Tag: billboards

Fake News about Vaccine Doses for U.S. Children

Who is spreading the fake news about vaccine doses for U.S. children?

This Facebook post and billboard about vaccine doses is fake news. Can we get them taken down?
This Facebook post and billboard about vaccine doses is fake news. Can we get them taken down?

The usual suspects…

Fake News about Vaccine Doses for U.S. Children

You have likely seen the folks pushing the idea that kids get a lot more vaccines today than they used to in the “good old days,” right?

What did your generation do about vaccines and vaccine preventable diseases?
Some fixed these signs

It is somewhat true and it’s a good thing, as kids get more protection against more diseases!

How many vaccine doses do you count in this immunization schedule from the 1950s?
How many vaccine doses do you count in this immunization schedule from the 1950s? And yes, those vaccines had aluminum? And thimerosal

Still, these signs, articles, and billboards are very easy to debunk if you simply take a second to look at an old immunization schedule.

Is it 69 or 72? Anti-vax folks can't even agree on how to inflate the vaccine dose count...
Is it 69 or 72? These folks can’t even agree on how to inflate the vaccine dose count…

And understand that they are boosting the number vaccine doses by counting combination doses separately, something that for some reason they typically forget to do when talking about vaccines in 1960.

They also forget to mention that the benefit we get from the extra doses of vaccines kids get today, however you want to count them.

Hib and Prevnar alone prevent about 450 deaths in young children each year. Do you really want to go back to an immunization schedule from the 1980s?
Hib and Prevnar alone prevent about 450 deaths in young children each year. Does Bob Sears really want you to go back to an immunization schedule from the 1980s?

Whether it is the 1960s or 80s, fewer vaccines and vaccine doses at those times meant more diseases and more deaths from now vaccine preventable diseases.

Vaccines are safe, with few risks.

Propaganda and fake news about vaccines isn’t.

More on Fake News about Vaccine Doses

What Happened at the Global Vaccine Safety Summit?

Did Del Bigtree catch scientists from the WHO questioning the safety of vaccines at the Global Vaccine Safety Summit?

Did Del Bigtree catch scientists from the WHO questioning the safety of vaccines at the Global Vaccine Safety Summit?

While Del seems to imply some kind of investigative reporting, can you “catch” someone who readily puts all of their videos online? The Global Vaccine Safety Summit is available for everyone to watch on the WHO website…

What Happened at the Global Vaccine Safety Summit?

That some of the scientists would be questioning vaccine safety should not be surprising.

The purpose of the Global Vaccine Safety Summit is “to enhance WHO’s work on vaccine safety” and “feature the most recent state-of-the-art vaccine safety science as we transition to the next decade.”

It’s a shame that Del Bigtree and his followers didn’t take some time to objectively listen to the Global Vaccine Safety Summit presentations. Instead, he cherry picks out of context quotes to misrepresent what the experts at the Global Vaccine Safety Summit really said.

Del WHO?

To be clear, Del Bigtree was not at the Global Vaccine Safety Summit.

Heidi Larson is an expert on boosting vaccine confidence.

And it’s pretty obvious that all of the folks who have taken up his attacks haven’t even bothered to take the time to watch the video presentations from the Global Vaccine Safety Summit.

If they did, they would soon learn that the presenters didn’t say anything to support their cause.

Most health professionals understand that vaccines are safe and necessary.
Most health professionals understand that vaccines are safe and necessary.

For example, what did Dr. Heidi Larson have to say?

“The most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider and if we lose that, we’re in trouble. We haven’t lost it yet, but we talked about it earlier, some of the challenges are when the front line professionals are starting to question or they don’t feel like they have enough confidence about the safety to stand up to it to the person asking them the question.

I mean most medical school curriculums, even nursing curriculums, I mean in medical school you’re lucky if you have a half-day on vaccines. Never mind keeping up to date with all this.”

Heidi Larson on Vaccine safety in the next decade: Why we need new modes of trust building?

This doesn’t mean that doctors and nurses don’t learn a lot about vaccines in school.

The “keep up to date with all this” means that they don’t learn about vaccine hesitancy, vaccine conspiracy theories, and all of the misinformation that is thrown at them when parents question vaccine safety.

“In terms of confidence, HCPs with more knowledge about the vaccine were also more likely to recommend vaccination, although more support is needed, especially for managing difficult conversations with a vaccine reluctant patient or parent. Studies with different HCP groups in multiple settings identified a lack of preparedness for advising patients about vaccination and a lack of training as inhibiting factors for recommending the vaccine.”

Larson et al on Vaccine hesitancy and healthcare providers

More training about vaccine hesitancy would be a good thing!

Did she say that they aren’t using misinformation to influence people to think that vaccines aren’t safe or necessary?

It's still propaganda...
It’s still propaganda…

Nope.

At this point in her presentation, she was simply talking about the latest propaganda techniques that might scare parentsbillboards.

I know that the ingredients in vaccines are safe, with few risks.
I know that the ingredients in vaccines are safe, with few risks.

And how they use techniques to instill doubts about vaccine, even if they don’t include overt misinformation.

“A lot of it is not misinformation, it’s asking questions. The people who are questioning, particularly the ones who are more motivated to disrupt than necessarily asking genuine questions, are putting questions on billboards.”

Heidi Larson on Vaccine safety in the next decade: Why we need new modes of trust building?

While there is certainly nothing wrong with asking real questions, that’s not what is happening here.

These folks are simply JAQing off – they are “just asking questions…”, but aren’t really looking for answers.

It is a propaganda tool.

“One of our biggest challenges I think now is getting rid of the term anti-vax, getting rid of the hostile language, and starting to have more conversations, to be open to questions, to make people feel like they shouldn’t be judged when they are asking questions. As crazy as those questions might seem to you, as stupid as they might seem, or as ignorant as they might seem, we can’t risk losing another person’s confidence in safety right now.”

