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MaisyS's avatar

What is your take on vaccination hesitancy?

Asked by MaisyS (146points) 3 weeks ago

I am part of the debate team at school and our topic was vaccinations. But the format of the debate was different. It wasn’t really a debate. Instead one team had half an hour to come up with a speech in favour of vaccination hesitancy, and after the speech was through the other team would pull arguments from that speech, and so the debate would commence. One of the boys on the other team (the team with the speech) apparently came up with this concept that I will mention ahead, and the team began their speech with this (not exact wording just the gist of it)

Imagine a future world where everyone upon birth is injected to alter their bodies’ natural buildup against diseases. In some cases it works to make them stronger. In other cases, especially in third world countries, it may be mixed with additives that can harm children. In some areas children suffer from sterility later in life due to those injections. Yet parents are forced to inject the child or face severe consequences.
Sound familiar? Because this is no dystopian world. This is today.

And this got me thinking. I live in a third world country. And I have personally seen these things happen to children after vaccinations. My cousin has been fully vaccinated yet is constantly sick, almost as though she has no immunity. An uncle of mine is sterile and the batch of vaccines which people his age were injected with is the only thing we can find to blame since three of his childhood classmates that he is in touch with are also sterile and none of them have suffered from any serious childhood disease that could’ve left them sterile (like the mumps) or had any such accidents.
And this has me wondering. Especially since one of my older cousins is pregnant. And she isn’t sure if she wants to vaccinate her child. This is because we have auto-immune disorders in the family. Two close relatives have suffered from ALS (the baby’s grandmother and aunt) and my cousin is worried that injecting her baby so soon after birth may not give the baby proper time to develop a good immunity and she’s worried that exposing an immunity that is already at risk of auto-immune disorders to diseases before it can mature may increase the baby’s chance of getting an auto-immune disorder. She says she will get the baby vaccinated when it is older and has had time to develop a proper immunity.

So I get that there are a couple questions within this question so I’ll separate them.

What is your take on vaccination hesitancy?

What is your take on vaccination hesitancy in third world countries keeping in mind problems that seem to arise from vaccinations?

And is the science of my cousin’s thinking right and should she avoid vaccinating her baby early?

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39 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

My take on vaccination hesitancy is that it’s understandable, but in most cases, unfounded. I have several good friends who resist vaccinations and their children are often sicker than most in our city.

I am not familiar enough with third world country vaccinations to offer an answer on #2.

Since I’m not a doctor, I can’t answer the 3rd question either.

stanleybmanly's avatar

This one is easy. Vaccination hesitancy in a 3rd world country is tantamount to a dance with disaster. In places notorious for infrastructure shortfalls amounting to feasting opportunities for pathogens, such hesitancy amounts to a poor man’s version of Russian Roulette. The stupefying list of horrendous diseases circulating in 3rd world environments which can be prevented through inoculation outweigh by orders of magnitude the risks from the side effects of vaccinations.

Dutchess_III's avatar

“My cousin has been fully vaccinated yet is constantly sick, almost as though she has no immunity. ” You can still get colds and the flu and different illnesses. Vaccinations target specific diseases like small pox and whooping cough, measles. They aren’t some sort of blanket fix for all illnesses.

kritiper's avatar

The same as logical thought hesitancy.

stanleybmanly's avatar

There is in addition the plethora of maladies endemic to 3rd world places for which there is no inoculation. Mosquito and insect vector parasites, water borne worms, etc. endemic to inadequate water treatment. It’s a veritable roulette wheel of opportunities for an early death. No wonder you’re depressed.

MaisyS's avatar

@stanleybymanly I’m really lucky to have been born into one of the richer upper class families so I face none of these third world problems, even though I live in such a country. I’m fully vaccinated as are both my brothers, from one of the best hospitals in the country. I face no water crisis since all my family buys is bottled mineral water. I don’t face electricity issues nor do I struggle with illness. I’m being given a high education at one of the more expensive private schools in the country and I face no sexist issues. I have been truly blessed. I’m saying all this to demonstrate that this question isn’t asked out of concern for myself. But my cousins and uncle are not so rich as I am. They’re middle class and face some issues but are still so much better off than the lower class. It is for these classes that I am asking the second question, because vaccinations are important but they carry so many other issues in my country because these lower classes are the ones really prone to disease but they’re also the ones who can’t afford good vaccinations. We have no free healthcare here. So what should they do?

@Duchess_lll I don’t mean the flu or colds. She’s had everything ranging from the mumps to measles and malaria and chicken pox, name it the girl’s had it at some point.

