Let’s play Russian Roulette

One of the things that amazes me the most about anti-vaccine (and anti-science) people is their lack of perception when it comes to risk. One in a million chance of Guillain-Barre Syndrome from the flu vaccine? UNACCEPTABLE! One in one-thousand chance of encephalitis from measles? YEAH, I CAN LIVE WITH THAT. It makes me think that they would be really bad at playing Russian Roulette, and here’s why.
Russian Roulette is a dangerous game, and I do not want anyone playing it. Got it?

However, if you were to play it, here’s how it would go:

  1. A six-chambered revolver is loaded with one bullet.
  2. The barrel is spun by the player.
  3. The barrel is locked.
  4. The gun is pointed to the player’s head.
  5. The trigger is pulled.
  6. Hilarity ensues.

All things being equal, your chance of plastering your brains all over the wall and other players is one in six. One bullet, six chambers, get it? So what would you do if presented with one gun with twelve chambers and one gun with six chambers, which one would you like to play with? I don’t know about you, but I’d play with the twelve-chambered one.

If the flu vaccine is as horrible as some would put it, it is at worst a one million-chambered gun with one bullet in one of those chambers. You spin the barrel, pull the trigger, and then pass it on. If you don’t blow your brains off, you then have a 60-70% chance of being protected against the flu. No, you don’t get 100% protection. The man-made flu vaccine is not 100% effective. Nothing is.

We’re not gods.

But anti-vaccine activists will tell you that your chance of dying — yes, dying — from the flu vaccine are high. They won’t quote you the number so as to not reveal their ruse, but they will tell you that it’s horrible. I just don’t get it. Do they really think we’re all idiots?

Don’t get an anti-vaxer to be your partner in a gunfight.

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