
            January 29, 2015 at 8:49 am #

            IDK where you get ‘but what about me?’ from this but whatever. Does bringing up the Holocaust here count as Godwin’s law? Because I see the comparison, but barely.

          • yugaya
            January 29, 2015 at 11:09 am #

            “if it were my child that was the rare victim, I wouldn’t be able to stop telling my story to anyone who would listen”.

            Not about Godwin interneting, more about this exact moment in time and telling your story but still being able to see the need to do right on a level bigger than just yourself. Vaccinating for me is the same as raising your kids to know right from wrong, and praying that life never throws their way a situation where being selfish and wrong means that you live or not suffer on the individual level.

          • moto_librarian
            January 29, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

            I have a friend whose family has a history of vaccine reactions (seizures). When it came time to vaccinate her child, they did indeed space out the vaccines so that if a reaction did occur, her doctor would know which vaccine was the cause. There are indeed people with medical contraindications for vaccination. I know that, as do all reasonable people. In fact, it’s simply another reason that herd immunity is so crucial.

          • yugaya
            January 29, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

            I know that, my kid was one of those – hospitalized at 14 months and one of the things we got with discharge papers was to go see a specialist immunologist because some of her conditions warranted concern. She got a medical waiver to be vaccinated on separate, spaced out schedule and also single doses of everything instead of combos. She caught up with her peers at the age of 12. But you know, the system took care of my kid’s extra need for precaution because there were real conditions in her medical chart diagnosed by real doctors and not something her parents believed to be true based on “doing one’s own research”.

          • moto_librarian
            January 29, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

            I should have replied directly to Ellen Mary – sorry about that, yugaya! I know you understand that.

          • yugaya
            January 29, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

            No worries, there are so many vaccine threads active I’m good if I am commenting on the right post. 🙂

          • KarenJJ
            January 29, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

            My own immunologist (and previous vaccine researcher) brought up adverse reactions from vaccinations with me. I thought he was almost disappointed when I looked at him blankly and said I hadn’t noticed anything. Theoretically it should have caused a flare of the underlying condition..

            My daughter was contraindicated for the MMR (and all live vaccines) due to a medication she is on. Her immunologist took it to the vaccine specialist in our state and we decided to immunise her anyway. When I first started asking about vaccines, her immunologist was very wary in her reply and just said “immunologists really like vaccines” when I first raised the discussion. I think she was very relieved when I replied that we are keen to get the vaccination if possible, but had information from her colleague it was contraindicated.

        • Julia
          January 29, 2015 at 9:19 am #

          I would hope that adverse reactions are taken very seriously, reported,
          documented and compiled. And I hope that this might perhaps lead to the
          identification of specific risk factors for an adverse reaction. (For
          example, a very small fraction of people develop GBS after their flu
          shots. Hypothetically they might share some rare genetic trait that
          predisposes them to that.) Then people with that trait might be advised
          against the flu shot. So I think everyone who favors evidence based
          medicine should absolutely take adverse reactions very seriously.

          • Bugsy
            January 29, 2015 at 11:04 am #

            From what I understand, adverse effects are taken very seriously. It was the VAERS reporting system in the 1990s (or 2000s?) that first picked up on problems with one of the earlier rotavirus vaccines. It was pulled from the market, and they use a different vaccine now.

        • Young CC Prof
          January 29, 2015 at 9:49 am #

          Vaccine adverse effects can and do happen, and I hate the fact that they happen. Even if it’s because of a preexisting condition, even if catching the disease would have done at least as much damage, that’s no comfort to the family.

          The reason people mock the “vaccine reaction” stories from certain anti-vax leaders is that their stories change over time and don’t make any sense, for example, a child who supposedly had encephalitis but did not get any medical attention at the time.

          Now, some people on the Internet are just jerks, but I think most folks feel like I do.

        • lawyer jane
          January 29, 2015 at 10:01 am #

          What are you talking about? There is no “ProVax” “thought leadership” and “rank and file.” There is modern medicine and the vast majority of people who follow their doctors’ recommendations, and then there is a small, radical minority that mistakenly believes vaccines are wrong. Vaccination is not a pro-con political position where each side has a valid position.

          And anyway, I have NEVER heard any mainstream medical person downplay the risks of vaccines, ever. Please point me to ONE source that claims that vaccine side effects don’t happen.

