Category: Vaxopedia

Who Is Robin Cavendish?

Polio is close to being eradicated.

So far this year, there have only been 11 cases of wild polio in the world – 6 in Afghanistan and 5 in Pakistan.

“In 1952 alone, nearly 60,000 children were infected with the virus; thousands were paralyzed, and more than 3,000 died.”

Jason Beaubien on Wiping Out Polio: How The U.S. Snuffed Out A Killer

Robin Cavendish was born and raised in the pre-vaccine era though, before we had the polio vaccines that have controlled, and will hopefully soon eradicate, polio.

Who Is Robin Cavendish?

Breathe is the story of Robin and Diane Cavendish.
Breathe is the story of Robin and Diana Cavendish.

Robin Francis Cavendish was born on March 12, 1930 in Middleton, Derbyshire, England.

After an early career in the Army, he helped start a tea-brokering business in Africa and made frequent trips to Kenya.

It was in Kenya that he developed paralytic polio in December 1958, just over three years after Jonas Salk‘s polio vaccine was found to be effective in field trials (April 1955).

Although he was initially given just three months to live after his diagnosis, with the help of his wife Diana, he was able to survive for another 36 years!

And they did a lot with those years, including:

  • using a specially adapted van to travel around England
  • developing a wheelchair with a built-in respirator with their friend, Oxford professor Teddy Hall and his company Littlemore Scientific Engineering. Their first prototype of their portable respirator was released in 1962 – the Cavendish Chair.
  • helping scientists develop the Possum, a device that helped severely disabled people electronically control their environment, including answer the phone or turn on the TV
  • becoming an advocate for other polio survivors
  • co-founding the charity Refresh with Dr. Geoffrey Spencer, which started as a way for families who needed extra help because of the need for a respirator to go on vacation together

The story of his remarkable life is told in the new movie Breathe.

And while it is also a great reminder of what life was like before we had vaccines, we shouldn’t forget about all of the other polio survivors, some of whom now have to deal with post-polio syndrome.

Nor the fact that we are so close to ending polio. Or at least new polio infections.

What to Know About Robin Cavendish

Robin Cavendish was a respirator dependent polio survivor whose life story is told in the new movie Breathe.

More About Robin Cavendish and Surviving Polio

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Answers to Anti-Vaccine Talking Points

Polio Vaccine - don't wait until it's too late.
You can sometimes wait too long to get a child immunized…

Anti-vaccine folks are very good at coming up with questions about vaccines.

And there is nothing wrong with that.

It is good to be skeptical about things.

Unfortunately, they tend to believe the answers that they make up and any “evidence” that agrees with their point of view (confirmation bias). They also will agree with any “expert” who agrees with them, even if 99.99% of experts don’t.

And tragically, they sometimes convince some vaccine-hesitant parents that their answers are right too.

Answers to Anti-Vaccine Talking Points

Most questions people have about vaccines have easy answers.

Anti-vaccine folks likely were not expecting answers when they came up with their “9 Questions That Stump Every Pro-Vaccine Advocate and Their Claims,” but they quickly got them, even after they came up with 9 new questions.

So folks were hardly stumped by these fallacious arguments…

“To say that the relationship that antivaccine activists have with science and fact is a tenuous, twisted one is a major understatement.”

David Gorski on How Not To Debate a Pro-Vaxxer

How about all of the graphs they made proving that vaccines don’t work?

Or the 14 studies that they think say vaccines cause autism?

It should be obvious by now that folks who push anti-vaccine misinformation have a poor understanding of science and a “poor understanding of how vaccination works.”

Parents who are hesitant about vaccinating and protecting their kids shouldn’t though.

Johns Hopkins Medicine, which includes the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System went out of their way to correct this anti-vaccine misinformation.
Johns Hopkins Medicine, which includes the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System went out of their way to correct this anti-vaccine misinformation.
  • Learn what package inserts really say and don’t say.
  • Review common contraindications to getting vaccinated, so that you can understand that there are actually very few reasons to not vaccinate your kids.
  • Understand that shedding isn’t the big risk that some folks claim it to be, certainly doesn’t cause outbreaks, and doesn’t routinely restrict kids from visiting cancer patients.
  • Know that vaccines worked to eradicated smallpox, helped control measles, diphtheria, rubella, and other vaccine preventable diseases, and have helped get us very close to eradicating polio.
  • Understand that kids get more vaccines today so that they are better protected, but that it is still not too many and that they don’t get them too soon.
  • Review why vaccine ingredients are not toxic.
  • Know that no major religion is against you getting your kids vaccinated.

