Tag: arguments

Immunization Quiz

Think that you have done enough research about vaccines and are ready to take our immunization quiz?

Let’s see how you do…

Results

Great job!

Good try, but you might want to do a little more research about vaccines.

#1 You might need a tetanus shot if…

Any contaminated puncture wounds, whether from a rusty nail, bite, or scratch, may require a tetanus shot and TIG if your immunizations aren’t current.

#2 DTaP stands for…

DTaP stands for Diphtheria, Tetanus and acellular Pertussis.

#3 If you miss one or more of your child’s sets of shots, you will usually need to…

In general, you do not need to restart the entire series of a vaccine if you miss one or more doses. You should schedule a visit as soon as possible to get caught up though.

#4 If your child has a possible side effect after getting his vaccines, you can report it to…

You or your Pediatrician can report possible vaccine side effects to VAERS, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

#5 Prevnar is a vaccine that protects against infections with the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, which commonly causes…

The Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria can commonly cause meningitis, blood infections, pneumonia and ear infections.

#6 In general, vaccines are…

Vaccines are neither 100% safe nor 100% effective, but they do offer the ‘highest degree of protection with the lowest rate of untoward effects’ and the benefits of getting vaccinated is thought by most professionals to outweigh the risks.

#7 Heather Whitestone, who was crowned Miss America in 1994, was deaf because of…

Newspapers reported that Heather Whitestone, who won the Miss America pageant in 1994, had a reaction to the DPT shot. In reality, her deafness was a result of a Hib infection.

#8 If you want to protect your healthy 6 year old against the flu, you can get him a flu vaccine in a…

Flumist, a nasal spray flu vaccine, can be given to healthy children who are at least 2 years old, so this child could either get a regular flu shot or the nasal spray.

#9 Which of the following vaccines usually aren’t given until your child’s first birthday?

The first MMR vaccine usually isn’t given until a child is 12-15 months of age, although it can be given as early as 6 months if they will be traveling to a high risk area or during an outbreak, with the dose repeated at 12 months. The first DTaP is given at 2 months and the influenza vaccine (flu shot) can be given to infants over age 6 months. The Td or tetanus vaccine is not given until a child is at least 7 years old.

#10 At what age can children begin getting yearly flu shots?

#11 You can get a flu vaccine if you are…

In general, you can get a flu shot if you are breastfeeding or pregnant. People with severe egg allergies should talk to their doctor before getting a flu shot, but they can still usually be vaccinated. There is no association between milk allergies and the flu shot.

#12 MMR stands for…

MMR is a combination of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccines.

#13 Before going to college, students, especially those that will be living in a dorm should consider getting…

College students, particularly those who live in dormitories, have a slightly increased risk of getting meningococcal disease and should get a meningococcal vaccine (Menactra or Menveo). A menB vaccine is also now available.

#14 There are vaccines to prevent your child from getting infected with the…

There is currently no hepatitis C vaccine, but children and adults can get vaccinated with both the hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines.

#15 In the United States, the oral polio vaccine is…

The oral polio or Sabin vaccine is no longer given to children in the United States because in a few people (about one in 2.4 million), it can cause polio. The oral polio vaccine is actually better at keeping the disease from spreading to other people though and is still used in many parts of the world.

#16 There are vaccines that can protect people against…

There are vaccines to protect against smallpox and anthrax, however there are no vaccines against SARS or the West Nile virus. The vaccine against Lyme Disease is no longer available. We do have a Rotavirus vaccine.

#17 You have lost your 5 year olds shot records and he is about to start school. You may have to…

Since Hib and Prevnar are usually only given to children under age 5, you would not have to repeat all of his shots. You will have to repeat some of them though (DTaP (4doses), IPV (3doses), hepatitis A (2 doses), hepatitis B (3 doses), MMR (2 doses), Chickenpox (2 doses)) if you do not test his immunity or titer testing does not prove that he is immune.

#18 If a women is pregnant, which shots should her kids not receive?

A pregnant household member, including the child’s mother, is not a contraindication to administration of any vaccine.

