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Pro-Vaccination Efforts May Be Scaring Wary Parents From Shots

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the can't-win-for-losing dept.

Medicine 482

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Thomas Kienzle reports for the Associated Press on a study which found public health campaigns touting vaccines' effectiveness and debunking the links between autism and other health risks might actually be backfiring, and convincing parents to skip the shots for their kids. 'Corrections of misperceptions about controversial issues like vaccines may be counterproductive in some populations,' says Dr. Brendan Nyhan. 'The best response to false beliefs is not necessarily providing correct information.' In the study, researchers focused on the now-debunked idea that the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella (or MMR) caused autism. Surveying 1,759 parents, researchers found that while they were able to teach parents that the vaccine and autism were not linked, parents who were surveyed who had initial reservations about vaccines said they were actually less likely to vaccinate their children after hearing the researchers messages. Researchers looked at four methods designed to counter the myth (PDF) that the MMR vaccine can cause autism. They gave people either information from health authorities about the lack of evidence for a connection, information about the danger of the three diseases the MMR vaccine protects against, pictures of children who had one of those three diseases, or a story about an infant who almost died from measles.

At the study's start, the group of parents who were most opposed to vaccination said that on average, the chance they would vaccinate a future child against MMR was 70 percent. After these parents had been given information that the MMR vaccine does not cause autism, they said, on average, the chance they would vaccinate a future child was only 45 percent — even though they also said they were now less likely to believe the vaccine could cause autism. Vaccination rates are currently high, so it's important that any strategies should focus on retaining these numbers and not raise more concerns, tipping parents who are willing to vaccinate away from doing so. 'We shouldn't put too much weight on the idea that there's some magic message out there that will change people's minds.'"

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You would hope (4, Interesting)

bobstreo (1320787) | about 9 months ago | (#46400019)

This recessive gene would be removed from the gene pool in one or two iterations of viral infections.

Re:You would hope (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 9 months ago | (#46400229)

You would be wrong. If human stupidity were truly genetic, that would still be an easy answer that ignores things like herd immunity.

Re:You would hope (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400571)

Actually this knowledge is counter to evolution. Our evolution has shaped the survival mind to trust only your self and those extremely close to you and be extremely wary of others.

Pro-vaccination messages should really pursue the "trust" model, and get commuity leaders, churches, womens magazines etc to all join in the discussion and focus on the positive only. Don't even mention all the false autism links etc...

Re:You would hope (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 9 months ago | (#46400759)

Unfortunately vaccinating less affects the rest of the herd and not just them.

Education (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400049)

People need to be educated in a general sense to evaluate this stuff rationally. If you take a bunch of uneducated redneck hicks and have an authority figure tell them how it should be they're going to be suspicious because they don't have the tools to evaluate the claims and for most of their life authority figures have FUCKED them.

Re:Education (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#46400067)

In other words, people are fucking morons.

Re:Education (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400411)

I wouldn't go so far as to call authority figures people............

Re:Education (5, Insightful)

blackbeak (1227080) | about 9 months ago | (#46400607)

In other words, people are fucking morons.

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.” --- Dr. Marcia Angell (Harvard Medical School)

Apparently those untrusting "fucking morons" are in very good company.

Re:Education (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 9 months ago | (#46400093)

Read Tres Roeder's "A Sixth Sense for Project Management" and get back to me.

Re: Education (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400111)

You're right. Those jerks, building roads and rendering justice. If they can't do it perfectly all the time then I don't want to pay them a DIME in taxes. You watch, I won't vaccinate my kids; that'll teach 'em.

Re:Education (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400191)

People need to be educated in a general sense to evaluate this stuff rationally. If you take a bunch of uneducated redneck hicks and have an authority figure tell them how it should be they're going to be suspicious because they don't have the tools to evaluate the claims and for most of their life authority figures have FUCKED them.

I'm glad this is voted down to -1, due this ACshole calling an entire group of people "a bunch of uneducated redneck hicks", but the fact is that many of us HAVE INDEED been fucked by the government, and lied to repeatedly by authorities, and will no longer listen to anything they tell us without serious doubt.

signed, A Highly Educated Redneck Hick.

Re:Education (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400273)

Gradiated 3rd grade?

Re:Education (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400319)

signed, A Highly Educated Redneck Hick.

So basically retarded.