Getting educated about vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases will help you make a truly informed decision so that you don’t fall for the tactics and tropes of the anti-vaccine movement.

After all, once you get educated about vaccines, you will know that:

  • Andrew Wakefield has never been proven right
  • the movie VAXXED is pure propaganda
  • the CDC Whistleblower didn’t really blow the whistle on the CDC
  • herd immunity is real
  • they vaccinated folks at Leicester, it wasn’t all about quarantines
  • unavoidably unsafe does not mean that vaccines are dangerous
  • while almost $3.5 billion dollars have been paid out by the Vaccine Court since 1988 for about 5,555 compensated awards, it is important to understand that at least 2.8 billion doses of vaccines have been given just since 2006, and almost 80% of the compensated cases were settled, without an admission that a vaccine caused an injury.
  • the anti-vaccine movement harms autistic kids and their families
  • your pediatrician, with the CDC and Big Pharma, and doctors all over the world, are not part of a conspiracy hiding evidence that vaccines cause autism or any other vaccine induced diseases
  • while waning immunity is a problem with some vaccines, we are still in much better shape than we were in the pre-vaccine era, so even these vaccines are working, if not working perfectly well.
  • an unvaccinated child can more easily get measles, chicken pox, mumps, or pertussis because they don’t have immunity, not because we think these vaccine-preventable diseases will spontaneously pop up in their bodies.
  • natural immunity is great, as long as your child doesn’t suffer any of the complications of having a life-threatening disease.
  • you can sometimes wait too long to get your child immunized – long enough for them to get a vaccine-preventable disease that could have been prevented by a vaccine they didn’t get.

Most importantly,  realize that no matter what decision you make, no one is going to force you to vaccinate your child. You always have a choice, even if your choice is to skip or delay your child’s vaccines and put those around you at increased risk for getting a vaccine preventable disease.

What To Know About Anti-Vaccine Talking Points

Get educated about vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases so that you will understand that vaccines are safe, necessary, and that they work, and so you will be able to counter any anti-vaccine talking point you hear.

 

50 Ways to Get Educated About Vaccines

A Board of Health quarantine poster warning that the premises are contaminated by smallpox.
Have you ever seen a quarantine sign for smallpox on someone’s home? That’s because Vaccines Work!

Have questions about vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases?

Think you have done enough research already?

If that research has you asking for package inserts and requesting low aluminum vaccines, then you might need to rethink how you have been doing your research.

Get Educated About Vaccines

Vaccines are safe, effective, and necessary.

They aren’t full of toxins.

They have been tested together.

Pediatricians do know a lot about vaccines. What they may not know is how to counter every anti-vaccine argument that you might have heard of, read about, or with which one of your family members is scaring you.

“Pediatricians who routinely recommend limiting the numbers of vaccines administered at a single visit such that vaccines are administered late are providing care that deviates from the standard evidence-based schedule recommended by these bodies.”

American Academy of Pediatrics

You can rest assured that these arguments have all been debunked, often many years ago, but they keep coming up, over and over again. In fact, today’s anti-vaccine movement uses many of the same themes as folks used when the first vaccines were introduced over one hundred years ago.

50 Ways To Get Educated About Vaccines

So before deciding to skip or delay any of your child’s vaccines, do some real research about vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases and:

