Tag: Vaccine Education

Would Osler Stand for Anti-Vaccine Folks Using His Famous Quote?

I often find myself having to reset my irony meter after reading some of the anti-vacccine memes and posts that people send me.

Like when anti-vaccine folks quote the Founding Fathers

Would Osler Stand for Anti-Vaccine Folks Using His Famous Quote?

Or they quote William Osler…

You remember William Osler, don’t you?

In 1910, as smallpox outbreaks continued and anti-vaccine folks made it harder to get folks vaccinated, he wrote:

“I would like to issue a Mount-Carmel-like challenge to any ten unvaccinated priests of Baal. I will go into the next severe epidemic with ten selected, vaccinated persons and ten selected unvaccinated persons – I should prefer to choose the latter – three members of Parliament, three anti-vaccination doctors (if they can be found), and four anti-vaccination propagandists.

And I will make this promise – neither to jeer nor jibe when they catch the disease, but to look after them as brothers, and for the four or five who are certain to die, I will try to arrange the funerals with all the pomp and ceremony of an anti-vaccination demonstration.”

William Osler on Man’s Redemption of Man

Want to vote on whether Osler would pick Jim Meehan to be one of the anti-vaccination doctors for his challenge?

Anyway, the Osler quote that Meehan posted, about not taking medicine, doesn’t mean what he thinks it means.

Osler wasn’t telling folks to not take any medicines.

“Osler himself prescribed relatively few drugs, his basic armamentarium consisting of quinine for malaria, digitalis for heart failure, opiates for pain and coughs, and iron and arsenic for anemia.”

Would Osler stand by his famous quote today?

He just meant that folks should avoid medicines that weren’t necessary and had no chance of working. Medicines, at the time, which often did more harm than good.

While you likely could apply his statement to the overuse of antibiotics, he certainly wasn’t talking about vaccines!

More on Would Osler Stand for Anti-Vaccine Folks Using His Famous Quote?

Award Winning Vaccine Advocates

Many people advocate for vaccines.

They help scared parents understand that vaccines are safe, with few risks, and necessary.

And then there are those people who go and above and beyond what everyone else does.

Awards Winning Vaccine Advocates

These are the vaccine advocates who win awards.

“Vaccines cannot speak for themselves; they need vocal advocates in every community in order to preserve their great contributions to healthier lives and healthier communities.”

William Schaffner, MD The winner of the 2017 NVPO Excellence in Vaccine Communication Award

Vaccine advocates who:

  • go above and beyond to foster vaccination in their communities
  • use creative or innovative strategies to promote vaccination or address challenges to vaccination in their practice, health system, community, state, or region
  • work to improve immunization rates for individuals 65 years of age and older in medically underserved communities

From parents and pediatricians, to pharmacists, nurses, lawyers, nurse practioners, and naturopathic primary care providers, etc., there are people advocating for vaccines everywhere.

More on Awards Winning Vaccine Advocates

Which Vaccines can be Given SQ?

When most folks think about getting a vaccine, they typically picture someone getting a shot.

It is important to remember that not all vaccines are shots though.

And even for those vaccines that are given as shots, not all of them are given intramuscularly (IM).

Some vaccines are also given orally, nasally, and subcutaneously.

Which Vaccines can be Given SQ?

Vaccines that are given by subcutaneous injection include:

  • MMR
  • ProQuad (MMR/V combination of MMR and chickenpox vaccines)
  • Pneumovax* (Pneumococcal vaccine)
  • IPV* (polio vaccine)
  • Varivax (chickenpox vaccine)
  • Zoster (shingles vaccine)

*The Pneumovax and IPV vaccines can be given either IM or Subcutaneously (SQ). And there are some other exceptions too. Kids with hemophilia can get the hepatitis A and B vaccines SQ, instead of IM.

Where to Give SQ Injections?

After asking how many shots they are going to get, kids often ask where they are going to get them?

While infants get their subcutaneous injections in the fatty tissue over their anterolateral thigh muscle, toddlers and older children get them in the fatty tissue over their anterolateral thigh muscle or triceps.

Older children get SQ injections in the the upper-outer triceps area.
Older children get SQ injections in the the upper-outer triceps area.

Be sure to use the correct needle size, length and gauge (typically 5/8″ and 23-25 gauge), and insert the needle with a quick thrust at a 45° angle to the skin (rapid injection technique), pinching up on the SQ tissue to avoid hitting the muscle, and instead injecting in the subcutaneous tissue between the skin and muscle.

Also keep in mind that it is not necessary to aspirate after injecting the needle and that multiple injections in the same extremity should be separated by at least one inch.

What to Know About SQ Vaccines

It is important to know which vaccines need to be given subcutaneously (SQ) and both how and where to give these shots.

More on SQ Vaccines

 

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.