Within the past few years, anti-vaxxers have emerged like a mass of mosquitos, buzzing nonsensical theories as people collectively roll their eyes.
The group became prominent following the maligned work of notorious British ex-physician Andrew Wakefield who initially reignited the anti-vax position. Since then, loud voices like those of Jenny McCarthy and Oprah Winfrey have continued to spread misinformation and ignorance under the guise of scientific expertise.
To help combat the anti-vaxxers’ complete denial of truth and blatant misunderstanding of basic science, pro-vaxxers are now fighting back— using memes as their most powerful (and hilarious) weapon.
Most recently, a Tumblr user posted a popular anti-vax meme, inciting a flooding of hilarious, satirical responses. The post encouraged the public to “rethink vaccines”. The (misspelled) text read:
“If you mixed mercury, aluminum phosphat, amonium sulfate, and formaldehyde with VIRUSES, then got a syringe and INJECTED it into your child you would be ARRESTED and sent to JAIL for child endangerment and abuse.
“Then WHY is it legal for doctors to do it? And WHY would you let them? Educate yourself.”
Catching wind of the completely flawed logic, other users responded using similarly styled photos.
As you can imagine, the Tumblr user quickly deleted the original post.
As a result of anti-vaxxers’ reluctance to vaccinate their children, in many areas, herd immunity has decreased, leading to a re-emergence of diseases like measles, once thought to be eradicated.
Anti-vaxxers are totally fine holding “measles parties” for children knowing the disease rarely affects healthy kids over the age of 5, yet don’t seem to realize they can still spread it to others with more devastating effects. In fact, between 2016 and the first six months of 2018, roughly 41,000 people in Europe were infected with measles. Of these cases, 37 were recorded deaths.
Interestingly, however, many anti-vaxxers aren’t willing to test their nonsensical theories on more serious diseases like polio. The Globe and Mail reports polio vaccination numbers are as high as they’ve ever been.
“Our bet is [anti-vaxxers] know from medical science that the odds aren’t as favorable. Polio can make its way into the nervous system and do horrible things.”
“The only things people opposed to vaccinations are immune to are truth and logic” they write.
If you know an anti-vaxxer who’s convinced they know more about vaccines than the scientists who’ve studied and developed them for decades, this article has a few suggestions on how to have a meaningful dialogue with them— and possibly change their stance.
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