Re:Education (4, Insightful)

Jawnn (445279) | about 9 months ago | (#46400575)

People need to be educated in a general sense to evaluate this stuff rationally. If you take a bunch of uneducated redneck hicks and have an authority figure tell them how it should be they're going to be suspicious because they don't have the tools to evaluate the claims and for most of their life authority figures have FUCKED them.

And yet..., they will still vote for those same authority figures who simply tell them what they want to hear.

"survey" science is not valid (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400085)

these idiots call me all the time. i waste as much of their time as i can, and then i give answers i know to be opposite of the result they were attempting to elicit.... and then they tell the world as if it is fact.

the problem isn't idiots who would rather you didn't inject foreign substances into their bodies... or even idiots who would simply like to ensure they always have the option of rejecting the injection of foreign substances into their bodies....... the problem is idiot scientists that don't have the first clue about how confirmable research works.

slashdot = stagnated

good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400087)

good, let their children die. natural selection at its finest.

Re:good (1)

seebs (15766) | about 9 months ago | (#46400201)

This sounds all edgy and clever, until you look at who actually dies. Hint: Not just their kids.

some magic message (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400103)

"get the word out" "outreach" "send the right message", etc. Statists start with the presumption that people are ignorant and in dire need of being informed; once they're blessed with the word from on high they'll fall right in line and be good little citizens.

Solution - Face-saving way out (5, Interesting)

pla (258480) | about 9 months ago | (#46400115)

This study basically says that people get pissy when you prove them wrong, making them dig in their heels even though they may grudgingly agree with you.

That bit of information reduces the problem to a much, much easier one to deal with than the previous hypothesis of willful ignorance - These people just need us to give them a way to save face.

Disclaimer - I write what I write next as someone who loathes government intervention. But just make vaccinations mandatory. Simple as that. No more BS opting out on religious grounds, no more opting out because Jenny said not to, no more trusting in herd immunity while actively undermining it. Get your kids vaccinated, period, end of story; don't like it, too bad.

That way, no one needs to "back down" - Parents can gleefully shrug their shoulders, swear at Uncle Sam while quietly breathing a sigh of relief, and we can all move on as though none of this ever happened.

Wrong, study shows disfavor with science. (-1, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 9 months ago | (#46400233)

This study basically says that people get pissy when you prove them wrong

70% were willing to get vaccinations - so the study was proving them RIGHT. Yet a large number of them changed course AFTER they were told they were right...

So it has zero to do with being "corrected". I think it has more to do with he messenger - scientists in general are now nearly despised, because of how they have misled people over decades now. From nutritional advice to the AGW cult, pretty much if a "scientist" tells you something now the population has learned there's an angle, and that angle is not meant for them. So who can blame them from shying away when the thing the scientists are saying is actually true for once?

This is a huge problem because we really need scientists to be trusted in general for the good of the population, to make intelligent choices. But science is now so intertwined in politics now I don't know how you begin untangling anything.

Re:Wrong, study shows disfavor with science. (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#46400249)

Translation: I'm a fucking moron who fears and doesn't understand science.

Nice premise (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400355)

Your premise seems to be that anyone that doesn't agree with you is a moron, what a complete and thoughtful scientific basis for an argument.

Re:Nice premise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400413)

But I forgot to add, in this case you appear to be totally correct. Good job!

Re:Wrong, study shows disfavor with science. (5, Insightful)

pitchpipe (708843) | about 9 months ago | (#46400509)

Translation: I'm a fucking moron who fears and doesn't understand science.

You know, I don't usually support insults like this, but SuperKendall's post shows such a level of willful ignorance and misinformation that I think in this case MightyMartian isn't actually insulting him but stating a fact.

Re:Wrong, study shows disfavor with science. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400619)

Right up there with "I'm a fucking moron who believes anything said and done by anyone calling themselves a scientist".

Re:Wrong, study shows disfavor with science. (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 9 months ago | (#46400681)

Translation: I'm a fucking moron who fears and doesn't understand science.

Unless you've done the research and experimentation yourself, you don't understand the science either, you just choose to believe it.
This has nothing to do with science and everything to do with people not trusting the government.

Re:Wrong, study shows disfavor with science. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400809)

Translation: I'm a fucking moron who fears and doesn't understand science.

Yes MightyMartian you are!

Re:Wrong, study shows disfavor with science. (1)

sjames (1099) | about 9 months ago | (#46400829)

Not really, no. I believe strongly in making rational choices based on sound knowledge. Because of that, I have found that about 90% of what the pharmaceutical industry would have me believe these days is 100% pure crap. Many people have noticed that.

