Facts, not Fantasy

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Vaccine Times: Repeat after me: Scientists do science, politicians...


Don’t do science. Sounds simple enough, yet for some reasons it needs to be spelled out to the anti-vax crowd. In typical, reason be damned fashion, the nice folks at InsideVaccines are riled up, because some politician proposed a law which allows adoptive parents to have their recently adopted kids vaccinated in the US as opposed to their country of birth to avoid “exposing their adoptive children to unsafe immunizations in foreign countries.”
The bill also allows U.S. parents adopting foreign-born children to safely immunize their children in the United States within 30 days of their arrivals, rather than have to subject their children to potentially unsafe immunizations in foreign nations. Previously, parents who adopted internationally were frequently required to immunize their children before bringing them to the United States.
Of course, whenever a politician says something, it is guaranteed that they have done all the research, contacted all the authorities and experts in the field, because, obviously, the last thing a politician ever wants to do is to make factually incorrect statements. Therefore, it is perfectly justified, for an anti-vaxer at least, to take a simple sentence uttered by a politician and run with it. Because what better authority on foreign vaccine safety than a U.S. Senator, right?
We can only hope that all those foreign nations don’t pick up on this news story and wonder why it is okay for children who are remaining in Africa, Asia, South America or Eastern Europe to receive unsafe vaccines.
I hope the French and English don’t get a wind of this; we’d be screwed. What about Canada? Would they be considered foreign? Why is the US hogging all the safe vaccines? Selfish bastards! Well, exposing this travesty is not enough; the anti-vaxers now will fantasize, I mean get to the bottom of the reason why the foreign vaccines are so unsafe, they caught the eye of a U.S. politician.
There are, of course, two obvious answers to why these vaccines are unsafe.
1) Needle re-use.
2) Mercury content. Due to a lack of refrigeration and a shortage of money, most vaccines in the developed world come in 10 dose vials, preserved with that wonderful, inexpensive toxin, thimerosal.
Of course, why the hell not; since we’re making stuff up I think another reason foreign vaccines are unsafe is that people on the other side of the world are hanging upside down. Now, someone who was honestly trying to hypothesize a real reason why vaccines in some foreign countries might not be as safe as those in developed countries (let us entertain the idea for the moment), might have come up with a third logical reason: inappropriate storage and usage after expiration date, but that would make Option #2 sound less plausible and scary, so it is conveniently left out. After all, they KNOW that thimerosal causes autism and are just waiting for the science to catch up with Jenny McCarthy.

The funny thing is that, if the anti-vaxxers want to rely on what the politician says about vaccines, they must then concede that vaccines in the U.S. are safe; after all the politician is saying the children should not receive the unsafe foreign vaccines, but get vaccinated here. Therefore, U.S. vaccines are safe and Age of Autism will be closing up shop and InsideVaccines will officially change their website to Inside-Foreign-Vaccines-US-vaccines-are-not-a-problem.com.

I wouldn’t count on that happening though. See, that is the beauty of cherry-picking, they pick the parts they want to and completely ignore the other parts, or logic for that matter.

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