Study: "Pro-Vaccine" Messages Not Changing Minds - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 72 Old 03-23-2014, 11:39 AM
 
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Well, coming at it from a sel/del standpoint and not anti-vax, what I see is a concerning downplaying of risks, and almost negligent refusal to publicly admit that vaccinations are not always working as planned.  Even when the Skagit county CDC stated that the recent whooping cough epidemic there was *not* caused by the unvaccinated, it seemed like a blip in between government ad campaigns for everyone to get vaccinated.  The effort that seems to be aimed at saying "vaccines are perfect and anyone questioning that is an irresponsible lunatic" is frankly disturbing.  The shut-down of all divergent opinions is so strong, it looks like the givernment IS trying hard to cover up any truth, especially when they use strong-arm "informational" tactics like this.

 

I have no problem with vaccinations in general.  I see some difficulties.  I am no expert, but what I see is the same people that tell me Roundup is safe also say vaccines are safe, END OF STORY, and it makes me irritated.  WTF??  In my more skeptical moments, I feel like this is the same reasoning that held back voting for women and blacks, the belief that these people were too emotional or uninformed to vote.  But I think that is my own brain getting angry.  It really isn't the same thing, not when I think about it cooly and rationally.  It definitely reminds me of the emotional abortion debates and the bedsharing ad campaigns.

 

But I am one of those people that feels like backlashing against these strong-arm techniques.  The more I see this bullshit, the more I am pushed to consorting with people who truly are anti-vaccine, the thoughtful ones anyway.  I start sympathizing with them more and more.  And that's not how I like to feel.  I ned to keep my head about things, but I am surrounded on both sides by conspiracy theorists and government who confuses their authoritarianism with altruism.  Pisses me off.


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#62 of 72 Old 03-23-2014, 11:50 AM
 
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PS  I am also one of those people who are dismayed that the rights of the many are curtailed to impact the few.  Privacy laws being eroded to catch criminals.  Authoritarian information tactics to get a handful of people to vaccinate.  That's screwed up.  There as to be another way.


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#63 of 72 Old 03-23-2014, 01:37 PM
 
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PS  I am also one of those people who are dismayed that the rights of the many are curtailed to impact the few.  Privacy laws being eroded to catch criminals.  Authoritarian information tactics to get a handful of people to vaccinate.  That's screwed up.  There as to be another way.

Thank you :D  I Don't vaccinate my child but I could care less if that is what someone truly wants for themselves or their own family - to each his own!  So I'm certainly not anti-vax, but I get incredibly angry and irritated that others feel the need to try and regulate me and my decisions.  If my rights are equal to and just as important as someone else who makes different decisions, then that's clearly not what is happening here.....it's definitely a you are free to make decisions - as long as we make them for you.  Pretty sure that's not quite the rights that my family fought for......

 

I'll say that it's been my experience that those who do select/delay are far more open to conversations about not vaxxing and can certainly understand the reasoning behind that decision and there's less hostility about personal decisions.  Someone vehemently pro-vax on the other hand is more likely to argue and spew that hatred over personal decisions that truly have zero impact on them.  I just don't get it.  I would NEVER tell someone who vaxxes that their child could DIE of a vaccine reaction or suffer major lifelong consequences as a result of unknown chemical interactions.  Yet how many times has someone come on here (or anywhere) and started spouting off how the unvaccinated do nothing but carry and spread disease (half of which they mention aren't even vaccine preventable) and that kids who are un-vaxxed will die and we will have no one to blame but ourselves.....I mean talk about feeling high and mighty!  This huge divide does nothing to help anyone and the govt agencies are front and center stoking the fire.

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#64 of 72 Old 03-23-2014, 02:36 PM
 
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Thank you for summing that up so nicely. 

