The frightening and false information that is being propagated by anti-vaxxers has led many people to either not vaccinate their children or decide on changing the rate at which the dosages are given, which is also dangerous. These people claim that they are not anti-vaccine but are merely seeking safer vaccines or methods of delivery. But their actions are harming the population at large.
John Oliver presents the case for why these people are wrong and ends by describing how he vaccinates his own prematurely born son on schedule, even despite the fears that the anti-vaxxers have infected his brain with. And that is often the case. People cannot shake off fears like this easily. People feel more guilty of bad results that might occur because of the things they do more than they feel guilty because of bad results because of things they did not do. So they tend to favor inaction.
Can the minds of anti-vaxxers be changed?
For the really hard-core ones, probably not. But a lot of reluctant ones probably yes. But there are a lot of crazies out there.
And we are getting measles outbreaks a over the place because we are slipping below herd immunity levels.
Marcus Ranum says
Think of it as just another demonstration of the effectiveness of propaganda.
I think when the volume of BS gets significantly lower than the volume of real information, you get change. Not in every person but in enough to carry through a society. The problem is the claims of the anti-vaxxers are scary enough and still widespread enough that they still take hold. We’ll be seeing trailing effects of this dubious nonsense for years to come.
And it’ll be harder to combat it in the US since the ideal way is to educate children so when they grow to be adults they don’t make the same mistakes as their parents. But some of the same science that vaccines are based on is under attack by religious crazies. And they also get not only a religious pass on their nonsense, they have their own little communities.
QFT -- I think this is the underlying problem with many anti-science sentiments from vaccines to GMO’s. I think it boils down to: what humans do, is bad. Original sin is still upon us.