Once you degenerate to that point, even when you tell the truth, people will assume you are lying. It's a simple heuristic that is more often right than wrong. So the more you talk up the jabs, the more people assume you're lying.

To make that stop, we're going to have to quit seeing drug ads where they talk about how [minor annoyance] will be all gone and then blip up the bit about liver failure, hair loss, blindness, cancer and death so fast you have to record it and go frame by frame to pick it out (or, just as bad, they try to say those things in a soothing almost bedtime story voice). We'll have to stop the $500 drugs that are no better than the $5 drugs for the vast majority of patients. We have to stop urging people to switch from mostly harmless foods to toxic foods "for their health" based on wild-ass guessing or a need to pump up profits.

Do those things, wash off the big business stench, and there's a chance the public will start believing western doctors again.

Re:Wrong, study shows disfavor with science. (2)

PRMan (959735) | about 9 months ago | (#46400433)

I agree with this. Scientists are becoming so unbelievably political that it gets more and more difficult to trust that they actually have your best interests (or even the truth) at heart.

Re:Wrong, study shows disfavor with science. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400807)

I disagree. They way I see it, you have a political party populated by folks who view reality as merely an opposing (and invalid) viewpoint.
Due to the US's 2-part system and the "if you're not for us, you must be against us" line of thinking, anyone who doesn't agree with the viewpoints of such a political must be part of the opposing side.
It's not the scientists that are politicizing science, it's the science-deniers.

Re:Wrong, study shows disfavor with science. (4, Insightful)

Jawnn (445279) | about 9 months ago | (#46400643)

WTF? So AGW is just an unscientific cult, foisted on us by evil scientists? Y'all forgot to include the scientists lying about evolution, and aborshuns, and gay marriage and other things the bible says is true. Talk about your ignorant rednecks...

Gee...I wonder why science is intertwined... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400823)

Maybe science is political because the religious right made it that way by claiming that dinosaurs are fucking tricks of the devil, that the planet somehow violates the laws of physics, that everything they hate is somehow immoral, but the stuff they don't want to go along with is okay. Maybe they should just get the fucking education and prove them wrong, but they can't because the fucking science is there and it's hard. The FUD that gets spread around about science these days is fucking absurd. The Republican party started a war. They've got guns. We've got nukes, drones, and computers. Let's just fucking start the second civil war they are so keen on so we can beat their asses yet again and get past this fucking absurd idea that Christianity and the state belong together.

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400253)

Oooorrrr....we could *not* make it a "law" and let the stupid sort itself out. It will only take a few years before people vaccinate, regardless of what harm they believe it can do. It's called evolution, and for once I would like to see stupid people remove themselves from the gene pool instead of being "saved" by well meaning (but not clear thinking) individuals that "know" how to save them. Maybe they shouldn't be saved?

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400255)

They won't cooperate? Get a bigger hammer. Still won't cooperate? Use an even bigger hammer. Keep escalating the amount of force until they comply with your wishes. You have the correct view of the world and you know what is best for others, so you shouldn't hesitate to compel everyone by whatever means you deem sufficient. In the end, after they been fully coerced into conformance, they'll be happy and thank you for it. You won't even have to force them to sing your praises.

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400263)

When you say "The government should make something mandatory" you need to remember that the way the government makes something mandatory is, if you don't do it, they send a man to your house to shoot you.

Even though I absolutely believe everyone should receive vaccines, and I can and will argue that point, I also believe that the US Government has no authority to force anyone to receive an injection.

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400735)

Normally I agree with this line of reasoning, but in this case simply >breathing without vaccinations is an act of aggression. At the very least, anti-vaccine holdouts should be forced to pay restitution to their victims.

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (4, Insightful)

the gnat (153162) | about 9 months ago | (#46400267)

But just make vaccinations mandatory. Simple as that. No more BS opting out on religious grounds, no more opting out because Jenny said not to, no more trusting in herd immunity while actively undermining it. Get your kids vaccinated, period, end of story; don't like it, too bad.

There will always be valid exceptions. Some people (immune-compromised, usually) simply can't handle vaccination - it really would kill them. This is a recognized problem for which there is no solution. And which vaccines should be required? I happen to think that immunization against HPV is a good idea, but you can't get HPV because the kid next to you didn't cover his mouth when he sneezed.

There is historical precedent for your proposal, however: this is what was done with smallpox, which is why no one has caught smallpox since before I was born. But smallpox makes measles look like a mild cold in comparison.

