The motives of anti-vaccine voices on social media

anti-vaccine voices

A common claim of anti-vaccine voices is that pro-vaccine voices on social media speak for “industry” (apparently, lumping all doctors, health insurance companies, HMOs, health departments, and yes, vaccines manufacturers, into one big industry, and assuming that all those speaking for vaccines are part of that industry). On the other hand, they try to claim that they are simply parents, with no ulterior motives for speaking up (downplaying the part that vast majority of parents are pro-vaccine).

This post provides a different perspective. There are many reasons anti-vaccine voices are so loud – at least some are not as innocent as what is claimed. This post draws on my observations in over 5 years of encountering and listening to anti-vaccine activists.

Anti-vaccine people can feel passionately and speak up about their beliefs out of ulterior motives, including financial or emotional motives. Let’s take a look at the motives of the anti-vaccine voices. Continue reading “The motives of anti-vaccine voices on social media”

Aluminum adjuvant in vaccines – let’s go cherry picking

Aluminum adjuvant

With the success of California’s vaccination law, SB277, there appears to be a trend to increase vaccination uptake among school-aged children. And it’s a great thing that we protect our children from vaccine preventable diseases. Yet, the anti-vaccine crowd is still looking for lame excuses to not vaccinate – today, it’s the aluminum adjuvant in vaccines.

The anti-vaccine crowd has a tendency to ignore the vast and powerful scientific consensus on vaccines. Instead, they prefer to cherry pick research, often from biased “scientists” who publish in the lowest quality journals. That cherry picking is a form of confirmation bias – the individual seeks evidence that supports their a priori conclusions rather than letting the robust body of evidence point them to a conclusion.

Generally, these myths, based on cherry picking, are debunked. But the anti-vaccine cult is nothing if not creative. They just move on to a new boogeyman. This time, it’s aluminum adjuvants in vaccines. To be honest, anti-vaccine tropes are zombies, so we think we destroy those tropes, but they rise again, fed by new cherry picking. And debunking the danger of aluminum in vaccines has been an age-old discussion amongst the pro-science crowd.

Today, we’re going to look at one of those articles which was recently published. If one accepted this research, while ignoring critical analysis and the body of other science, then it would be a great one to confirm one’s own pre-conceived beliefs. But that’s not how we do science, so let’s take a look. Continue reading “Aluminum adjuvant in vaccines – let’s go cherry picking”