On the anti-vaccination movement

The polio years

An “Infantile Paralysis” warning poster on a house wall. © March of Dimes
The child’s leg was deformed as a result of polio. Source — CDCP PHIL

With good intentions

As the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I’m sure the parents who decide against their children being vaccinated do believe they are acting in the best interests of their children. Still, the claims the movement makes about vaccines causing health problems (autism, for example), do not seem to originate with concerned parents.

  1. Vaccines contain poisonous substances like formaldehyde and mercury. I have explained how trace amounts of these substances remain in the vaccines. While they sound scary, people come by this stuff in their everyday life, and the small amount received during vaccination cannot have a lasting effect on health.
  2. World Health Organization and Big Pharma use vaccination for monetary gain. Most vaccines, particularly — the MMR vaccines, are free. The technology of making them is freely available, and many different laboratories in different countries produce them.
  3. Hygiene is enough to avoid most diseases. If this statement was true, most of the people killed or crippled by polio would have avoided the ravages of the disease. And then, we have people like the South African president Hector Zuma advising people to take a shower to avoid AIDS.
  4. Living in harmony with nature is enough to have a healthy life. Living in harmony with nature can improve the health for many people. Urban life with its stress and dust and fast pace creates its own problems. Sadly, it is not enough to avoid infectious diseases. A native tribe of the Amazon jungles faced this truth the hard way: while living in an almost complete isolation from the civilization, they were unprepared for the tuberculosis virus, which almost eradicated the tribe. Only modern medicine helped — and in some cases, even medicine was powerless. Many members of the tribe still live with a chronic form of tuberculosis.
  5. Vaccines are used in a Mysterious Conspiracy by the Dark Forces (the Rich, the Masonic Orders, the Illuminati, the Zionists, the Reptiloids — take your pick) to control the world. This claim has no basis in the reality we are living in and arguing against it is as fruitless as banging your head against a brick wall.

“I was an anti-vaxxer”

The anti-vaccination movement has many faces ranging from naive and easily deceived parents to Islamist militants. Pakistan has an example of this last type. While Pakistan is one of the two countries where polio still poses a threat — with more than 300 cases of infection registered in 2014 — Islamist militants believe that polio vaccination is a Western plot to make their children sterile.

This is where they lay

In 2015 Romania faced an outbreak of measles. It infected thousands of people and caused the deaths of 17 children.



Writer and columnist based in Yerevan, Armenia

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