 

I thought this quote from Robert Kennedy Jr. (who is an extremely vocal anti-vaccine critic) was both fitting and ironic.  About climate change he says: 

 

“Ninety-eight percent of the research climatologists in the world say that global warming is real, that its impacts are going to be catastrophic. There are 2 percent who disagree with that. I have a choice of believing the 98 percent or the 2 percent.”

 

I like what Steven Novella says about that quote: 

 

"That is a basic statement of acceptance of the scientific consensus. But Robert Kennedy is not always a fan of the scientific consensus – for example he rejects the scientific consensus on vaccines, choosing to believe that the consensus is a deliberate fraud (exactly what global warming dissidents say about the climate change consensus). This makes Robert Kennedy a hypocrite – he accepts the scientific consensus and cites its authority when it suits his politics, and then blithely rejects it  when it is inconvenient to his politics." 

WT???

 

One can think science got it right in one area, and wrong in another.  


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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#65 of 72 Old 03-23-2014, 11:42 PM
 
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Kathymuggle - that's basically the entire process of science your describing (disagreeing with bits of it, progressing slowly to a closer description of the truth).

Emotions run high in this debate on both sides. I certainly have seen (and recently) opinions that vaccinators are permanently damaging their children.

But I also agree with personal freedom, and I don't like the American method of requiring records/exemptions for school entry. It's only the misinformation and scare tactics which annoy me.

By all means choose not to vaccinate, but don't do it for pseudoscientific reasons or because you think mainstream scientists are all lying/stupid or involved in a mass conspiracy.

Mother of two living in UK. Daughter (2007) born in USA, son (2010) born here. I'm pro natural birth, midwife care, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing and a keen advocate of cloth diapering. I'm a full time working research scientist (physical sciences) and I'm pro-vaccine.

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#66 of 72 Old 03-24-2014, 04:52 AM
 
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Kathymuggle - that's basically the entire process of science your describing (disagreeing with bits of it, progressing slowly to a closer description of the truth).

Emotions run high in this debate on both sides. I certainly have seen (and recently) opinions that vaccinators are permanently damaging their children.

But I also agree with personal freedom, and I don't like the American method of requiring records/exemptions for school entry. It's only the misinformation and scare tactics which annoy me.

By all means choose not to vaccinate, but don't do it for pseudoscientific reasons or because you think mainstream scientists are all lying/stupid or involved in a mass conspiracy.

I like this post a lot.  The funny/sad part of the big nasty "debate" is just how much both "sides" have in common.  The bolded sentiments are pretty much exactly how I feel, except that I tend to direct them at the people posting pro-vax propaganda memes all over facebook.

 

editing for clarification:  I interpreted that last line to mean that you do respect those of us who question vaccines (or at least the current vaccination strategies) based on the science.

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#67 of 72 Old 03-24-2014, 05:07 AM
 
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nm

There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

Book and herb loving mama to 1 preteen and 2 teens (when did that happen?).  We travel, go to school, homeschool, live rurally, eat our veggies, spend too much time...

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#68 of 72 Old 03-24-2014, 06:14 AM
 
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Kathymuggle - that's basically the entire process of science your describing (disagreeing with bits of it, progressing slowly to a closer description of the truth).

Emotions run high in this debate on both sides. I certainly have seen (and recently) opinions that vaccinators are permanently damaging their children.

But I also agree with personal freedom, and I don't like the American method of requiring records/exemptions for school entry. It's only the misinformation and scare tactics which annoy me.

By all means choose not to vaccinate, but don't do it for pseudoscientific reasons or because you think mainstream scientists are all lying/stupid or involved in a mass conspiracy.

PSM….are you saying I did not vaccinate for pseudoscientific reasons or because I am a conspiracy theorist?  It certainly sounds that way.  Please clarify.

 

Even if you are not saying that, I find your post baitish.  Consider what it would sound like, if I posted :

 

"By all means choose to vaccinate, but don't do it because you think science is infallible or because you think pharmaceutical companies are your friends. Don't be a sheeple. " 


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

Book and herb loving mama to 1 preteen and 2 teens (when did that happen?).  We travel, go to school, homeschool, live rurally, eat our veggies, spend too much time...