          • Ellen Mary
            January 29, 2015 at 10:15 am #

            Have you visited the AntiVax Wall of Shame ever? When I say thought leadership and rank and file, I mean those who write articles vs. those who comment on them. I am not talking about those in clinic or in the lab. Like it or not, this is an issue on which a tremendous amount is written, so I personally see authoritative ProVax writing (from Dr. Amy, Paul Offit, etc) which does concede adverse effects but I also see more rabid writing from people who are not MDs which downplays them or writes them off to genetics in an attempt to ease the cognitive dissonance. I believe the former is more effective, strategy wise, obviously.

          • PoopDoc
            January 29, 2015 at 10:55 am #

            Adverse events do happen. However, I am horrified by some of the things that people will try to blame on vaccines. This list includes things like non-accidental trauma, sepsis, cancer, asthma, diabetes, autism… it goes on and on.

          • Cobalt
            January 29, 2015 at 2:35 pm #

            Don’t subscribe to “Things Anti Vaxxers Say” on Facebook unless you want to get a real crazy list of vaccine “harms”.

          • Lauren
            January 29, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

            The truth here, Ellen Mary, is that credible doctors and medical professionals do make parents aware of the risks — AND HOW RARELY THEY HAPPEN.
            You talk about how ‘commenters’ are writing rabid pieces for pro-vax – well sure, there will always be those types. But if we’re talking about the sheer volume of rabid writing for one side or the other, sorry but the Anti-Vaxxers win, hands down. Show ONE credible study, piece of data, or even a coherent post written that does not inflate the risks, or just make up ones to prop up their views? You can’t, because there are none.
            So yes, both sides sling mud, both sides go on rants, and there is a lot of writing out there to sift through.
            The difference here??
            The pro-vaccine side has ACTUAL EVIDENCE to read. If someone is on the fence, they can sort through the rants to find credible information.
            The anti-vaxxers have no such sources. It’s all lies, all rants, all fear.
            But good of you to nitpick. Thanks.

          • January 29, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

            All the “vax/anti-vax” debate reminds me of the furore over the dangers of contraceptive pills. There ARE dangers. You CAN die from taking them.

            But your chances of dying from pregnancy are greater.

        • Daleth
          January 29, 2015 at 10:24 am #

          To my knowledge there are no gag orders in vaccine settlements, because those settlements are funded and administered by the federal government and have nothing to do with pharmaceutical companies.

          In other words getting compensation for a vaccine injury, unlike getting compensation for every other injury, does not involve a lawsuit against the party responsible and thus does not involve settlements at all, much less ones with confidentiality provisions.

    • Amazed
      January 29, 2015 at 7:02 am #

      The difference is, no one will try to silence you if your child was the rare victim. While, if your child is the not so rare victim of a VPD, anti-vaxxers will scream for your head from the roofs, trying to say that it was your child’s fault for not being healthy enough and so, worthy of life enough and generally dismissing you and your child.

      Pro-vaxxers accept that there are effects directly related to vaccines. Anti-vaxxers never accept anything but “vaccines bad, my kid should be protected, screw you and everyone else we might have killed.”

      And would you please stop the sad song of the horrible choice? I know that there risks and serious damages, nowadays, but they are much rarer than those leechers claim. And even as we speak, there are people trying to mitigate them further. You sound so poetic but would you go back in the times everyone was spared this tragic choice? If you could?

    • Elaine
      January 29, 2015 at 9:15 am #

      Personally I feel that even if my child is that one to have a rare reaction and even if s/he ends up having a medical contraindication to vaccines, I’ll still be in favor of vaccines even if not for my particular child.

      But I did think it was a little nervewracking to get the vaccines for my firstborn after reading all the stories of super rare reactions. She was fine, though, so it wasn’t so stressful with my second child because I was able to be like, well, his big sister was fine, he’ll probably be fine as well.

      • KarenJJ
        January 29, 2015 at 6:13 pm #

        Absolutely. My daughter was able to get her MMR, but most doctors would not do it for kids with her condition and on her medication. One of the biggest discussions currently on facebook patient support group I’m in is how concerned people are about the measles outbreak and what to do. It’s been requested that I ask her doctors if it is at all possible to publish a case study on her so that other doctors might be able to vaccinate other kids with this condition.

