Riko Muranaka is a doctor and a journalist and was one of the few to push back against all of the negative articles in the Japanese media following the decision of Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to stop formally recommending that girls get vaccinated and protected with the HPV vaccine.
“We can’t afford to sit back and allow a similar situation to develop in which unscientific claims jeopardize lives around the world. The Japanese government should reinstate its proactive recommendation for the HPV vaccine and set a positive example before irrational fear of the vaccine gains further momentum in other countries.”
Riko Muranaka on Stopping the Spread of Japan’s Antivaccine Panic
Not only that, it was her investigation that led to the discovery that the initial report that led to the HPV scare by neurologist Shuichi Ikeda was misleading and inappropriate.
“Evidence she used against Japanese neurologist Shuichi Ikeda revealed that only a single mouse had been vaccinated and the brain section showing damage did not belong to this mouse.”
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What kind of difficulty and hostility has she faced?
“Because of her science-based reporting on this topic, Dr. Muranaka experienced massive hostility. Unlike before, she became unable to publish in Japanese media. Her family was threatened, and she was sued by an anti-vaccination doctor.”
How Japan was taken by an anti-vax tsunami
Unbelievably, Ikeda sued Dr. Muranaka for defamation and won, even though the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare censured Ikeda for misrepresenting his research. The case is currently on appeal.
And tragically, although HPV vaccines are still available in Japan, after all, they were never banned, they still don’t have a proactive recommendation.
Riko Muranaka still has work to do to get HPV vaccination rates back up in Japan, but she did help to make sure that “Japan’s antivaccine panic” didn’t spread anywhere else.
The Vaccine Extremists in the Modern Anti-Vaccine Movement
Before you dismiss the idea, let’s take a look at what they have been doing recently…
Calling for second amendment remedies? Is that a thing in the modern anti-vaccine movement?
“Then I can imagine those same conversations were happening in Nazi Germany amongst the Jewish people. Let’s not talk about it. I don’t want to bring it into my reality. It’s still 20 miles away. I’m still allowed in this theater and not that one. All I have to get is this little star. All I have to do is sign this little thing saying I accept that… that I’m not going to vaccinate because I think that they’re dangerous. And they are dangerous. I’m just going to sign this paper. I’m going to let them put me on a log.
At some point, we have gone too far.
Do you think that it’s a good idea to let the government own your baby’s body. And right behind it, your body. That is the end. To me.
Anyone who believes in the right to bear arms. To stand up against your government. I don’t know what you were saving that gun for then. I don’t know when you planned on using it if they were going to take control of your own body away.
It’s now. Now’s the time.”
To many of us, it seems very obvious that anti-vax folks have gone too far.
Not surprisingly, it seems that the denials come from the same folks who set out to ambush, stalk, and attack vaccine advocates.
Advocates who have done nothing except make sure kids get vaccinated and help protect us from the misinformation that is so often pushed on the Internet and on the signs they hold during their protests.
Yes, Senator Richard Pan, a pediatrician in California has been a big target in recent years.
He is not the only one though.
Paul Offit has been a common target.
Other pediatricians have also been attacked, with protestors showing up at their offices and harassing their patients.
But it is not just pediatricians and legislators who are getting harassed.
It should be clear that the anti-vaccine movement has “shifted its tactics” as they continue to try and scare parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids.
“Upon close inspection, the anti-vaccination movement is not about vaccines. It’s an anti-government conspiracy theory. In order to believe the anti-vaccination line, you have to believe the government is working proactively to harm your children (by protecting them from deadly and debilitating diseases). It’s paranoid thinking, and a very small but vocal minority of Americans fervently embrace the irrational fear of immunization.”
The Sacramento Bee Editorial Board on Activism or Terrorism? Anti-vaccine movement must use facts, not violence, to argue