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#69 of 72 Old 03-24-2014, 10:09 AM
 
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By all means choose not to vaccinate, but don't do it for pseudoscientific reasons or because you think mainstream scientists are all lying/stupid or involved in a mass conspiracy.

 

Sigh.


And so many of us have posted, so many times, that we don't believe that the vast majority of mainstream scientists are lying, and we don't believe that they are involved in a mass conspiracy.

 

We believe that they have gotten it wrong, the way they got it wrong about cigarettes, about heroin (sold over-the-counter by Bayer in the US from 1895-1924), about cocaine (sold by Parke-Davis starting in 1885), about DDT, about breastfeeding vs formula-feeding, about sugar, about saccharine, about Vioxx, about Thalidomide, about treating every fussy baby with possible ear infections with antibiotics, about treating every sniffle and cough with antibiotics, etc.

 

We don't choose not to vaccinate for pseudoscientific reasons.  Many of us have children who have had severe adverse vaccine reactions that were documented and reported by mainstream medical doctors.  Perhaps we have delved more deeply into the available studies than you have; we have found mainstream, peer-reviewed and published science documenting similar cases, and showing the mechanism of vaccine injury.

 

Our friends, colleagues, and families may not have done the research we have done, but they have seen the results of vaccine injury with their own eyes.  Our children's teachers have seen with THEIR own eyes the enormous improvements the children made when their vaccine injuries were finally acknowledged and appropriately treated.  After witnessing such events, most of them either delay or turn down vaccines for their own children--as do more and more doctors.  Are you implying that their reasons for doing so are "pseudoscientific" or otherwise invalid?

 

I do wish you would stop implying that the perspective of those who question/criticize vaccine efficacy and safety is invalid.  I wouldn't wish anyone, even a passionate pro-vaxer, to go through the anguish of watching your child have a severe adverse reaction to a vaccine.  But I sadly conclude that that is the only way that most people ever "get it."

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#70 of 72 Old 03-24-2014, 10:11 AM
 
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"By all means choose to vaccinate, but don't do it because you think science is infallible or because you think pharmaceutical companies are your friends. Don't be a sheeple. " 

 

I personally think that's a totally valid statement to make, apart from the sheeple bit. 

 

I might be going way too far back to the OP, but I am interested in how science is disseminated to laypeople.  Scientists suck at it. We know we suck at it. And it's tricky when you have policy goals - like making laws regarding climate change or to convince people to vaccinate. Because on the one hand, science (well, biology) is messy and we readily admit that. We are always picking apart our own studies, trying to control for variation. We acknowledge limitations of study design. We have to do this in order to do strong science.

 

But that makes for one crummy public message, doesn't it? As far as a PR campaign goes, you cannot possibly get into the nitty gritty because most people won't understand and because 99.9% don't have the time to invest in reading all of the relevant research. When you start talking about limitations or uncertainty, laypeople think that means your research is totally worthless. So public health officials come up generalized simple messages and sound bytes. And I would argue that overall, the simple messages are effective. Not scientific, but effective. This is the nature of marketing right? In the study linked in the OP, parents shown a story about a child suffering from measles came away thinking that vaccines have serious side effects. Whether or not you think that's true based on your own reading, it makes no sense that you would see a child with measles and think 'vaccines aren't safe". But most people did. Our brains are weird. And if your goal is to get people to vaccinate, you have to appeal to their brains.

 

This study, I believe, was looking at parents who have chosen exemptions for whatever reason. And so far, targeted messaging doesn't appear to be effective. I wonder how necessary it is. Even aside from the rights of parents or individuals not to vaccinate... I think there is always going to be a small sub-population that chooses not to vaccinate. It might be a waste of time and resources. OTOH, I would prefer not to see vaccination rates decline as they did in the UK. So, I don't know.

