For most, vaccinations are considered just another routine medical treatment. Like bi-annual teeth cleanings and routine physicals, vaccinations are preventive maintenance that helps humans avoid the deadly diseases that once demolished entire populations with their rapidly spreading contagions and high fatality rates. The development of cures for these illnesses enabled unprecedented population growth, longer lifespans, and healthier, happier populations. For most people, vaccinations are a 21st-century blessing. For others, they’re public enemy number one.
Unfortunately, an increasing fraction of paranoid parents believe that vaccinations don’t prevent diseases, but instead actually cause them. Many so-called anti-vaxxers refuse to vaccinate their children, claiming they are asserting their liberties and protecting their families from suffering disabilities and autism.
Vaccines are a medical marvel.The first vaccine is said to have been invented in 1796 when Edward Jenner successfully inoculated a 13-year-old boy against smallpox. Since then, they’ve really changed society for the better. Smallpox was successfully eradicated over the 18th and 19th through the widespread use of Jenner’s vaccine.
Despite clear evidence of its many benefits, some are suspicious of vaccines.In the 1980s vaccine companies faced litigation that led to many shutting down as a result of criticism from fringe groups.
In recent years, the Internet has enabled the perspectives of “anti-vaxxers" to spread like a contagious disease.Many people now believe vaccines are harmful for children, and can increase the risk of things like autism.
Vocal anti-vax celebrities have also turned many against the cures.
Here's a fairly comprehensive, continually updated list of anti-vaccination celebrities http://t.co/fdyzijsrZ8— Jezebel (@Jezebel)1435680617.0
This spread of misinformation has led many parents to refuse inoculation for their children.
via: ShutterstockMost schools require students to be vaccinated before they attend to ensure campus health and safety, but the anti-vax movement has challenged this standard or withheld their children from public institutions.
The unfortunate trend is actually causing a return of previously cured diseases.
The news comes amid new outbreaks of measles in the US, including 170 cases reported since September in New York al… https://t.co/bu1MrctGkL— NBC12 WWBT Richmond (@NBC12 WWBT Richmond)1550826000.0
The disease is highly contagious.
via: ShutterstockMeasles is an airborne virus that is easily spread through coughing and sneezing. The outbreak has led to 34 cases in Clark County Oregon. 30 of the patients had not been immunized.
There have been a total 120 cases of measles in 2019 alone.
JUST IN: Measles outbreak in Washington has cost state at least $1 million https://t.co/gTBUGZctth https://t.co/jxi6CJnZHf— The Hill (@The Hill)1550776744.0
With the disease threatening populations once again, a few local physicians in Monroe County, New York decided to take a stand.
The phrase on the T-shirts in question is a play on a well-known anti-vax motto, “Vaccines Cause Autism." The photo features seven staff members wearing the T-shirts, and was posted with the caption. “Vaccines. Save. Lives."
The physicians are tired of seeing misinformation spread online.“It’s kind of a play on vaccines cause autism, which they do not. They cause adults," said Kate Shand, PA at Legacy Pediatrics. “Healthy kids get vaccinated and grow into adulthood and be healthy adults."
The Legacy Pediatrics practice staff members donned T-shirts with an anti-anti-vax message, and posted a group photo to Facebook.
Meet the group combatting the anti-vaccination movement with a simple, yet powerful motto https://t.co/kaNVc8iW7O— USA TODAY (@USA TODAY)1550896500.0
They hoped their act would begin a pro-vaccine movement.With so much powerful vitriol against vaccines, Legacy Pediatrics wanted to offer a rebuttal in favor of the cures via their T-shirts.
“Vaccines Save Lives," said office pediatrician Dr. Janet Casey.
The Staff at a Pediatrician's Office Wore Cheeky Pro-Vaccine Shirts, and We Are SO on Board - The staff at Legacy P… https://t.co/OGpWlnK0Kf— effinfun (@effinfun)1550907077.0
Legacy Pediatrics says the post has reached 17,000 people.
However, there has been controversy surrounding the post as well.The post has also gone viral among large anti-vax groups, who have bombarded the office’s Facebook page with anti-vaccination comments.
Many commenters were outraged and downright mean.Stories about vaccinations that had led to illness among loved ones abounded, with no scientific facts to support the arguments.
They were clearly misinformed.The argument that a team of doctors has not researched vaccines is not a strong one.
Some argued they had never been vaccinated and were fine.The take is a purely circumstantial – and their circumstances are at risk of changing with the recent proliferation of curable diseases.
Of course, many also came out in support.While the overwhelming online response was negative, some were brave enough to voice their support of the office.
The office is surprised the photo is getting this much attention.
Ultimately the pictured physicians, and many like them, just want people to understand the facts about vaccination.The truth about vaccinations is widely available but isn’t spread with as much fervor as the messages coming out of the anti-vax movement.
Pro-vaxxers are backed by facts.
“Vaccine-hesitant” describes parents who delay or opt out of vaccinations for their kids. The World Health Organiza… https://t.co/MTtdf0QnIs— Toronto Star (@Toronto Star)1550437504.0
The consequences of an unvaccinated population are dire.
Vaccines provide better immunity than natural infections, #VaccinesWork! https://t.co/CJqQWMs0qx— World Health Organization (WHO) (@World Health Organization (WHO))1550930108.0
The risks are very real.
Vaccine-preventable diseases include: Cervical cancer Cholera Diphtheria Hep B Influenza Japanese encephalitis Meas… https://t.co/nDkqNy4ByL— World Health Organization (WHO) (@World Health Organization (WHO))1550919778.0
It’s a small comfort to see that the T-shirts are selling.The popularity of the photo and T-shirt sales suggests that a pro-vax movement could be growing.
Proceeds from T-shirt sales will be donated.
“Vaccines Cause Adults” is such a great tagline. Bravo! I need a t-shirt.— Joseph Turman (@Joseph Turman)1550896855.0