Earlier today I posted a comment on Carla’s site where she’d posted an excellent video of Professor Brian Cox dismantling a climate-change denier’s arguments, using logic, reason and best of all, evidence. Will this have moved the politician who denies climate change? Don’t count on it.
My comment used the words ‘wilful ignorance’, and this is what I want to go into more detail about. In this post, I’ll be focusing specifically on anti-vaxxers (parents who refuse to vaccinate their children), and why their attitude is not only one of wilful ignorance, but also one of great danger too.
A little background – smallpox. It was once a feared disease that carried a 30% mortality rate. This disease was virulent and deadly, but it’s now all but gone. How was this achieved? Through a determined vaccination campaign.
The Tuberculosis vaccine has a 70%-80% success rate in preventing serious cases of the disease. In the US the MMR has been over 90% effective in reducing instances of the diseases it’s designed to prevent. It’s a proven fact that vaccinations work. The consequences of denying children vaccines are also well known. Without access to vaccines, child die. This is a harsh truth that the anti-vaxxer crowd are all too quick to ignore. After all, it doesn’t suit their narrative to acknowledge the tremendous success of vaccination, or the consequences of not doing it.
In the end though, the easiest way to refute the anti-vaxxer crowd (who insist vaccinations carry all kinds of side-effects and that there’s a huge global conspiracy to hide the truth). Ask people if they’ve been vaccinated. You’ll find the vast majority of people you know have been vaccinated, as will the vast majority of people you ask in the street. We nearly all have, yet the problems anti-vaxxers would have us associated with vaccines are not nearly as prevalent as they would have us believe. Basically, you can defeat their rhetoric with one simple question.