One thing we must acknowledge about the anti-vaccine proponents is their ability to produce new, superficially attractive, yet logically ugly as hell, “arguments” against vaccines. I recently wrote about their apparently increasing use of the “non-vaccinated vs. vaccinated” gamit. Now there is a new one that is starting to be used. Courtesy of Age of Autism (who else?) we get what I will refer to as the “virus is mutating therefore vaccines are useless” gambit.
This new “argument” goes like this in general lines:The viruses are mutating due to the selective pressures put on them from vaccines. Thus vaccination is a bad idea and vaccinating is useless because viruses will always mutate to defeat the vaccine.First, the very fact that viruses mutate in response to the vaccine proves that the vaccine works. I dont’ know if the anti-vaxxers are aware of this, but by advertising the mutation news they are indirectly, and I am sure absolutely inadvertently, accepting that vaccines work.
Secondly, the “logic” in the above argument is completely flawed, which we can easily see by replacing vaccinations with anti-terrorism efforts. This is how it would look:The terrorists are getting smarter and devising new ways of attacking the free world, in order to evade our increased anti-terrorist efforts therefore anti-terrorism efforts are useless and should be halted.Doesn’t sound too attractive when put this way does it?
The fact of the matter is that, if the virus mutates to evade our current vaccines, then we will have to devise new vaccines that can handle the newly evolved virus. The purpose of this whole immunization exercise is not to maintain the virus unchanged, but to save as many children’s lives as we possibly can from any virus, old or new. If the choice is between allowing the old viruses to kill millions of children annually, or saving the majority of those lives and having to deal with a mutated virus, I choose saving the millions of lives annually. Wouldn’t the anti-vaxxers want the same thing?
And if they try to claim that this is not really what they mean when they bring up the whole virus mutation thing, here is the very first comment on the above AoA article:
And their solution is to just keep adding more and more strains, and giving more and more shots. My NT son was fully vaccinated with PCV-7 back when we were still trusting, uninformed parents. At his 3 year-old checkup, the ped insisted he receive a booster of the new PCV-13 as the shortcoming of the old vaccine were becoming apparent. We declined.
It reminded me of an incident a few years back when shopping for a used car. The salesman was pushing an extended warranty hard, claiming the model was notorious for mechanical problems. I told him if that was the case, cancel the whole deal as I had no intention of buying a lemon in the first place. He quickly backed off, claiming the car was fine and his bosses were pushing him to move the warranties. We walked away from the deal.
So, is the PCV vaccine a lemon or are they just trying to move more shots? Either way, it makes sense to walk away.