If you’re a regular reader, you’ll no doubt have heard before the lengths to which people who lie about vaccines will go to prove their point. They will lie. They will misinform. They will twist facts, take statements out of context, and they will bash anyone that gets in their way.
Me? I’ve gotten used to being called all sorts of names whenever I counter the anti-vaccine talking points. I’m a “shill,” a “bastard,” a “traitor,” and worse. What I don’t understand is why some people go to severe lengths to make their point. Friends of this an other blogs may know who “The Vaccine Machine” is. He is this guy. This guy used to troll over at Orac’s for a while before he decided to start a blog of his own and try to get an in with the anti-vaccine groups. His writing is tedious, to say the least. He tries, but his rants get out of hand. It even looks like Generation Rescue has stopped publishing his rants on their site. But that’s not the worst thing he’s done.
Today, he did his worst (so far). A concerned mother went on Facebook and implored people to vaccinate their children against influenza:
“We don’t have the nasal mist where we are, but as a parent who lost a child earlier this year as a result of complications from a flu related pneumonia, I would implore you to please have your child immunized against the flu. If not just for his own protection but for the protection of those with fragile medical conditions who are more susceptible to severe complications. All of my other four children had the shot, my eldest acquired it influenza from a care provider who had refused the vaccine and subsequently infected more than a dozen medically fragile children, all of whom ended up in hospital with complications.” (my emphasis)
“The Vaccine Machine” replied:
“It’s the flu. What’s to worry about. Are you really going to have your child get a shot every year of his or her life to possibly prevent a minor illness? I wouldn’t”
And then he went on to blame the victim:
“As to the mist, based on the side effects your giving the kid what you are trying to avoid”
This is not unprecedented in the anti-vaccine world. Anti-vaccine people told a father that his child died of a vaccine-preventable disease as the result of natural selection (i.e. survival of the fittest), and the parents of a little girl who died from pertussis in Australia were hounded for even suggesting that other parents vaccinate their children against whooping cough. Yet, somehow, we’re supposed to listen to the shrieking screams of parents who swear that their children are “lost” or “dead” from autism that, in their minds, came as a result of vaccination. As usual, anti-vaccinators want it both ways.
(Below are the screenshots of that Facebook discussion, in case you can’t log in and read it. Click to enlarge.)