    • Daleth
      January 29, 2015 at 10:22 am #

      What makes this “terrible choice” so dramatic, when every single day we as parents breezily make the “terrible choice” of either putting our kids at risk of injury or death in a car accident or… what a dilemma!… deciding to walk or not bring them when we go to the park or the grocery store. About 650 kids under 12 die in car crashes every year in the US, and almost 150,000 are injured, some very severely, some permanently. Compare this to virtually zero serious reactions to any vaccines… I just looked on Google and couldn’t even find any stories about or numbers for vaccine-reaction deaths, if that’s any indication of how rare it is.

      In the US in 1921, 15,000 people died of diptheria. In 1964-65, rubella killed 2000 babies and caused 11,000 miscarriages. Any parent in a country where such diseases are still prevalent would give anything to have this “terrible choice.”

      • Alenushka
        January 29, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

        I had reaction to flu vaccine that almost killed me. I had anaphylactic shock. All my vaccinations and boosters were stopped at that point. I had pediatric practicum and caught mumps. It was horrific. When I arrived to US my doctor did extensive testing and it was clear that am allergic to Thimerosal . My first flu shot after that was preservative free in the presence of doctor and nurse with an EpiPen at hand. All went well. I am vaccinated for everything now form Hep B to MMR. I Got DTap booster etc.

        • Samantha06
          January 29, 2015 at 8:32 pm #

          I’m glad they figured out what was wrong and you were able to get vaccinated!

      • Samantha06
        January 29, 2015 at 8:32 pm #

        Exactly this!

    • Sarah
      January 29, 2015 at 1:09 pm #

      Of course it’d be cold comfort. Was that ever in doubt, though? I’m very, very, very pro vaccine and I’d still spend the rest of my life paralysed with guilt and sorrow if one of my children became ill or died due to the statistically safer choice I’d made for them.

    • Jocelyn
      January 29, 2015 at 7:57 pm #

      I think that’s why I just don’t get the home birth rational of “bad things won’t happen to me, because they’re rare.” As someone with two rare health conditions, it just seems obvious to me that any of us (including me) can be “the one” something bad happens to.

  11. Liz Leyden
    January 28, 2015 at 9:50 pm #

    Somewhat OT: There really was a Welfare Queen in the 1970s. Her name was Linda Taylor, and she was a very skilled con artist. She also got Veterans Benefits. No one knows if she is still alive.

    • Ellen Mary
      January 29, 2015 at 1:16 am #

      IDK if this is evidence based but I heard that prime time for measles is late winter/early spring. I was actually expecting an outbreak to happen in the university community I just moved to even before this happened. If you think about the weather in CA, that makes sense too. So I fear we are going to see an issue in the NE in the early spring.

    • SporkParade
      January 29, 2015 at 2:30 am #

      We have sort of a similar problem. We want our kids to go to English-language preschools and summer camps so they have a strong command of the language, but nearly all of the anti-vaxxers in Israel are recent immigrants from the US, so that is exactly where they would be exposed. National vaccination rates are 95%, and the idea of vaccinating is so foreign that there are no laws requiring it as a condition of attending school.

    • Sarah
      January 29, 2015 at 1:13 pm #

      It’s incredibly worrying when you have a child too young for a vaccine in the middle of an epidemic- my sympathies. We experienced similar in the UK with measles in summer 2013. My family live close to one of the worst affected areas and I was unable to secure the MMR for my daughter because of her age. It was a worrying three months, and this was with a child with no underlying health issues that we know of. It must be very tough indeed for you right now.

      • Amy M
        January 29, 2015 at 3:31 pm #

        Absolutely. Where I live there is high vaccine uptake, so I wasn’t TOO worried, but still, it was always in the back of my mind, that my preterm infants would have been very vulnerable to pertussis. I definitely felt a lot more comfortable after they had all the rounds of shots for it.

        As it was, we didn’t get the swine flu vax in time, and they were about 10mos old when they had that. Luckily they weathered it well, but I was very nervous.

        • Montserrat Blanco
          January 29, 2015 at 4:55 pm #

          I got the DTPa for my preemie, I also got my husband and my mother vaccinated. I was terrified of whooping cough.