Also I would really appreciate it if someone had an answer for my pregnant cousin’s dilemma.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Clearly your cousin would have benefited from vaccination against diseases that have been all but eliminated in first world places. Measles and mumps were virtually things of the past prior to the recent spread of “vaccination hesitancy” in first world countries.

MaisyS's avatar

@stanleybymanly Reread that part about my cousin in the post. My cousin is vaccinated. That’s the point I’m making. She’s vaccinated but always sick. Don’t you think that reflects on the quality of the vaccines you get in third world countries? It’s almost better not to be vaccinated if you can’t afford to have it done at a seriously expensive place like my parents did for me.

Dutchess_III's avatar

She said she got measles and mumps even after being vaccinated @stanleybmanly.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Oh! Now THAT is more than alarming. To be vaccinated and yet wind up with both, is beyond puzzling and legitimate cause for suspicion of the whichever program supposedly administering the vaccinations.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I agree. That right there is a sound basis for vaccine hesitancy.

Zaku's avatar

I think vaccination hesitancy points to larger problems in our society, as the example in the question clearly shows.

That is, people have been lied to and overpowered, overruled, and abused to such a degree by governments and corporations and others, in such pervasive ways, including many broad societal beliefs that are in fact strategies for controlling and dominating people, that we tend to fundamentally distrust them.

So whether it is or is not currently problematic to accept specific vaccinations, it is entirely plausible that at some point (or currently, especially in “third world” countries) vaccinations might (even intentionally, or unintentionally) have terrible adverse effects.

Genocidal ideas are alive and well in the 21st Century, and people in power are anticipating many crises that might look to them like might call for sterilizing or debilitating or even killing millions or billions of people, and that could be pretty easy if everyone were accepting the same sorts of shots, and you happened to own the corporation that makes them and tests them.

i.e. On the surface, it may look wrong to reject vaccinations, but given the full context of worldwide abuses and abuses of power, it’s reasonable to be suspicious.

Especially when you have direct evidence and observations of problems with certain ones, as has been mentioned.

Caravanfan's avatar

“What is your take on vaccination hesitancy?”
The people who are hesitant about vaccines are either willfully ignorant or deliberately malicious and are in favor of large numbers of the population getting sick and dying.

“What is your take on vaccination hesitancy in third world countries keeping in mind problems that seem to arise from vaccinations?”
The supposition of your question is totally false.

“And is the science of my cousin’s thinking right and should she avoid vaccinating her baby early?”
Only if she likes the idea of her child dying or getting violently ill from tetanus, pertussis, polio, meningitis, measles, rubella, diptheria, hepatitis, or mumps.

MaisyS's avatar

@Caravanfan I’m not just talking blindly here. I’ve done my research. Both online and through talking to people around me. And I assure you what I say is not false. If you can provide evidence to the contrary I will definitely accept it. But until then let’s stick to what I’ve said okay? Because I have provided real life examples that I have seen with my own eyes. Do you honestly not find it weird that four people of the same birth year are all inexplicably sterile? That a child who has been given every vaccine she needs is still sick so often? And she is not the only one. She’s just sick more often than others. My brother although vaccinated has had both chickenpox and the mumps which he caught from me. My case is fine. One vaccine didn’t work, whatever. But the fact that my brother got two diseases that he had been inoculated against is odd, don’t you think? And he was vaccinated at one of the best hospitals, I repeat. My mum’s cousin was vaccinated. She had a nasty bout of meningitis that has left her with special needs.

And before you judge my cousin too harshly, see what I have said about auto-immune running in the family. She only wants what is best for her baby. If the science behind her thinking is wrong, go ahead, tell me so and I’ll talk to her. But don’t be harsh on her because she loves her child. I might well add that her husband passed away just after her first trimester and that she is working, doing the best she can, and knows she can’t afford the best vaccines for her child, and so she is concerned, both about the auto-immune and that the vaccines in our country seem to be rubbish.

MaisyS's avatar

@Zaku thank you for pointing this out. That really is what a lot of anti vaxxers believe. And honestly I feel such suspicions are not unfounded.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@MaisyS Just fyi, he’s a doctor here in the States.

MaisyS's avatar

@KNOWITALL Sorry I’m a little confused who is?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Caravanfan is a quack doctor.

MaisyS's avatar

@Duchess_lll I see. So maybe he should provide some of the science behind why my cousin is wrong so I can tell her. And does being a doctor make him an expert on third world countries as well? Just asking.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh he will, but he’ll ask you to provide proof that your cousin was vaccinated, but still got sick with the diseases she was supposed to be vaccinated for.
I am sure he’s researching vaccinations in 3rd world countries as we speak.