#19 Waning immunity is an issue for which of the following vaccines?

Vaccine-induced immunity to pertussis is thought to last for just a few years following the last dose. Measles and chickenpox immunity is long lasting.

#20 Your child should not get a vaccine if…

In general, vaccines do not need to be delayed for mild illnesses, with or without fever, such as a cold or if your child is taking antibiotics. Having had a severe allergic reaction to a vaccine is usually a contraindication or reason not to get another one.

finish

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More on the Immunization Quiz

About Those Binders of Anti-Vaccine Misinformation

Anti-vaccine folks don’t have to just turn to Facebook or the Sears Vaccine Book anymore – they are preparing their own binders of anti-vaccine misinformation.

There are a few versions of these binders of anti-vaccine misinformation going around.
There are a few versions of these binders of anti-vaccine misinformation going around.

How does that work?

Binders of Anti-Vaccine Misinformation

Apparently, they just collect and print all of the anti-vaccine articles from their typical copypasta arguments and load them all up into binders.

Including copyrighted material in your binders might make you want to stop selling them too...
Including copyrighted material in your binders might make you want to stop selling them too…

Here is one the entries from Ashley Everly‘s binder, from the section on “asymptomatic transmission and shedding:”

The rash started two days after his fever, too short a time for measles, and there wasn't even any documentation of prolonged fever.
The rash started two days after his fever, too short a time for measles, and there wasn’t even any documentation of prolonged fever.

Does it provide evidence for asymptomatic transmission or shedding of measles?

Nope.

The child had a rash after having his measles vaccine and had the flu. He likely didn’t have measles. Not even vaccine-associated measles.

Anyway, as is typical for these binders, they only use one example that might reinforce their argument, but leave out all of the ones that don’t.

“In the end we are left with a powerful sense of knowledge – false knowledge. Confirmation bias leads to a high level of confidence, we feel we are right in our gut. And when confronted with someone saying we are wrong, or promoting an alternate view, some people become hostile.

The Dunning-Kruger effect is not just a curiosity of psychology, it touches on a critical aspect of the default mode of human thought, and a major flaw in our thinking. It also applies to everyone – we are all at various places on that curve with respect to different areas of knowledge. You may be an expert in some things, and competent in others, but will also be toward the bottom of the curve in some areas of knowledge.”

Steven Novella on Lessons from Dunning-Kruger

These binders are just like their Facebook groups – echo chambers of anti-vaccine misinformation.

They won’t help you do research about vaccines and they certainly won’t help you win any debates or arguments with someone who truly knows something about vaccines.

More On Those Binders of Anti-Vaccine Misinformation

Ask 8 Questions Before You Skip a Vaccine

As anti-vaccine folks get more attention because of the rise in outbreaks of vaccine-preventable disease, in addition to more folks getting vaccinated, we are seeing some of the leaders of the anti-vaccine movement get more vocal.

Are measles outbreaks a sign that the anti-vaccine movement is “winning?”

Meetings, dinners, rallies…

They are doing everything they can to get their misinformation and propaganda out so that you don’t vaccinate and protect your kids.

Ask 8 Questions Before You Skip a Vaccine

If you see any of these folks, ask them a few questions…

  1. If Andrew Wakefield was right, and the MMR vaccine is associated with autism, then why are you worried about thimerosal? The MMR vaccine never contained thimerosal…
  2. If Robert F. Kennedy, Jr is right, and it is all about thimerosal, then why are you worried about the MMR vaccine? The MMR vaccine never contained thimerosal…
  3. If you are worried about thimerosal and aluminum, then why are you worried about the MMR vaccine? Not only has it never contained thimerosal, as a live vaccine, but it has also never contained aluminum.
  4. If vaccines are associated with autism, then why don’t the counties with the highest immunization rates have the highest rates of autism?
  5. If better hygiene and sanitation got rid of vaccine-preventable diseases, then why didn’t it do it for all diseases at the same time? And why hasn’t it gotten rid of RSV, Ebola, Zika, HIV, Norovirus, and all of the diseases that we don’t have vaccines for?
  6. If measles is so mild, then during the measles epidemics from 1989 to 1991 in the United States, why were 11,000 people hospitalized and why did 123 people die?
  7. If you are concerned about vaccines that have a distant association with abortion, then why don’t you vaccinate your kids with all of the vaccines that don’t use WI-38 and MRC-5 cells lines?
  8. If your arguments are so solid, then why do you need to keep moving the goalposts (it’s autoimmune diseases they are worried about now, not autism) and why are they so easy to refute (vaccines aren’t associated with autoimmune diseases either)?