  12. Dante Jaramillo
    January 28, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

    The way I see it, anti-vaxxers are a bit like NAMBLA–stay with me:
    They’re both pretty good at trying to put a pretty face on what is a reprehensible mental deficiency and moral depravity. But in the end, the results are the same–children getting f****ed, while they tearfully proselytize on how it’s in the best interest of the child.

    • January 28, 2015 at 10:54 pm #

      Genius. Absolute genius.

    • Hannah
      January 29, 2015 at 8:08 am #

      This is amazing. I bow to your genius.

      Can I quote this all over the internet?

  13. Allison Grace
    January 28, 2015 at 8:26 pm #

    Many hold to their non-vaxxing moral superiority due to some vaccines being grown on aborted tissue from the 60s. The Catholic Church Herself has publicized that it is morally licit to use vaccinations while at the same time working for newly grown ones. Those who are not Catholic are their own Magisterium and there’s no convincing them.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks
      January 28, 2015 at 8:53 pm #

      Not only that, the Church has stated that those who don’t vaccinate against rubella and are responsible for the transmission of rubella to a pregnant mother even bear some moral responsibility for the abortion that might result due to the potentially ghastly birth defects caused by rubella. (Obviously, in the case of unvaccinated children, their parents would be responsible, not the kids.) Here’s the official document:

    • Montserrat Blanco
      January 29, 2015 at 5:41 am #

      I live in Spain, a very catholic country, and no one is claiming religious reasons to do not vaccinate. Even the most “fundamentalists” catholics that oppose IVF on the grounds of the discarded embryos. I seriously doubt vaccines are rejected by the Pope on those grounds.

      • curiousmama
        January 29, 2015 at 7:24 am #

        You are correct that the Catholic church’s position is that the presence of fetal cell lines in certain vaccinations does not preclude one from doing their “moral duty” and protecting their child and the children of others from infectious disease.

    • Stacy48918
      January 29, 2015 at 7:39 am #

      And yet another “reason” my crackpot ex opposes vaccines – they have “aborted humans” in them. Is there an anti-vax bingo card to go with the homebirth bingo card? Cuz I’d be rockin’ that!

  14. Jeanette Lamb
    January 28, 2015 at 8:05 pm #

    As a welfare recipient (and pro vaxer) I find the analogy you made terribly insulting. I had no idea that welfare recipients, like myself, are so looked down upon that we can be used as an analogy for anti vaxers. 🙁

    • Sullivan ThePoop
      January 28, 2015 at 8:07 pm #

      You should not be insulted because Dr. Amy does not believe in the “welfare Queen” nonsense. She is saying if there are welfare queens it is the antivaxxers and not people on welfare.

    • Stacy48918
      January 28, 2015 at 8:18 pm #

      Dr. Amy is mocking the FALSE idea of “welfare queens” and instead applying the term where she does feel it’s appropriate.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      January 28, 2015 at 8:25 pm #


      Until recently I would have told you that welfare queens were a figment
      of the right wing (and often racist) imagination

      • FrequentFlyer
        January 29, 2015 at 1:13 pm #

        When I first became a caseworker with the dept. of social services, I didn’t believe that welfare queens were a real thing. Who would choose that? Then over the years I dealt with quite a few. Guess what- most of the worst ones were white. It’s been a few years, but the cases I remember referring for fraud investigation were mostly white people.

        • Liz Leyden
          January 29, 2015 at 2:50 pm #

          My sister used to investigate Medicare and Medicaid fraud for the state of New York. The biggest offenders by far were providers, mostly physical therapists and home health agencies.

          • FrequentFlyer
            January 29, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

            From what I’ve heard, the provider fraud in medical benefits is terrible. I was dealing mainly with food stamp and cash benefits at the time. I saw people in truly bad situations and wished that more help was available to them. I always wondered how much of the budget was going to the people who were gaming the system and how much more we could help the needy if they could be caught and cut off. I’m pretty sure that the obvious ones that my coworkers and identified were just the tip of the iceberg.

    • Jeanette Lamb
      January 28, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

      That phrase, as well as the words “dole bludger”, can trigger a very strong emotional reaction in some people.
      Obviously the author of the article didn’t mean it to come across that way.

    • andrea
      January 28, 2015 at 10:44 pm #

      Really? You had no idea that there’s a small segment of the population that demonises people on welfare? Sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s kind of a perpetual political issue (at least in Australia). Like, it’s a really, really prevalent topic of discussion.

