Tag: celebrities

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:

Celebrities Who Advocate For Vaccines

Some of the first celebrities to advocate for vaccines did so to help combat polio.

lucy-desi-polio
In 1954, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz asked everyone to “give every dime and dollar” they could spare to fight polio.

From Grace Kelly to Elvis and Marilyn Monroe, stars lined up to support the efforts of the March of Dimes to end polio, with celebrity comedian Eddie Cantor leading the way.

Joan Crawford, Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Red Skelton, Johnny Cash, Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, and many others were a part of the Polio Crusade.

Before that though, there were celebrities that were working to fight smallpox. Celebrities of the time like Lewis Carroll, who is best known for writing Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.

There are, not surprisingly, many pro-vaccine celebrities now too.

  • Kristen Bell
  • Ewan McGregor
  • John Oliver
  • Jennifer Garner
  • Olivia Wilde
  • Amada Peet
  • Lenny Kravitz
  • David Beckham
  • Keri Russel
  • Julie Bowen
  • Serena Williams
  • Salma Hayek
  • Christy Turlington Burns
  • Kim Kardashian
  • Jennifer Lopez
  • Kristi Yamaguchi
  • Marc Anthony
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar
  • Kendra Wilkinson
  • Marissa Jaret Winokur

And like Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in the 1950s, many are working with organizations to help fight vaccine-preventable diseases and protect children.

Many, like Ewan McGregor and Salma Hayek, work with UNICEF.

Others promote flu vaccines, combat pertussis, or simply fight the anti-vaccine misinformation that is that out there.

For More Information On Celebrities Who Advocate For Vaccines:

Oprah on Vaccines

I don’t know how Oprah feels about vaccines or much of anything else.

What I do know is that a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show show can get the phones ringing at most pediatrician’s offices across the country – and not in a good way. The calls are from parents who all of a sudden have become scared to vaccinate their kids.

Her choices of celebrities to have on her show and the message about vaccines they gave to parents is just another example of the Oprah effect.

Unfortunately, in getting kids vaccinated and protected against vaccine-preventable diseases, the effect likely wasn’t so golden.

From hosting Jenny McCarthy to Dr. Christine Northrop, she has been “of the most potent forces in America for the undermining of critical thinking and science-based medicine in existence.”

For More Information on Oprah on Vaccines:

Celebrities Who Appear to Be Anti-Vaccine

alicia-silverstone

Very few people like to say that they are anti-vaccine.

Even the people who obviously are, often say that they aren’t.

They instead say that they are pro-safe vaccine or pro-vaccine choice or something.

Most have repeatedly said that they have delayed or skipped one or more vaccines though, which puts kids at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases. But what really makes them anti-vaccine is that they often push misinformation that scares other people from getting vaccinated.

Those celebrities who appear to be the most anti-vaccine include:

  • Jenny McCarthy
  • Jim Carrey
  • Rob Schneider
  • Kristin Cavallari
  • Bill Maher
  • Alicia Silverstone
  • Mayim Bilik
  • Charlie Sheen
  • Holly Robinson Peete
  • Chuck Norris
  • Lisa Bonet
  • Billy Corgan
  • Cindy Crawford
  • Jenna Elfman
  • Selma Blair
  • Esai Morales
  • Robert De Niro
  • Kirstie Alley
  • Miranda Bailey
  • Robert Rodriguez
  • Tisha Campbell-Martin
  • Toni Braxton
  • Melissa Leo
  • Brent Spiner
  • Aidan Quinn
  • Joe Rogan
  • Doug Flutie

Why? Several have autistic kids and they blame vaccines.

And perhaps even worse, are the celebrities who give them a platform to voice their anti-vaccine views, including Oprah, Donahue, Larry King, and Ricki Lake, etc.

For More Information On Celebrities Who Appear to Be Anti-Vaccine

Bill Maher on Vaccines

Bill Maher is well known for his anti-vaccine views.

On his own show, Real Time with Bill Maher, and when appearing on other shows, he has said that:

  • A flu shot is the worst thing you can do. (Larry King Live)
  • I don’t believe in vaccination either.
  • Measles is not really that deadly a disease.
  • I don’t understand why this is controversial? Why we have this emotional debate about something that—there is science there. It astounds me that liberals, who are always suspicious of corporations… and defending minorities, somehow when it comes to this minority that’s hurt, it’s like, ‘You know what? Shut the fuck up and let me take every vaccine that Merck wants to shove down my throat.’
  • I’ve never argued that vaccines don’t work. I just don’t think you need them… (Playboy interview)

Although he often says that he is not anti-vaccine, it is easy to see that Maher is hitting many classic anti-vaccine talking points, including that vaccine-preventable diseases aren’t that bad (they can be,  in fact, deadly), that vaccines injuries aren’t rare, and that vaccines aren’t necessary.

Maher also rejects the germ theory of disease that was first proposed by Louis Pasteur.

And in responding to critics of his views on vaccines, Bill Maher had this to say:

Now, sometimes its OK to fuck with nature — I believe “intelligent design” is often anything but intelligent; that “God’s perfect universe” is actually full of fuck ups and design flaws, like cleft lips and Down Syndrome — so correcting nature is sometimes the right thing to do. And then, sometimes its not. For me, the flu shot is in the “not” category.

As much as I dislike the high profile platform that he has to push his anti-vaccine views, the way he characterizes Down syndrome actually bothers me much more.

And that wasn’t even the only time he got into trouble talking about children with Down syndrome. In 2013, the National Down Syndrome Society and many others expressed their “deep disappointment and concern with your ongoing attacks on people who have Down syndrome.”

For More Information on Bill Maher:

Larry King on Vaccines

Most pediatricians can remember the increase in calls to their office from scared parents after these Larry King Live shows, such as when:

  • Bill Maher appeared in 2005 saying the flu shot is dangerous because it contains mercury and that getting  “a flu shot is the worst thing you can do”
  • Jenny McCarthy appeared in April 2008 to discuss vaccines and autism
  • Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey appeared in April 2009 to discuss vaccines and autism

Like Oprah and some others, Larry King has provided a high profile platform for many anti-vaccine celebrities and “to promote anti-vaccine pseudoscience.”

For More Information On Larry King:

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on Vaccines

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is the son of the late Robert Kennedy – President John F. Kennedy brother.

Some people will remember that President John F. Kennedy signed the Vaccination Assistance Act (Section 317 of the Public Health Service Act) in 1962, which was passed to “achieve as quickly as possible the protection of the population, especially of all preschool children…through intensive immunization activity over a limited period of time…” and which “remains one of the most important means of supporting health department immunization activities with federal funds.”

In contrast Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has pushed misinformation about mercury in vaccines that scares people away from getting vaccinated and protected.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has:

  • written a now retracted, “error-laced” expose in 2005 about vaccines and autism (Deadly Immunity) that appeared in both Salon and Rolling Stone
  • appeared at the Green Our Vaccines Rally with Jenny McCarthy
  • written a book – Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak: Mercury Toxicity in Vaccines and the Political, Regulatory, and Media Failures That Continue to Threaten Public Health

It shouldn’t be a surprise that people call him an anti-vaxxer.

For More Information On Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.:

 

References:
MMWR. Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, Immunizations, and MMWR — 1961–2011. October 7, 2011 / 60(04);49-57.