Heidi Larson on Vaccine safety in the next decade: Why we need new modes of trust building?

That some folks are misusing the things Heidi Larson said to instill doubts about vaccines is quite ironic.

“This is about politics, geo-politics, development and a hyper-connected, anxious populations”

Heidi Larson on Vaccine safety in the next decade: Why we need new modes of trust building?

In the long run, her extensive work on boosting vaccine confidence will help get more kids vaccinated and protected.

More on the Global Vaccine Safety Summit

Where Are All of the Vaccine Advocates?

With more outbreaks and increased talk of vaccine exemptions, one thing often gets lost.

Most people vaccinate and protect their kids because they understand that vaccines are safe, with few risks, and necessary.

Where Are All of the Vaccine Advocates?

Unfortunately, unlike the highly vocal minority of folks who are against vaccines, we rarely hear from vaccine advocates.

There are a lot of them out there though.

And we are finally starting to hear more about them!

“One woman took four of her kids for the M.M.R. that week.”

Amid a Measles Outbreak, an Ultra-Orthodox Nurse Fights Vaccination Fears in Her Community

Like the story of a nurse in Brooklyn who is educating vaccine-hesitant parents in the middle of a measles outbreak.

And how vaccine-hesitant parents in Oregon are attending vaccine workshops to learn about vaccines from medical professionals.

“The response has been overwhelmingly positive. In exit surveys, the vast majority of people who attend our workshops say they’ve decided to vaccinate their children as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.”

How do you get anti-vaxxers to vaccinate their kids? Talk to them — for hours.

Had you heard their stories yet?

How about the story about the mom who started the group South Carolina Parents for Vaccines?

“Nelson tries to counter bad information online with facts. But she also understands the value of in-person dialogue. She organized a class at a public library and advertised the event on mom forums.”

A Parent-To-Parent Campaign To Get Vaccine Rates Up

Did you know that a mom in Colorado, who started the group Community Immunity, put up a billboard to help raise immunization rates in her community?

Or that a group of parents formed Vaccinate California and helped support the passage of SB 277 and improved vaccination rates in California?

Did you know that there are similar immunization advocacy groups in Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington?

Other communities have Immunization Coalitions and Facebook groups to help answer questions and educate parents about vaccines.

Are you ready to join these vaccine advocates?

More on All of the Vaccine Advocates

How Are Australia’s New Vaccine Laws Working?

Have you heard about the No Jab, No Play / Pay laws in Australia?

Did Australia's new vaccine laws prompt anti-vaccine folks to put up these billboards that eventually got vandalized?
Did Australia’s new vaccine laws prompt anti-vaccine folks to put up these billboards that eventually got vandalized?

Unlike the No Pass, No Play rules that we have in Texas, in which kids can’t participate in extracurricular activities unless they pass all of their classes, No Jab, No Play / Pay has to do with getting kids vaccinated.

They were enacted in 2016 due to an increase in outbreaks of vaccine preventable disease, a rise in the spread of anti-vaccine misinformation, and more parents choosing to delay or skip their child’s vaccines. As in the United States, the real problem has been clusters of unvaccinated children in certain regions of the country, as the great majority of people in Australia vaccinate their kids.

How Are Australia’s New Vaccine Laws Working?

As expected, Australia’s new vaccine laws have been a success.

On the national level, No Jab, No Pay has meant that children need to be fully immunized “as a requirement for parents to be eligible to receive the Family Tax Benefit Part A end of year supplement, Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate.”

Five-year-olds in Victoria are now better protected against diseases prevented by vaccination than in any other state in Australia, new data shows.

Victoria Leads The Nation When It Comes To Vaccination Rates

But it is only in New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria that children need to be immunized to attend childcare – No Jab, No Play. Additionally, children need to be immunized to attend kindergarten in Queensland and Victoria.

An increase in vaccination rates, by 2 to 5%, has been seen nationwide though.

What about the idea that No Jab, No Play has lead to a drop in preschool enrollments?

KATHARINA GORKA, NON-VACCINATING PARENT: I don’t think it is fair, to be honest. It makes me feel like we are a bit excluded from society, yeah.
PETER MCCUTCHEON: Did you ever think, “I’ll get my son vaccinated so I get around this pre-school problem”?
KATHARINA GORKA: No, I never thought about that.
PETER MCCUTCHEON: Why not?
KATHARINA GORKA: Because I have a set opinion on vaccinations and that is not going to change.

Some pre-schools experience drop in enrolments over ‘no jab, no play’ policy

The law about attending daycare and kindergarten just came into effect in New South Wales, in 2018, but has been in effect since 2016 in Victoria.

We will have to wait a few more months for the 2018 numbers, but preschool enrollment in Victoria was way up after they instituted their strict vaccine requirements!

In Australia during 2017, 339,243 children aged 4 or 5 were enrolled in a preschool program, representing an increase of 2.6% on the previous year’s figure. The largest growth rates were in the Australian Capital Territory (6%) and Victoria (5%).

Australian Bureau of Statistics on Preschool Education, Australia, 2017

Maybe folks just don’t want to go to care centers that had been pandering to anti-vaccine parents

Still, some vaccine advocates don’t think that No Jab, No Play / Pay laws are a good idea for Australia. Many also don’t think that it is a good idea that some Australian doctors are starting to refuse to see unvaccinated children, a practice that seems to have been exported from the United States.

Others don’t see alternatives, as they feel that they have been trying for a long time to educate parents that vaccines are safe and necessary, and this is one of the few ways that can reliably improve vaccination rates.

More on Australia’s New Vaccine Laws