The answers will be predictable.

They will revolve around three basic core beliefs of the anti-vaccine movement.

  • The belief that vaccines are toxic, full of poison, and always cause damage and injuries.
  • The belief that vaccine-preventable diseases are mild and you are better off getting natural immunity.
  • The belief that vaccines don’t even work.

Is that what you believe?

Will you let those kinds of beliefs scare you away from vaccinating and protecting your kids?

Are you going to put our kids at risk because you believe those things?

Are you really making an informed choice to skip or delay a vaccine when all of the scary things that people are telling you about vaccines aren’t even true?

More on Questions to Ask Before You Skip a Vaccine

Making Sense of Anti-Vaccine Arguments

Have you ever tried to understand or make sense out of the things anti-vaccine folks say?

How did it go?

Making Sense of Anti-Vaccine Arguments

Consider what a group of anti-vaccine folks did with the above post about a child with severe complications to a chicken pox infection…

It's always a vaccine injury...
It’s always a vaccine injury…

What are some of the big complications of chicken pox infections? Complications that help make chicken pox deadly?

That’s right, secondary skin and soft tissue bacterial infections (cellulitis and necrotizing fasciitis). In fact, bacterial super-infections of the skin are the most common complication of chicken pox infections.

“Necrotizing fasciitis can lead to sepsis, shock, and organ failure. It can also result in life-long complications from loss of limbs or severe scarring due to surgically removing infected tissue. Even with treatment, up to 1 in 3 people with necrotizing fasciitis die from the infection.”

Necrotizing Fasciitis: All You Need to Know

No, chicken pox is not necrotizing fasciitis, but all of the breaks in the skin from chicken pox lesions give bacteria, including group A Streptococcus (group A strep) and Staphylococcus aureus, plenty of opportunities to enter a child’s body and quickly spread.

No one in the Netherlands dies with chicken pox???
No one in the Netherlands dies with chicken pox???

We often hear that chicken pox isn’t serious in other countries that don’t routinely use the chicken pox vaccine. Don’t believe them.

On average, about two young children die in the Netherlands each year due to chicken pox.

“Based on the results presented in this study we estimate that between 3 to 8% of all Dutch patients with varicella, depending on age, consult a GP due to a complication. Our findings are similar to data from Germany, France and the United States of America, were it is estimated that in approximately 2 to 6% of cases attending a general practice. Furthermore of these varicella patients 1.7% experiences complications severe enough to seek hospital care.”

Pierik et al on Epidemiological characteristics and societal burden of varicella zoster virus in the Netherlands

And folks in the Netherlands have similar rates of complications as we did in the United States in the pre-vaccine era and many are hospitalized.

Do you understand what’s happening in these comments? When folks choose to skip or delay their child’s vaccines, they will work hard to justify their decision.

Escaping cognitive dissonance explains a lot of anti-vaccine arguments.
Escaping cognitive dissonance explains a lot of anti-vaccine arguments.

That’s not surprising.

“the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.”

cognitive dissonance definition

If you aren’t going to vaccinate your kids, do you want to think that you are leaving them at risk for such a serious complication, even if it is rare, or will you make up reasons for why the story can’t possibly be true?

Now these folks become skeptics?
Now these folks become skeptics?

Sure, these folks believe every vaccine injury story on Facebook without any proof, but all of a sudden they all become skeptics when faced with a story highlighting the known complications of a vaccine-preventable disease.

That’s the modern anti-vaccine movement.

More on Making Sense of Anti-Vaccine Arguments