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Anti-Vaccination Movement

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The anti-vaccination movement has been around in some form or another ever since inoculation was first pioneered. In the past several years, however, the position that vaccinations are harmful to human health has seen a radical upswing. Claims that vaccinations are an insidious plot, that they cause autism, that they are unsafe or part of an unethical experiment, have been advanced by celebrity spokespeople (like Jenny McCarthy) and former doctor Andrew Wakefield. In 1998, Wakefield publishes a study concluding that vaccines were linked to autism. The study caused a sensation, and galvanized a new breed of anti-vaccine advocates. Wakefield's research was quickly shown to be flawed, and he was stripped of his medical license as a result. In 2010, conclusive proof was shown that he had falsified his research (Novella). Yet the anti-vaccine movement shows no signs of slowing. The idea has been planted, and a belief system has taken root. Wakefield's study evaluated the medical records of approximately 100 patients all diagnosed with varying levels of autism. He claimed that autism was caused by a vaccination compound called Thymerisol, which contains mercury and was used as a preservative in many vaccines. Ironically, it wasn't Thymerisol that was dangerous, but rather the very crowd of Wakefield's supporters, who have been responsible for decreasing levels of vaccination.

Most anti-vaccination groups believe that pharmaceutical companies are promoting untested vaccinations to make a buck. The more extreme elements of the anti-vax crowd go so far as to claim that it isn't merely the pharmacological companies, but entire governments (or one world government i.e. New World Order) who have a nefarious plot to reduce or even sterilize populations (Hewitt).

Obviously there is a wide spectrum of positions from this movement. The problem is that the movement itself, no matter what end of the spectrum we are discussing, have no data that stands up to scrutiny to support their position. Theirs is a belief system, and not an honest investigation into fact. In this regard, their method of argument aligns themselves with those who believe that the moon landing was hoaxed, that Obama is not an American citizen, and that 9-11 was a false flag inside job. Any one of these stances may be correct. The trouble is that they have no evidence that stands up to scrutiny. The anti-vax crowd wants to believe that there is a link between autism and vaccines, even though there has never been proven to be such a link. Without this evidence, it is blind belief (Trent).

Prevailing data and research show that vaccines prevent the kinds of epidemics that ravaged millions of people throughout history. Inoculation through vaccination represents one of the greatest revolutions in biomedicine. According to statistics provided by the CDC, vaccines dramatically decline the rates of epidemics (USDHS).

It is always better to



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