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#71 of 72 Old 03-30-2014, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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If it doesn't compromise your anonymity and you don't mind sharing, what field of science are you in, CWill? I agree that politics really muddies the waters. To some degree, I suspect that there are both laypeople and scientists who expect Science to whisper sweet nothings into their ears and tell them what they want to hear. It would be a lie to say that there's no corruption in science.

You were wondering why scientists "suck" at conveying their findings. This article was going around FB a few months ago: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/21/faith-in-scientists_n_4481487.html

The take-away message that I hear from commenters is that American laypeople are just a bunch of anti-science rednecks who wouldn't know the Truth if it bit them in the buttcheeks.

But take a closer look at the article. The first part that amuses me is the headline. Americans have little FAITH in scientists and science journalists? I thought that science was a matter of facts, not faith. But I digress.

Let me speak as a non-scientist: No scientist or science journalist, (and, believe me, anybody can call him/herself a "science writer") is entitled to my FAITH. They need to present solidly designed independent studies and put them out there for public scrutiny. That second part can get dicey because in the most heated issues, (global warming, GMOs, etc.) everybody accuses everybody of "junk science."

But is it fair to say that there is a level of arrogance circulating in science circles? The message I hear is often, "We get it. You don't. So just leave the thinking to us and take our word at face value." But in the Information Age, that's an outrageous, unreasonable, and even impossible demand.

I'm not at all worried about the public not having *faith* in people like scientists and science journalists. It doesn't mean that they don't value SCIENCE itself. But if restoring trust is the issue, I see two solutions. First, the fight for scientific literacy should be ongoing. Second, nobody is going to trust scientists until scientists themselves take action to *restore* that trust.

I have seen a level of denialism toward competing interests in scientific research, both on and off MDC, that is nothing short of appalling. I have seen attempts to minimize the issue, deny the problem, and even mock the critics by denouncing them as "conspiracy theorists." (Just one example: http://www.bmj.com/content/340/bmj.c2912 ) But why not admit that this is a problem and work to restore ethics and INTEGRITY to science?? If you're wondering why scientists "suck" at public communications, this may be your answer.

In God we trust; all others must show data. selectivevax.gifsurf.gifteapot2.GIFintactivist.gif
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#72 of 72 Old 03-30-2014, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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" This study, I believe, was looking at parents who have chosen exemptions for whatever reason. And so far, targeted messaging doesn't appear to be effective. I wonder how necessary it is. Even aside from the rights of parents or individuals not to vaccinate... I think there is always going to be a small sub-population that chooses not to vaccinate. It might be a waste of time and resources. OTOH, I would prefer not to see vaccination rates decline as they did in the UK. So, I don't know."

To continue on my last thought, I don't know if scientists themselves are always to blame for failure to communicate. Journalists, (including self-ascribed "science writers") play a profound role in all of this. Andrew Wakefield, whose research I personally reject, wrote an observational paper with an itsy-bitsy sample size and concluded that it might be worth investigating the trivalent MMR vaccine for any link to gut disorders and possibly consider offering the vaccines monovalently. What did the public hear? "OMG!!! VACCINES CAUSE AUTISM!!!!"

Now to see a re-play of the scenario you describe above, where there are panicky news reports and vaccine rates dipping as they did in the U.K., we would need to see another journal article that hints at the possibility of a flaw or danger in a vaccine. If the article turns out to be a fraud, you'll see massive attempts at damage control. If the article turns out to be true, then we'd need to be intellectually honest and consider that maybe the risk of a vaccine in question outweighs its benefits. I honestly don't see another Wakefield-esque scenario emerging. Either way, as I keep saying, public faith, (Faith. There's that word again) in vaccine programs remains pretty high, despite all of the alarmists' claims.

In God we trust; all others must show data. selectivevax.gifsurf.gifteapot2.GIFintactivist.gif
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