The 21st century has not changed much in the tactics used by vaccine fighters. Misinformation, more than biased presentation of scientific information, the use of anecdotal evidence, and widespread appeal of emotions are still used. But with the expansion of the Internet and social media, vaccine fighters can spread their mischief much more easily.
In this 21st century, we are still witnessing an increasingly intense activity of anti-vaccinists. Although the success of vaccination, which has led to an increase in life expectancy by about 30 years, is obvious, deniers say the opposite. For them, hygiene measures have led, for example, to the eradication of smallpox. From their keyboards, they relentlessly release all sorts of confusing information, but which is accepted by too many of our peers. Unfortunately, the media also took part in this misinformation, sometimes being preoccupied with a cheap sensational. Unfortunately, even in this harsh period of the pandemic, we have seen that some media channels in our country have made room for all sorts of mischief, for contesting the results of science, leaving room for all sorts of opinions. He too often forgets that science is far from democratic. Here is the dictatorship of evidence.
In 2008, the HPV vaccination campaign started in our country. At the time of its announcement, the Mioritic Internet had exploded. Aggressive blogs, aggressively distributed brochures, mass media, all contributed to the lamentable failure of the campaign, despite the fact that in Romania HPV vaccination was free. Let’s look at some of the arguments used by anti-vaccinists back then. For example, a university professor. Dr. organized a conference, taken over by the media, in which he claimed that: “It simply came to our notice then. First of all, the manufacturing company completes its final study on the vaccine only in a year. Then, the peak incidence of cervical cancer is between 35 and 55 years. It is impossible to assume that vaccinating 10-year-old girls will protect them from cervical cancer for such a long time. […] The National Cancer Institute in the United States makes it clear that the cause of cervical cancer has not been discovered. American experts have shown that only 0.16% of women infected with HPV also have cervical cancer. In contrast, 70% of women with cancer are infected with HPV, which shows that HPV does not cause this form of cancer, but that cancer cells become infected with HPV very often. […] To date, there have been 10,700 complaints of side effects and several deaths, although these have been challenged by manufacturers. We need to address this issue ethically: even one death counts because it could be our child or sister. ” At the same conference, the vaccine was criticized for its high price. High price of a vaccine that is administered to us for free? Yes… Then the causal association between cervical cancer (also called cervical cancer) and HPV viruses, denied by Mr. prof. Univ. Dr., is well demonstrated. In the same year, 2008, in which he gave his furious lecture, the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology rewarded the very discovery of this causal link. The conference took place in November, while the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology was awarded in October. But in the anti-vaccine world, the evidence is not strong. And please note that our character showed that research on the incriminated vaccines was not yet complete. An idea that has arrived without major changes to this day, this time being related to vaccines against the SARS Cov2 virus.
Now, in this century, all sorts of celebrities and “experts” are taking part in the anti-vaccine movement. You know the examples from us, I’m sure of that. Some of them, although they fight hard against vaccines, claim that they are not vaccinators, but supporters of safe vaccines. What would those be? Well, let me tell you – it was a scary place.
And something more remarkable in this century in which we live: the attacks are increasingly focused on “big pharma” companies, thus exploiting the natural dissatisfaction with the very high price of new drugs. This paves the way for all sorts of conspiracy theories, all the more absurd. And we find something else. There have also been rumors that there is no question of vaccination in general, instead proposing alternatives to several vaccines. Most often, from what we have seen, it is about doctors who, right now, in times of pandemic, have decided that vaccines approved for use against SARS-Cov2 are ineffective and harmful. I saw a doctor who said on a TV station that “And so you know that I’ve always been very pro-vaccinated for those vaccines against crippling and killing diseases, but you know that anytime or always the vaccine seemed to me an extreme impact. harsh on an organism. ”
Sometimes we can hear them saying that the risks related to the disease are much lower than the supposed side effects of vaccination… And when it comes to side effects, all sorts of arguments are used. Those who are a little more educated, as is the case of Prof. Univ. The Dr. Using the data there, they inform us with alarm that the death toll from vaccination is alarmingly high and that vaccination is a real genocide. I have said it repeatedly: these databases contain only the free reports of specialists and non-specialists. They cannot prove a causal link between vaccination and the reported adverse effect. They play a very important role for true specialists, as they provide a starting point for in-depth analysis. Of course, this doesn’t matter to a passionate anti-vaccine fighter.
Those who are a little less educated resort to anecdotal things. “Cutare died of a heart attack two weeks after vaccination and the culprit can’t be anyone other than that damn vaccineThat’s about it. Again, a causal link is casually invented. For them, everything that happens after something is because of that something
I was telling you about the call to emotion used by the representatives of the anti-vaccine movement. He is often accompanied by suburban language. It happened that the mother of a doctor, promoter of anti-vaccination, died of COVID-2. It’s a terribly sad thing. But how did the doctor react? When her mother became ill, she posted on FB: “WHAT ELSE ARE YOU IMMUNIZED, SHEEP ?! A vaccinated lady visited her mother in the brains of the mountains and gave her the mess. We’ve been between life and death for two weeks. According to the nonsense in the press, that lady was “immunized” (!) 10 days ago, the gastroenterologist from Târgu Neamț died, fully vaccinated. Not the rogue virus, but the filth in the bottle will destroy the world. “. Then, in another post, the doctor yells at Fauci: “You’re making fun of me, Fauci, with your fake science, with everything! If my mother dies, I will dedicate the rest of my life to finding that pangolin to put in your ass, you or someone like you! And, vagina, you vaginize your mother, after you put two or three masks on her, so that she doesn’t see what she gave birth to, world-famous scientist! ” By the way, I have often seen him portrayed as a man with pertinent opinions on some television stations. I could understand their editorial policy: on behalf of the equidistant they accept the presentation of contradictory opinions. But when it comes to science, it’s like inviting a supporter of astrology or the flat earth to a show about the Solar System
We have given you examples collected from vaccinators in our lands. Unfortunately, we are no exception. We are witnessing the same phenomenon all over the world. We are witnessing a decrease in the relevance of reason in relation to emotions. I recently discovered a suggestive study entitled “The rise and fall of rationality in language” published online on December 21, 2021, on the PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) website. Although he does not refer directly to the vaccine movement in this century, I think he can give us clues as to what is happening now with the promotion of anti-vaccine scams. Here is what is written in the abstract of the paper: “The post-truth era took many of us by surprise. In this study we used a massive analysis of language to demonstrate that increasing arguments in the absence of evidence can be understood as a component of a profound change. After 1850, the use of arguments based on feelings […] it began to decline steadily as we witnessed a steady rise in evidence-based arguments. This pattern reversed in the 1980’s and accelerated around 2007, when the frequency of factual arguments collapsed at the same time as the massive increase in emotion-based arguments. […]. ”
I confess that I too was taken aback by this age of post-truth. I realize now that I’ve been very naive. In my naiveté, I was convinced that virtually unlimited access to good quality information would strengthen the rational side of the arguments. It wasn’t like that. As you can see in the excerpt above, rationality has started to decline with the advent of the internet. I also believed, also out of naivety, that FB, by facilitating communication between people, would help spread evidence-based information. That didn’t happen either. The abandonment of rational argumentation accelerated after the advent of FB. The current pandemic clearly shows me that I was wrong…
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