Anti-vaxxers, where did you get the idea I care about what you think?


Yesterday I expounded upon The extraordinary conceit of anti-vaxxers on my Facebook page:

When it comes to the benefits of vaccination, there is rare unanimity across scientific disciplines and across national borders. Nearly every immunologist in every country promotes vaccination as life saving and safe; nearly every pediatrician in every country recommends vaccination as the best, most effective form of preventive care in existence; nearly every epidemiologist in every government and health organization views vaccination as one of the greatest public health victories of all time.

No amount of attempted intimidation changes the fact that vaccines are safe and effective.

How conceited do you have to be to imagine that you, a lay antivaxxer, know better?

Very, very, very conceited.

It didn’t take long for the anti-vaxxers to appear at the behest of Stop Mandatory Vaccination.

Guys, Time to go and give your opinion to this OB nonsense.


At the moment, there have been more than 2,300 comments on the post, most from anti-vaxxers.

Where did they get the idea I care what they think?

I don’t.

Anti-vaxxers, science is not a democracy. The belief with the most votes does not win. And no amount of attempted intimidation changes the fact that vaccines are safe, effective, and don’t cause non-specific “injuries.”

The Catholic Church tried intimidation on Galileo and it didn’t change the fact that the sun, not the earth, is at the center of the solar system.

A variety of the world’s religions tried intimidation on Charles Darwin and it didn’t change the fact that humans evolved and were not created de novo.

Semmelweis’ colleagues tried intimidation on him and it didn’t change the fact that doctors refusing to wash their hands spread disease.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m NOT saying that anti-vaxxers’ personal experience is irrelevant in medicine. In the aggregate, your experience is an important aspect of scientific evidence.

But anti-vaxxers personal BELIEFS are irrelevant! It doesn’t matter whether you think we evolved; we did. It doesn’t matter whether you think hand washing prevents disease; it does. And it doesn’t matter whether you think that vaccines aren’t safe and effective; they are.

I don’t doubt your sincerity. In the 16th Century ignorant, gullible people blamed demons for diseases they did not understand. They were extremely sincere in that belief. In the 21st Century you blame vaccines. You are equally sincere, but you are also equally wrong.

I’m not going to stop you from coming to my Facebook page to share your experiences and your “knowledge” (such as it is). If you want to preen before your equally ignorant anti-vax colleagues, have at it! But don’t be confused: I will never take you seriously when you don’t know a damn thing about science, medicine or statistics.

Get an education and then get back to me.

In the meantime your attempted intimidation won’t change the scientific evidence that vaccines are safe, effective and one of the greatest public health achievements of all time.