      • Jeanette Lamb
        January 29, 2015 at 12:10 am #

        I’m aware of the stigma, but didn’t think it went that deep. I’m on sickness benefits , but look well enough, therefore some people think I should be working. I’ve copped a lot of flack from people assuming that I’m bunging it on. 🙁

    • Gozi
      January 29, 2015 at 12:26 am #

      People like you are the reason why Common Core stresses reading comprehension in school curriculums.

  15. mom of 2
    January 28, 2015 at 8:03 pm #

    Spot on. I love this.

  16. attitude devant
    January 28, 2015 at 5:44 pm #

    Bingo! When I became a parent, I had this stupid idea that all parents naturally developed a larger consciousness, that we understood that what was good for our children should be made available to children everywhere and that we should support goals of social justice regarding families and children.

    I guess not. These bozos couldn’t give a fig what happens to my kids. They’re focused on their own little lordlings, and that’s it. They’re like those hipster parents with the SUV sized strollers which they load up into their Range Rovers and then drive like maniacs. Me, me, me, and my spawn. Retch.

    • Sue
      January 28, 2015 at 6:50 pm #

      LOLing at “lordlings” 🙂

      • attitude devant
        January 28, 2015 at 7:03 pm #

        My sister used to own a house in an absolutely palatial development in Hawaii favored by the Silicon Valley set (seriously, as in the Dells lived there). I’d go visit and we’d get absolutely hysterical at the kids (being ferried around by nannies) in their ridiculously expensive designer ensembles, their every whim granted by the staff. Many of them were quite imperious, so we called them the lordlings.

    • DiomedesV
      January 28, 2015 at 8:39 pm #

      Sorry, but that is a stupid idea. Its fundamental basis is the idea that parents, and especially women, magically become superior morals beings by virtue of having children. That’s not only incorrect, and obviously so, it contributes to the myth of motherhood that our culture so desperately clings to, with negative outcomes for women, children, and families.

      • attitude devant
        January 28, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

        There was nothing magical about it. It wasn’t about motherhood per se. It was part and parcel of that realization we all have when we become parents that, like it or not, we are now tied into our culture and our civilization. When we are young, we can maintain an illusion that we are apart from the general fray, that nothing much matters outside our little sphere. But when we set out to raise children we suddenly have a very personal stake in the greater good of all, because the same tides that will lift or drop all boats will be carrying the boat that we have a desperate interest in.

        Honestly, I had a robust intellectual commitment to social justice before I became a parent, but I didn’t care so deeply on every level until I saw all the issues as a parent wanting what all parents want: peace, safety, a fair shake. I don’t think this is an experience unique to me.

        • Who?
          January 28, 2015 at 9:17 pm #

          Me too.

        • DiomedesV
          January 29, 2015 at 1:31 pm #

          I’m sorry, I went too far, AD.

          • attitude devant
            January 29, 2015 at 3:36 pm #

            Oh, no worries. I was not offended. You made me realize that I had not explained my reasoning clearly.

  17. Bugsy
    January 28, 2015 at 5:27 pm #

    “In other words, in 2015 if Ainsley’s mother doesn’t vaccinate her against diphtheria and she never gets diphtheria, it’s NOT because she was breastfed, eats organic food and has a strong immune system. It’s because herd immunity ensures that she’s never exposed to diphtheria.”

    Unfortunately, they don’t _believe_ that, nor do they believe in herd immunity. How do we change their entire belief system?

    An interesting article in Forbes suggests that the best (or only) way to get them to change their entire belief system is to force them to do it through the law: sue them:

    • Samantha06
      January 28, 2015 at 6:05 pm #

      I love that idea! What is sad, but true is when he said that a lawsuit is what might drive an anti-vaxxer to vaccinate their kids. How pathetic that it might take the threaten of a lawsuit, and not the health of their children and others to motivate these nutsos.

      • Bugsy
        January 28, 2015 at 6:14 pm #

        Yep, completely agree.

        I’d also be curious how we could prove that someone is vaccinated. Some of the anti-vaxxers on the mom boards are pretty fond of lying about one’s vaccination status…

        • just me
          January 28, 2015 at 6:39 pm #

          I remember in college (public, Calif) having to provide a little card my ped signed off on proving I was vaxxed before I could register for classes. I suppose one could fake that or have Dr Sears sign it…my kids have the same cards and our daycare requires them.