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | about 9 months ago | (#46400321)

But just make vaccinations mandatory

Devil's advocate: What part of the United States Constitution (or even the Constitution of one of the 50 States) authorizes the Government to compel vaccination? It's "compelled" through requirements to vaccinate your children before they can attend public school, which has passed muster, but an outright mandate absent no other interaction with the State? Where does such authority come from?

No more BS opting out on religious grounds

That wouldn't pass Constitutional muster even if you can find authority to mandate vaccinations.

A far more effective IMHO (and Constitutional) way to encourage vaccines would be to give the opposed parties an all expenses paid vacation to any part of the Third World that doesn't have access to modern vaccinations. People forget just how horrible some of these diseases truly were. Perhaps it's time to remind them.

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400379)

Devil's advocate: What part of the United States Constitution (or even the Constitution of one of the 50 States) authorizes the Government to compel vaccination?

Devil's respondent: the first sentence, the part saying "to promote the general Welfare".

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400399)

What part

The "promote the general welfare" part. That part trumps all the other parts, including all the specifically enumerated rights. Somehow.

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (3, Informative)

Electrawn (321224) | about 9 months ago | (#46400417)

Compelled vaccination would fall under implied power. Random fact of the day: ICE's jurisdiction is an implied power.

Here are the relevant parts of the constitution:
"Implied powers are which can reasonably be assumed to flow from express powers, though not explicitly mentioned. The legitimacy of these powers flows from the "General Welfare" clause in the Preamble, the "Necessary & Proper Clause", and the "Commerce Clause." " (Quote from Wikipedia)

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 9 months ago | (#46400687)

The General Welfare clause is part of the taxing and spending power, it's not a license for the Federal Government to mandate behaviors on the part of the general populace. Even the current administration didn't try and argue the General Welfare Clause authorized their insurance mandate and they take a very broad view (by American standards) of Governmental power.

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400549)

What part of the United States Constitution (or even the Constitution of one of the 50 States) authorizes the Government to compel vaccination?

If your house is on fire, and you object to putting it out, what part of the constitution compels the fire department to respect your wishes to let the fire to burn and spread?

Please stop treating the US constitution as a perfect complete guide to all possible matters and situations in the universe forever and ever, it's embarrassing.

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (1)

profplump (309017) | about 9 months ago | (#46400573)

What part of the constitution allows parents to compel their children not to get vaccinated (or to get vaccinated, for that matter)? If we're going to talk about this in terms of individual freedom, shouldn't we consider the individuals actually affected?

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400587)

It's "compelled" through requirements to vaccinate your children before they can attend public school, which has passed muster,

I generally agree that the Federal or State governments can't pass laws mandating universal vaccination, and that compulsory vaccination for participation in schooling is probably the best way to go, with exemptions granted for specific medical cases where the vaccination would actually harm or kill the individual in question. Proof of vaccinations or an acceptable exemption should be required at every single school in the US, including post-secondary schools.

However, the problem is that the school boards have also allowed exclusions for "religious or personal beliefs", which is a crock. That exclusion category should be eliminated entirely.

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 9 months ago | (#46400787)

However, the problem is that the school boards have also allowed exclusions for "religious or personal beliefs", which is a crock.

Exemptions for religious beliefs are a crock? Those are well supported in the case law. School boards allow them because the case law says they'll lose if they try to fight it in Court and most school districts don't have spare cash laying around to throw at lawyers.

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400341)

Usually when people lie to you, what it means is they don't believe you, and don't believe they have any choice in the matter, and they want you to go away.

If a doctor can't break down their craft to something a normal person can understand, then they are incompetent. End of story.

Make vaccinations mandatory, but give people both the choice and the bill on what they vaccinate with.

That way we don't get lead getting injected into blacks in poor neighborhoods because uncle sam happens to be a racist in the area and wants to spend tax money on a Ferrari.

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400357)

At the study's start, the group of parents who were most opposed to vaccination said that on average, the chance they would vaccinate a future child against MMR was 70 percent. After these parents had been given information that the MMR vaccine does not cause autism, they said, on average, the chance they would vaccinate a future child was only 45 percent

Well, that disproves your assertion completely.

Have you ever met a know-it-all who is actually right once in a while? While you know that this time the asshole is correct, you find yourself wanting to be wrong because he's such a bothersome asshole. When people are that abrasive, many will instinctively act in a way chosen to spite the asshole, even if it means self-endangerment.

