I left a version of this comment on TPGA Facebook. But it bears repeating. Because there are still too many people who do not consider themselves "anti-vaccine" yet argue that vaccine risks are too high. Here's why they're wrong. Dangerously, badly wrong.
Dear Anti-Vaccine Concern Troll,
By attempting to distance yourself from "anti-vaccine militants" you are Concern Trolling whether you are aware of it or not. Here's what's what:
1) Vaccines save lives.
2) Most parents are not old enough to remember all the sickness and death that vaccines prevent, therefore anti-vaccine agitators take vaccines for granted and feel free to rail against them.
3) There are rare cases (due to allergies, specific immunodeficiencies) where people cannot be vaccinated, but they are (again) rare and the rest of us need to stay vaccinated to keep those folks (and babies too young to be vaccinated) healthy.
4) Vaccine reactions are real but extremely rare and do not include autism (autism is genetic & by the way: stop demonizing Autistic people like my son). Consider: you could use a risks/benefits analysis to argue against people riding in cars, but with cars the risks are statistically much more outsize, and few stop riding in cars even though we're aware of the risks because we value the benefits too much. Which is how it should be with vaccines! However (again) vaccine benefits have become nearly theoretical, in the US at least.
5) Now vaccine-preventable diseases are resurfacing and people are getting sick and dying, in part due to well-meaning but dangerously misguided people like you. So, no. Again, no.
If you need a longer and more in-depth debunking of anti-vaccine blather, here's the best summary I've read of late: Dr. Rachael Dunlop's Six things to say when you're faced with anti-vaccination rhetoric. Share it with gusto:
And who can resist Buffy reminding us that vaccines are not just for kids -- adults need to stay up on their tetanus, diphtheria, & pertussis (tdap) boosters to protect babies in their families & social circles:
And to close, please note Seth Mnookin's caution about vaccines and social responsibility, in the Boston Globe:
"...parents who don’t vaccinate their children tell you they’re making a purely personal choice. This is, of course, technically true, in the same sense that driving after having a few beers is a personal choice. As the mother of the 10-month-old hospitalized [with measles] in San Diego said, if people want to make that choice, they should go live on an island with its own schools and doctors: 'Their own little infectious disease island.'"
If you want all of our kids to stay healthy and safe, do what you can to counter anti-vaccine concern trolls.