        • Clemmie
          January 28, 2015 at 7:40 pm #

          Blood testing shows vaccination status. It can check immunity.

          Also, there are medical records that can prove a child was vaccinated.

          • Sullivan ThePoop
            January 28, 2015 at 8:30 pm #

            Not for all vaccines though. There is no reliable titer test for pertussis

          • Young CC Prof
            January 28, 2015 at 8:46 pm #

            It’s possible to get vaccinated but still have a negative titer a few years later. A few unlucky people don’t seroconvert.

        • Samantha06
          January 28, 2015 at 9:24 pm #

          It’s hard to believe people would actually stoop so low to lie about vaccination status.. but, then we have home birthers, so I guess nothing is too outrageous or unethical for them..

        • Liz Leyden
          January 28, 2015 at 10:32 pm #

          Massachusetts still has little blue books. Anyone could write anything in it, but it’s still considered an official record.

          I was almost thrown out of high school for being behind on my tetanus booster. Fortunately, my mother took me to a city-run clinic to get caught up. My sister’s birthday is in July. She graduated high school at 17, and the school gave her health records to my mother, who promptly lost them (Mom lost everything). Titers didn’t exist then, so Sis had to get all of her vaccines again. She was sick as a dog after the MMR.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 28, 2015 at 10:35 pm #

            I know a lady who lost her son’s vaccine records. Then she faked them when he went to college.

            Then he had a VPD scare, so not cool, though he didn’t get sick.

          • Dinolindor
            January 28, 2015 at 11:44 pm #

            Massachusetts doesn’t anymore. I’m pretty bummed that my daughter (born this past August) didn’t get a little blue book like what my son has. It’s so useful for tracking measurements besides the vaccinations. We vaccinate on schedule, so I can just look up what’s routine for what age and know what my kids got when, but still. That little blue book is so convenient.

          • Amy M
            January 29, 2015 at 8:40 am #

            Oh I have the blue books for my sons, but they were born 2009…they must have discontinued recently. And they haven’t written anything in the blue books in a while. Now we get a computer printout to give to the school/camp for proof of vax.

          • Dinolindor
            January 29, 2015 at 9:13 am #

            Yup, I think they stopped this year or last. My son was born in 2011 and he got one. But we have the print out from the doctor to give to school anyway. They used to write the flu shot in too but I noticed they didn’t the past 2 times – maybe that corresponds to when the state discontinued the books?

          • Liz Leyden
            January 29, 2015 at 11:15 am #

            They must have been discontinued recently. My son was born last March, and he got a blue book for his Hep B shot.

          • Amy
            January 29, 2015 at 4:56 pm #

            This. My kids’ vaccination records are on the computers at their doctor’s office. We’re in southeastern MA.

        • Daleth
          January 29, 2015 at 11:22 am #

          There are medical records you could subpoena from their doctors.

        • TsuDhoNimh
          January 29, 2015 at 12:18 pm #

          “how we could prove that someone is vaccinated”

          You can test their blood for antibodies … no antibodies may mean they were never immunized, or that the vaccine didn’t work for them (they were one of the unlucky 2-5%), or that it was too long ago.

          • Bugsy
            January 29, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

            My concern with titres would be for those who didn’t seroconvert or whose vaccines wore off without their realizing it…

          • TsuDhoNimh
            January 29, 2015 at 7:27 pm #

            Bugsy –
            If they don’t seroconvert, that’s the people who need the rest of us to get vaccinated.

            Because for some reason they aren’t making antibodoies to that virus. (it’s still one of the WTFs of immunology and being investigated constantly. )

          • Bugsy
            January 29, 2015 at 7:39 pm #

            You’re exactly right – they’re one of the reasons why our family is vaccinated.

            My concern is if we used titres as a reason for proving who is or isn’t vaccinated, people who don’t seroconvert would be treated the same as those who intentionally do not vaccinate. It doesn’t seem fair to me.

        • Amy
          January 29, 2015 at 4:55 pm #

          How does that even work? I had to get my kids’ vaccination records from their doctor’s office for school entry. I couldn’t exactly forge those without it being really obvious.

          I’m in a state where exemption is allowed due to “sincerely held religious beliefs” (supposed to be for Christian Science people and the like), but the anti-vax folks get away with using this as their out as well, because it’s illegal for the schools to press you on what those “sincerely held” beliefs are. (The exact same wording is also used to get out of the health insurance requirement.)

          • Bugsy
            January 29, 2015 at 5:01 pm #

            I’d also love to know how they forge ’em.

          • Sia
            August 22, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

            Sears would probably forge it for them?

    • Sullivan ThePoop
      January 28, 2015 at 8:03 pm #

      They don’t believe it because they do not think they are the same as the masses. A women once told me there is no way that her children can require the same vaccines as children living in poverty.

      • Young CC Prof
        January 28, 2015 at 8:51 pm #

        If by “poverty” they mean in a slum on another continent without sanitation, then no. Children in the USA are not normally vaccinated against (for example) typhoid.

        If they mean that place half an hour’s walk away from where they themselves live, where the vacant lots stay vacant and the broken windows boarded? Sorry, germs can traverse that distance perfectly well, and most of our VPDs spread by air.

      • Bugsy
        January 28, 2015 at 9:53 pm #

        (sigh) Wow.

    • The Great Queen Spider
      January 28, 2015 at 8:50 pm #

      Suing them is an excellent idea, if they were found to be responsible for the death or disability of another person especially. If they don’t want to do the right thing, then the law is the only way it seems.

    • Liz Leyden
      January 28, 2015 at 10:05 pm #

      Anti-vaxxers are usually offended by the term “herd immunity.” Their Special Snowflake is *not* part of the herd.

      • JJ
        January 28, 2015 at 11:11 pm #

        Re-name herd immunity to community immunity? 🙂

        • Young CC Prof
          January 28, 2015 at 11:14 pm #

          The aura of immunity! It’s like a prayer circle, you use it to care for the vulnerable among you.

        • Bugsy
          January 29, 2015 at 10:59 am #

          The anti-vaxxers I know have chosen to pull as much out of the community as they can – homeschooling, growing their own food, refusing to eat out, travel or do anything else that could put them at risk for toxin exposure…

          How about “smart immunity”?

      • Amy M
        January 29, 2015 at 8:38 am #

        Or they just think its a myth, made up by the Big Pharma-Government conspiracy.

  18. Ainsley Nicholson
    January 28, 2015 at 5:16 pm #

    Fortunately my parents did make sure I got all my vaccinations.

    • Samantha06
      January 28, 2015 at 6:09 pm #

      I got the smallpox vaccine when they used the one that caused about a 2-3 cm round scar. I don’t know what they give now, but most kids back then got it on their arm. My mom didn’t want us to have a visible scar, so we got it on our butts!

      • Poogles
        January 28, 2015 at 6:20 pm #

        “I don’t know what they give now”

        They don’t give anything, do they, with smallpox being eridicated world-wide? Or do some military personel still receive it?

        • Dekarian
          January 28, 2015 at 6:35 pm #

          Military personnel still receive the smallpox vaccine when being deployed to areas of the world where the vaccine may not be readily available.

          Source: I’m a US Navy veteran

          • toofargone
            January 28, 2015 at 11:41 pm #

            Yup. The DoD has actually administered it to over one million personnel over a five year period. I learned about administering it at medic school and am glad I have never had to stab anyone with a vaccine laden “fork”. It’s still like the old school administration with the bifurcated needle. This is one of the vaccines that you really do have to be careful with too. A nasty eschar builds up and you can very easily transmit the vacinia virus to others. It’s pretty interesting how the vacinia virus can protect you from the variola virus.

        • Clemmie
          January 28, 2015 at 7:41 pm #

          Some healthcare workers also receive it, dependent on the areas they work in. It’s not a part of regular childhood vaccine schedules though, no.

          • Samantha06
            January 28, 2015 at 8:52 pm #

            I was wondering, just shows how current I am on childhood vax requirements!! lol!

        • Ainsley Nicholson
          January 28, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

          The occasional scientist who works with smallpox in the lab still gets vaccinated.