They gave people either information from health authorities about the lack of evidence for a connection, information about the danger of the three diseases the MMR vaccine protects against, pictures of children who had one of those three diseases, or a story about an infant who almost died from measles.

Yeah, that's asshole know-it-all behavior. All of those are bad ideas.
"I assure you that people who agree with me have done studies agreeing with me."
"Do what I say or your child will suffer these symptoms."
"Do what I say or your child may look as miserable as these."
"Do what I say because I have a sob story about the child of parents who did not follow my advice."

Is anyone dumb enough to think that those four approaches would increase vaccination rates?

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (1)

Laroue (213278) | about 9 months ago | (#46400667)

They also have a big messaging problem. When a person gets a polio vaccine the assumption is that they won't get polio. Yet every year these same people hear the newscasters saying that they should get a flu vaccine. The words don't mean the same thing to the public as they do to the researchers or the doctors. If they would clean up the language I suspect their success rates would improve.

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (2)

houghi (78078) | about 9 months ago | (#46400373)

As good as mandatory vacinations would be, there will be people who would make this political. This because it isn't about what is right, but about not letting the other get what they want.

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (1)

operagost (62405) | about 9 months ago | (#46400377)

That will work great until parents are incarcerated and children end up in foster homes.

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (1)

isa-kuruption (317695) | about 9 months ago | (#46400425)

Mandatory? Fascism much?

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 9 months ago | (#46400431)

You do need exceptions on medical grounds, though - people with a compromised immune system can't handle the vaccine. But once you have one set of exceptions, it's really hard not to provide exceptions on religious grounds, because religion has gotten so many exceptions for so many things.

Even if you did get it limited to "can only be unvaccinated on a doctor's orders", there's plenty of doctors who can be persuaded to bend the rules - look at the rates of approval for medical marijuana in states where medical use has been legalized. Of course, it's mainly affluent people who can find the right doctors to do that - coincidentally, it's upper- and upper-middle-class twits who are refusing to vaccinate.

Good plan, but it might not be a workable solution.

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (0)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 9 months ago | (#46400473)

But just make vaccinations mandatory.

Just curious, which part of the Constitution grants the Federal government the power to mandate vaccination?

Yes, the State governments could theoretically do so. Maybe. Depends on details of the State Constitution(s) in question.

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (1)

profplump (309017) | about 9 months ago | (#46400651)

We seem to be okay with the mandate to feed children, and to provide at least a minimum level of medical care for them, even against the wishes of their parents. It's not clear how vaccinations are fundamentally different from those existing mandates.

Plus we have a long history of promoting public health over individual freedom in a whole slew of contexts, sometimes including confinement.

child/booster seat laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400501)

I don't see this as materially different from refusing to use a child restraint seat & I don't know anyone except the most extreme libertarians who would argue that should be the parent's choice. you're needlessly putting your child at a quantifiably (at least actuarially) greater risk for severe injury or death.

yes, there are some people who need medical exceptions but that's an _MD's_ call, not a lay parent...

Re:child/booster seat laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400707)

It should be the parent's choice. You have no right to force someone to do something, even if it's for their own good. You only have the right to force others to not violate your rights.

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (3, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about 9 months ago | (#46400589)

This study basically says that people get pissy when you prove them wrong, making them dig in their heels even though they may grudgingly agree with you.

Nope. It says that teaching the controvery proves there is a controversy. If there wasn't, why are you trying so hard to tell me what I should do?

That has drawbacks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400615)

"But just make vaccinations mandatory"

Which ones, who chooses, and who is responsible is the vaccine causes more harm than good? Vaccines are definitely a useful tool in combating disease but they far from perfect. The Swine flue Outbreak of 1976 is a pretty good example of how things can go wrong. Millions were vaccinated against a disease that never spread past a few Army recruits on a base in New Jersey and the cost of over a hundred millions of dollars, resulted in as many as 500 cases of GBS, and at least 25 deaths. Vaccines have of course improved extensively since that incident but they still have drawbacks (lower effectiveness, difficulty predicting seasonal strains, etc) when their positive impacts aren't weight against their failings.

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (1)

ChilyWily (162187) | about 9 months ago | (#46400627)

And if my child got permanently disabled (H1N1 Vaccine Tied to Spike in Narcolepsy - http://www.medpagetoday.com/In... [medpagetoday.com] ), then what do I do?

Note, I am all for vaccinations, but in today's world, I'm increasingly cautious because governments health agencies don't do their jobs in proper science or oversight...