  1. Understand the Pseudoscience Behind the Anti-Vaccine Movement
  2. Review the contraindications to vaccines and even more common, the things commonly misperceived as contraindications
  3. Examine the evidence for the safety of vaccines
  4. Get answers to the 9 Questions For The Pro-Vaxers
  5. Know that Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism
  6. Read about these Five Things I’ve Learned About Vaccines Through 21 Years of Parenting
  7. Learn the Tactics and Tropes of the Anti-vaccine Movement
  8. Know that kids do not get too many vaccines too soon and that vaccines don’t overwhelm your child’s immune system
  9. Understand these Vaccine Safety Basics
  10. Don’t listen to these anti-vaccine celebrities
  11. Get the details of Andrew Wakefield’s fraud
  12. Study why those Graphs That Show Vaccines Don’t Work are just propaganda
  13. Know that you can’t hide your kids in the herd to avoid disease
  14. Read why “Spacing Out” Vaccines Doesn’t Make Them Safer
  15. Wonder why parents misuse religious exemptions to excuse kids from vaccines
  16. See the evidence that Flu Shots Work for Kids Under Two
  17. Review these questions and answers on immunization and vaccine safety
  18. Learn Why My Child With Autism Is Fully Vaccinated
  19. Know that You Can Be the Pro-Life Parent of a Fully Vaccinated Child
  20. See how Having a baby doesn’t change the facts on vaccines
  21. Question Vaccine Injury Stories: the Sacred Cows of the Internet
  22. Read An Open Letter to Expecting Parents and Parents Yet-To-Be about Vaccinating
  23. Know that there is No Clear Evidence that Vaccines Cause Autism
  24. Learn from those who have Left the Anti-Vaccine Movement
  25. Understand why you’re wrong if you think the flu vax gives you the flu
  26. Avoid Cashing In On Fear: The Danger of Dr. Sears
  27. Realize that Almost All Religions Support Immunizations
  28. Learn which vaccines are the most important to get
  29. See that Unvaccinated Children Can Have Autism Too
  30. View Personal Stories of Families Affected by Vaccine-Preventable Diseases
  31. Know who is at risk if you don’t vaccinate your kids
  32. Read about the most common Misconceptions about Vaccines
  33. Review the Benefits vs. Risks of getting vaccinated
  34. Learn about the Ingredients in Vaccines
  35. Realize that vaccines are carefully monitored for safety, even after they have been approved, and it isn’t just by folks reporting side effects to VAERS
  36. Know that those 124 Research Papers Supporting the Vaccine/Autism Link Really Don’t
  37. Understand what Vaccine Package Inserts really do and don’t tell you
  38. See why the CDC Whistleblower really has no whistle to blow
  39. Know that the Vaccine Court did not say that vaccines cause autism
  40. What to consider if Deciding whether to alter the immunization schedule
  41. Learn why Shedding from Vaccines isn’t a danger to your kids
  42. Review even more Misconceptions about Immunizations
  43. Understand The Science Behind Vaccine Research and Testing
  44. Know that your Unvaccinated Child isn’t going to be Healthier than Vaccinated Kids
  45. Realize just how important the HPV vaccine really is
  46. Learn How to Respond to Inaccurate Posts about Vaccines on Social Media
  47. Know that vaccines are studied in pregnant women
  48. See the real dangers in following Jenny McCarthy’s advice
  49. Know that VAERS reports are often misused and understand that parents can report suspected adverse events to VAERS themselves
  50. Fill out a screening questionnaire for contraindications to vaccines

Still have questions? Read one or more of these Vaccine Books

And talk to your doctor about your concerns about vaccines.

Get Educated. Get Vaccinated.

More Ways To Get Educated About Vaccines

These websites and blogs will also help you get educated about vaccines and research any addition questions you might have:

Vaccine Education and Advocacy

Need to get educated about vaccines?

In addition to reading through the Vaxopedia, these articles and websites can help you see through the myths and conspiracy theories that might make you think about delaying or skipping one or more vaccines.

Still have questions?

Your pediatrician can be a great resource.

Conspiracy Theories about Vaccines

Conspiracy theories about vaccines go hand-in-hand with the anti-vaccine movement.

From crazy theories about the Illuminati and medical mind control to the idea that Bill Gates is using vaccines to sterilize and depopulate the world.

Other conspiracy theories about vaccines include:

  • the oral polio vaccine caused the HIV epidemic
  • SV40, which did contaminate the original polio vaccines before 1963, causes cancer
  • vaccines don’t really work – instead better hygiene and nutrition led to decreases in vaccine-preventable diseases
  • vaccine-preventable diseases aren’t bad
  • someone is murdering doctors who are opposed to vaccines
  • they put antifreeze in vaccines
  • the CDC has known for a long time that vaccines cause autism
  • new vaccines contain RFID chips so the government can use these nano-microchips to track us
  • a shape-shifting parasitic alien species (the Reptilians) are creating a hereditary reptilian-human hybrid elite that use vaccines to poison us
  • almost anything written by Sharyl Attkisson or Robert F Kennedy, Jr

And the latest anti-vaccine conspiracy theories?

The flu vaccine killed Prince and vaccines are causing babies to be born with microcephaly – it’s not the zika virus.

For more information:

Myths and Misinformation About Vaccines

Myths and misinformation about vaccines help to scare parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Fortunately, these vaccine myths are easily debunked.

For more information:

Vaccine Ingredients

From antigens and adjuvants to preservatives, learn about common ingredients in vaccines and why they are safe.

For more information: