In the last few weeks alone, the anti-vax movement in Australia has attracted significant attention.
Then it was announced that Taylor Winterstein, the wife of NRL player Frank Winterstein, would be hosting a $200 workshop warning people about the ‘risks’ that come with vaccinations.
Days later, controversial chef Pete Evans endorsed an anti-vaxxer on his Facebook page.
To be clear – the World Health Organisation (WHO) states that “immunisation is a proven tool for controlling and eliminating life-threatening infectious diseases,” and estimate that each year, it averts “between 2 and 3 million deaths”.
Late last year, the WHO confirmed that the anti-vax movement has prompted a 30 per cent jump in measles cases worldwide, and has since listed “vaccine hesitancy” as one of the 10 global health threats of 2019.
Even Facebook is cracking down, recently announcing that we’ll see less and less anti-vax content in our feeds because they’re weeding it out and removing it from society’s peripheral.
The Quicky explores the latest anti-vaxxers to pollute the system. Post continues after podcast.
But time and time again, vaccinations have been proven to be safe, and the biggest myths around them have been debunked.
So, if someone in your life starts questioning them, send them this.
The seven biggest arguments used by anti-vaxxers, and why, frankly, they’re complete and utter bullsh*t.
1. Vaccination causes autism.
Despite being debunked time and time again, this claim just doesn’t seem to disappear.
It was a valid concern in the early 1990s, but we have 30 years of research, from multiple studies, that proves it’s completely false.
Autism rates in developing countries have risen in this time, but that’s likely to be because of increases in diagnoses, or changing definitions for autism.
In fact, the author of The Lancet, Dr Richard Horton who is behind a lot of the autism-vaccination link fears, admitted in 2004 he was paid by attorneys to write the journal that sparked the movement, because they wanted to file lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers. The paper was eventually retracted.
Sydney GP Dr Keang-Sing Lim told Mamamia it is still among the most common queries parents-to-be ask at his clinic when it comes to the topic of vaccination.
“Lot of studies look at the rate of autism between those who have been vaccinated and those who haven’t. The rate is the same. Vaccination DOES NOT increase rates of autism,” he said.
Anti-vaxxers also claim the Amish don’t vaccinate and do not have autism. This comes from a lie told by Dan Olmsted in Age of Autism.