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (1)

the gnat (153162) | about 9 months ago | (#46400701)

governments health agencies don't do their jobs in proper science or oversight

Government health agencies like the FDA have a very difficult job. For every person complaining that they're in bed with industry and allow dangerous medications to kill people, there's someone else - usually either a "patient's rights" advocate or an especially dogmatic libertarian - complaining that they're withholding lifesaving medications and therefore killing people. It's also extremely difficult to identify every possible side effect from relatively limited clinical trials. From my perspective - as a scientist who is sympathetic to libertarian ideals, but also a realist - the FDA does about as well as can be expected most of the time. But they're never going to make every call correctly.

Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400767)

Some problems spring to mind.
Quacks with medical licenses selling medical excuses for why your healthy little johnny shouldn't be vaccinated because he has a "weak immune system." Probably not going to be a large problem but still people will seek out these doctors especially since people will be suspicious of forced vaccines. But most concerning is the slippery slop you're putting everyone on for forced medical treatment. Vaccine companies will lobby to be put on the list of mandatory vaccines with vaccines of questionable benefit and safety. Other patent treatments would also fight to be placed on the list. Another problem is that a small percentage of people do suffer medical complications from vaccines, who would the lawyers get to sue???

The more someone yells (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400117)

I can't speak for anyone else but I'm always more skeptical of those who insist they know what is right and correct for me - even if they are correct. I know if a government program would start exclaiming how X must be done, even if it is vaccination, I'd start to avoid X just out of natural distrust.

Re:The more someone yells (4, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 9 months ago | (#46400159)

We live in an age of propaganda, mendaciousness, and manipulation. PR-men are literally in charge of public policy. A positive public information campaign reliant on trust is impossible in our present circumstances.

Too much information... (5, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | about 9 months ago | (#46400139)

The more effort you put into telling people something is safe and the more visible this effort is, the more people will naturally question just why they're having to make this effort.

When you order a burger from McDonalds you probably wouldn't be too happy if worker who gives it to you said "don't worry, the chances of you having got a burger that has been spat on are tiny so it is very unlikely I spat in it! Enjoy your meal!"

Re:Too much information... (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 9 months ago | (#46400791)

Just like no matter how much evidence exists that President Obama was born in Hawaii idiots like Donald Trump will insist that he now has new evidence to the contrary. Some people will be believe a lie because they have so much invested in the lie.

Certianly False (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400161)

Just another trolling bullshit clickbait summary by Hugh Pickens.

The answer is simple (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400177)

Jenny McCarthy needs to be impoverished and imprisoned for the huge disservice she has done the human race.

Re:The answer is simple (1)

Adeptus_Luminati (634274) | about 9 months ago | (#46400235)

Or she can just stay at my place... I certainly wouldn't mind. I'll even let her eat crackers in bed.

Re:The answer is simple (-1, Troll)

operagost (62405) | about 9 months ago | (#46400401)

Yeah, let's teach her a lesson for using the same freedoms the rest of us have!

And Who Didn't See This Coming? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400195)

To debunk a conspiracy theory, you need to shine light on the misinformation, not on the correct information. The correct information (in most conspiracy theory cases) is out there and easily available--the point of the misinformation is to make you distrust or ignore the correct information when you see it. More correct information doesn't help.

In the case of vaccinations, the way to fix this would be to put up billboards, run commercials, and hand out leaflets letting people know about the scientific fraud committed by certain researchers which led to the anti-vaccine madness. Lots of things people can look up themselves, exposing the misinformation campaign, not providing more pro-vaccination stuff they are already trained to ignore.

Admittedly that may open up a can of worms as those fraudulent researchers sue to get their names off billboards, but that's another issue.

Same thing for anti-evolution too, BTW. One of the common anti-evolution myths is that evolution can't explain how the eye evolved, because there's no survival value in a partial eye. You don't even have to be arguing about evolution--just casually mention that the evolution of the eye is one of the best-understood topics in biology, because it actually evolved independently in several different an interesting ways--and certain people will say "Really?!?" That's the opening for shining the light on misinformation right there. Talk about fossil records and carbon dating and their eyes will glaze over and they'll ignore it.

Re:And Who Didn't See This Coming? (4, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 9 months ago | (#46400445)

Sometimes mockery is also required. Responding to lies with truth can easily create the impression of a debate of two respectable sides, when the more accurate perception is that one has arguments and the other has cheating and manipulation. In that situation, it's not enough to just point out the errors: They must be mocked without mercy to make it clear that the position is not only wrong, but so wrong as to be laughable and not worthy of any respect.