      • yugaya
        January 28, 2015 at 7:16 pm #

        I have a scar from BCG vaccine, and I had to be re-vaccinated because the booster(?) that we got in highschool did not seem “to take” – a couple of us from the entire generation had to go to this anti tuberculosis clinic where they look at your old vaccine scar and new injection site and do a lot of oooomhs and ahmhmhs before they either tell you you are ok or that you have to get vaccinated again. It was a bit scary but cool though, we got to skip the school for the day.

        It was creepy on my own kids because it is given after birth and it can get quite yuck before it turns into a scar. I think your average US antivaxxo would flip just hearing about the BCG vaccine which is part of compulsory childhood schedule over here. :)))

        • Dr Kitty
          January 29, 2015 at 7:17 am #

          Fun fact.
          BCG vaccination last for 10-15 years.
          If your BCG vaccination was over 15 years ago and you still test positive on Heaf, you should be treated as latent TB, NOT as someone who is still immune to TB.

          I had a BCG vax at age 11, I didn’t scar very well, and 15 years later I had a negative Heaf. I decided that I don’t want another BCG, as at least I know that if I ever have a positive Heaf in future it will be because I have latent or active TB, I don’t want another vax (which may or may not take) to muddy the waters further.

          My occupational risk of contracting TB from primary care work is slim, and since I’ve already worked in the local infectious diseases ward with TB patients and in India draining TB abscesses and giving out DOTS, I’m pretty sure if I was going to have caught it I would have by now…

      • Sullivan ThePoop
        January 28, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

        That is the one they still use if they use it. I believe they only use it for the military

      • The Great Queen Spider
        January 28, 2015 at 8:48 pm #

        No smallpox vaccine anymore for most people. I was born in 91 and didn’t get it. The only ones who do are military and some medical workers.

        • Young CC Prof
          January 28, 2015 at 8:52 pm #

          I was born in 1980 and didn’t get it. My mom was really surprised when the doctor told her they weren’t doing smallpox vaccines anymore.

          • Ainsley Nicholson
            January 28, 2015 at 9:10 pm #

            I was born in 1971 and didn’t get the smallpox vaccine. It had been eliminated from most developed nations by that time.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 29, 2015 at 9:08 am #

            I was born in 68 and as far as I know, did not have a smallpox vaccine.

          • Amazed
            January 29, 2015 at 7:09 am #

            A co-worker of mine (born in 1978) claims the people born then were the last ones who received the smallpox vaccine here. I was born in 1981 and didn’t get it.

            As I’ve said, my great-grandmother would have loved them evil toxics because they would have meant evding up with as many children as she started with. Or rather, one child and two vaccine monsters with magically changed and blackened microbiome, whatever. She would have taken that any time.

          • Elaine
            January 29, 2015 at 8:41 am #

            I had a babysitter who I recollect having a smallpox scar. I was born in 1982 and she was around 10 years older than me so probably born in 1972 or thereabouts. I didn’t have that vax and neither did my husband, who was born in 1977.

        • SuperGDZ
          January 29, 2015 at 3:15 am #

          Wikipedia has the following to say (not sure how much credence to give it) –

          “Recent studies suggest the smallpox vaccine provides some level of defense against HIV. Both the smallpox vaccine and HIV exploit a receptor called CCR5, which is expressed on the surface of white blood cells. Researchers theorize that one factor in the sudden spread of HIV in the early 1980s was the result of successful eradication of smallpox in the late 1970s followed by an abrupt decline in smallpox vaccinations worldwide. The smallpox vaccine appeared to have been reducing HIV replication five-fold.”

      • Mishimoo
        January 29, 2015 at 12:37 am #

        My nan-in-law had it on her thigh because the doctor “didn’t want to scar such a pretty arm”

      • Amy M
        January 29, 2015 at 8:41 am #

        They stopped that smallpox vaccine in the early 70s. I was born in the late 70s, so I didn’t get it. My parents did though.

      • TsuDhoNimh
        January 29, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

        My roomie in college had it just below her butt cheeks – upper third of her thigh, because he mom didn’t want the scar to show.

        There were a LOT of girls in the 60s whose smallpox scars were playing peek-a-boo with the hem of their miniskirt 🙂

        • Samantha06
          January 29, 2015 at 12:20 pm #

          For sure! Mine is higher up..

      • S
        January 29, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

        My mom got two per arm!

        • Samantha06
          January 29, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

          Ouch!! Why did she get so many?

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