Re:And Who Didn't See This Coming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400761)

No, mockery of the other side just makes you more likely to be dismissed. If you had a solid position, you wouldn't need to resort to mockery like a common fool.

Re:And Who Didn't See This Coming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400821)

That won't work either, because people become irrationally defensive when mocked. Insulting someone never changes his mind.

Yeah, but they are their own problem. (1, Interesting)

DarKnyht (671407) | about 9 months ago | (#46400281)

They claim the skeptics are just crazy, but then things like this (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2014/02/the-return-of-whooping-cough.html ) happen.

I am not anti-vaccine, but I am cautious around people profess to "practice" on me and think everything can be solved with a pill or needle. For example, I think there is a problem with our healthcare system when we end up as a nation (USA) consuming 80% of all painkillers prescribed worldwide.

Re:Yeah, but they are their own problem. (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 9 months ago | (#46400485)

For example, I think there is a problem with our healthcare system when we end up as a nation (USA) consuming 80% of all painkillers prescribed worldwide

Painkillers are a social addiction problem, not a healthcare problem.

.
In order to solve a problem, you first must identify it accurately.

Re:Yeah, but they are their own problem. (1)

number17 (952777) | about 9 months ago | (#46400599)

I think there is a problem with our healthcare system when we end up as a nation (USA) consuming 80% of all painkillers prescribed worldwide.

You have a healthcare system that runs on profit and kickbacks. Creating a happy pill is cost-effective, compared to other treatments, and can rake in the money with a generous markup.

Re:Yeah, but they are their own problem. (1)

mlw4428 (1029576) | about 9 months ago | (#46400745)

>but I am cautious around people profess to "practice" on me

And I'm cautious around people who only understand a single definition to words with multiple or complex definitions:

Practice: the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories about such application or use. "the principles and practice of teaching"

Re:Yeah, but they are their own problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400751)

I'm not anti-bridge, but I am cautious around people who profess to "practice" engineering and think everything can be solved with reinforced concrete or an I-beam.

Re:Yeah, but they are their own problem. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400817)

I challenge you to show me ONE medical doctor who thinks that everything can be solved with a pill or needle. ONE.

one factor... (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about 9 months ago | (#46400317)

I believe that one factor (don't have any idea how significant) may be that recent revelations entirely unrelated to vaccines have caused an increased suspicion amongst the population about anything the government tells us. It's become almost a meme that whatever the government says, the opposite is likely to be true.

(I'm not saying that's actually the case, just saying that may be what people are feeling.)

"I am NOT a child molester!" (3, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | about 9 months ago | (#46400323)

Doesn't saying that just give you a warm fuzzy about hiring me as a babysitter?

Re:"I am NOT a child molester!" (2)

Shakrai (717556) | about 9 months ago | (#46400349)

Better than the alternative, though one would kind of have to admire the second guy for his forthrightness. ;)

The whole is greater... (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 9 months ago | (#46400381)

They gave people either information from health authorities about the lack of evidence for a connection, information about the danger of the three diseases the MMR vaccine protects against, pictures of children who had one of those three diseases, or a story about an infant who almost died from measles.

What if people were given some combination of the above information? For example, connection information and picture of children with the disease. The outcome might be different than either information alone. Given alone "connection information" may be detrimental but combined with other information it may be beneficial. All this study shows is that relying on the lack of evidence of connection alone is incorrect.

I would have liked to see the effect of giving a group all the information. I realize we are not all the same but, for me, the more information the better.

Why Free Market Ideology Doesn't Work (1)

dcollins (135727) | about 9 months ago | (#46400395)

People are generally not rational in the classic economic sense. Not even close.

Re:Why Free Market Ideology Doesn't Work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400805)

Of course they are. It's just that there is more than one rational option for any decision. Just because you disagree with a conclusion doesn't make it not rational.

Because Jenny McCarthy is always right. (3, Insightful)

sconeu (64226) | about 9 months ago | (#46400455)

That stupid bitch.

Cannot convince those who don't want to be ... (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 9 months ago | (#46400457)

You cannot convince people who do not want to be convinced, no matter how valid the scientific evidence.

.
It is far easier to remain ignorant and wallow in your collection of misinformation, than to understand the scientific evidence.

Normally, I don't have an issue with ignorant people choosing to remain ignorant. Unfortunately, in this instance it means more disease for all of us.

You cannot UN-VACCINATE your child or pet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400471)

Considering the non-lethality (in reality) of the targets of vaccinations... choose wisely.

Re:You cannot UN-VACCINATE your child or pet (4, Interesting)

seebs (15766) | about 9 months ago | (#46400535)

Actually, uhm. They're pretty fucking lethal and debilitating. One of my friends has a sibling who's been hospitalized for a big chunk of the last six months from whooping cough, which exists today only because of anti-vaccine nutjobs.

I'd say this solidly confirms... (1)

bhartman34 (886109) | about 9 months ago | (#46400475)

... my "people are idiots" theory.
Can we just take all the anti-vaccine people and put them on an island, and wait for them to die out? Antarctica is a research area, right?

How do you prove that they are wrong. (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 9 months ago | (#46400493)

People do not trust science. They are more apt to believe that the numbers are made up fill some agenda.
On the Right you got them having issues with Climate change and evolution. They see it as fake science made by their opponents to force their agenda of taking things away from people and a push towards atheism, figure with "God" out of the way they can push their agenda with impunity.

On the left you have GMO food, and non-organics food. All the science points that there isn't any danger to these foods, however they will stick to their guns as the science is obviously have been altered by corporations as to keep their profit up.

In short if you tell someone that they are wrong, that means you are part of some conspiracy to hide the truth.

Web Tasarm Hizmetleri (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400513)

http://webtasarimsa.com/

Web Tasarm hizmetleri

don't take any vaccines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400525)

whistleblowers expose this all day:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PelTWCUmTsU

plus vaccines will change/alter your DNA

stay away from vaccines.

What to believe? (0)

ChilyWily (162187) | about 9 months ago | (#46400527)

And then I read stuff like this:
H1N1 Vaccine Tied to Spike in Narcolepsy: http://www.medpagetoday.com/In... [medpagetoday.com]

I'm so tired of having my tin-foil wearing friends tell me that they were right all along.

Why should I risk my child getting disabled for life due to some hidden government agenda/bad science/[insert-favorite-reason-here]? These researchers are never around to share in any poor parent's misery when their children suffer permanent harm.

Flu Shots are Ruining Vaccinations (0)

NiteMair (309303) | about 9 months ago | (#46400577)

Maybe if the health community spent less time pushing flu shots every year, people would begin to respect vaccinations for their useful purpose.

I refuse to get a flu shot - I'd rather my immune system had a natural chance at defending me against it, and it's not likely to kill me. And yet, doctors and nurses try their hardest to convince us that these flu shots are necessary to remain healthy. Every time I walk into a doctors office, it seems like they're asking me if I've had my flu shot yet.

I think there needs to be a clear line between vaccinations that prevent crippling and life-destroying disease, and those that just prevent a standard illness that almost everyone gets and naturally overcomes.

Re:Flu Shots are Ruining Vaccinations (4, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | about 9 months ago | (#46400691)

Generally flu shots aren't for you. They're for the people you hang out with.

I'm a healthy early 30something guy. I can get the flu, I've had the flu, I made it out just fine. I also only hang out with people in the similar demographic, I'm psychologically allergic to kids so I'll never be seen around one, my friends overall don't have kids, my grandparents are in another country. There's a small chance I may get the flu and before I notice, I transmit it to someone at the restaurant, but realistically, it won't happen.

Now, if you're the parent of 3 toddlers, have your 80-90 years old grandparents coming every other day to help out, 2 of your toddlers go to daycare all the time... you could seriously get someone killed if you get the flu and spread it around. Thats why you want the shot. If its not the case? Sure, skip. The flu won't kill you.

This is why Republicans are pushing vaccinations (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46400675)

It is a false flag operation. They know Shakespeare so they know that by encouraging people too hard to do something, that people will tend to not do it even when it is in their interest. They love to see children die, which is why they are against the ACA, so that is why they keep doing this.

Small children and the elderly (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 9 months ago | (#46400709)

Everyone else can ignore this issue... unless you live in an area prone to insane viral outbreaks every other week.

Can't win with morons (1)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | about 9 months ago | (#46400727)

You can win with morons. If you don't debunk the whole autism thing, parents won't get their kids vaccinated. If you do debunk it, they decide that they can't trust the scientists and they don't get their kids vaccinated. Does any other developed country have to deal with this kind of idiocy or is it unique to the USA?
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