MaisyS's avatar

@Duchess_lll proof? Honestly? I’m going to have to ask my cousin’s mother for that and I doubt she’ll hand anything over. Especially since my parents have only grudgingly allowed me to use fluther.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@MaisyS He works with a lot of underprivelaged and immigrants in Cali, so I’d say he’s probably got more knowledge than anyone else on this site in regards to this subject.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well…I was out of line. I can’t speak to the @Caravanfan may or may not do or say, so let’s just wait and see what he says.
He’d be a good resource for your mission.

MaisyS's avatar

@KNOWITALL I don’t doubt that, or the fact that he may be a good doctor. @Caravanfan I apologise if I have caused you any offence. But honestly each country is different and corruption rates are quite high where I live. We literally have people come to your doorstep with injections and administer them to children. I mean how safe can that be? Who knows what those injections contain? But the poorer people lap it up because its cheap. And then end up with more health issues instead. And when I say people come to your doorstep I don’t mean qualified and educated people. I mean low class people looking to make a buck.

stanleybmanly's avatar

From the striking examples provided by the op, I would be much more suspicious of whatever regimen employed in the vaccination of the citizenry than of the efficacy of vaccination. Such results in any first world country would prompt investigations on an epic scale.

Dutchess_III's avatar

God yes it would! Except….we got our vaccines in the hallways of the grade school in the 60s! They lined us up and shot us.

Darth_Algar's avatar

“What is your take on vaccination hesitancy?”

A bit like playing Russian Roulette.

“What is your take on vaccination hesitancy in third world countries keeping in mind problems that seem to arise from vaccinations?”

The problems you’ve listed are anecdotal. Your cousin’s case is unfortunate, but not unheard of. Vaccines are not 100% effective for all people. There’s a small percentage of folks for whom vaccines just don’t work. Still others cannot be vaccinated due to allergies or already compromised immune systems. That is why it’s important to ensure that everyone possible is vaccinated to establish herd immunity. In a nutshell, with herd immunity the 90% who are vaccinated protect the 10% who cannot be vaccinated by offering the diseases few opportunities to spread among the population.

As for your uncle and his classmates: there are numerous factors that can lead to diminished potency in men. Many of those factors are dietary and lifestyle in origin. Some are medical in nature. I would be wary of trying to link this to vaccines, especially without ruling out all other factors first.

Also, ALS isn’t an auto-immune disorder. It’s a neurological disease and is genetic in origin. So it’s not surprising that two people in your family might have it.

“And is the science of my cousin’s thinking right and should she avoid vaccinating her baby early?”

No. She should, however, get her baby vaccinated by qualified medical professionals rather than giving her money over to a traveling snake oil merchant.

MaisyS's avatar

@Darth_Algar thank you for your response it clarifies a lot. I’ll be sure to pass this information on to my cousin so she knows she has nothing to fear concerning having her baby vaccinated early.

Caravanfan's avatar

@Darth_Algar is actually incorrect in that vaccines can be 100% effective. Google the history of smallpox and you will see. Measles was on its way to the same fate but sadly has had a resurgence. And I’ve actually seen tetanus and had to put a patient on a ventilator because of it, and he died.

So, I’m back to my initial answer (which I grant was a tad sarcastic, so I apologize for that. But that’s how I am)

gorillapaws's avatar

“What is your take on vaccination hesitancy?”

It’s incredibly sad. There are people and children who will die because there are uneducated wackos spreading misinformation on the internet.

@MaisyS “We literally have people come to your doorstep with injections and administer them to children. ”

I’m not familiar with your country, but if there are con men selling fake vaccines, then that is a major problem. To be clear though, that problem has nothing to do with the safety and efficacy of real vaccines which are proven beyond reproach.

gorillapaws's avatar

Just to make the above point more clear. If there was a con-man selling poisoned fish, you wouldn’t tell people that fish are bad and dangerous, you would say there’s a maniac out there hurting people.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You guys…the biggest problem here is that the OP is from a 3rd world country. There are quacks peddling “vaccines” door to door.

Caravanfan's avatar

Well, yeah. You don’t want to buy vaccines from a door to door salesman. You want to go to an approved clinic and see a health care professional.

Dutchess_III's avatar

She said the poorer folks in her country can’t afford it. I don’t know what it costs. I guess they don’t have any free clinics there.

raum's avatar

The efficacy of vaccines may vary by geographical location.

raum's avatar

Also, going door to door may be part of a legitimate vaccine outreach program. People in developing countries are not always located in areas serviced by a clinic.

While I’d imagine that those working with EPI would have credentials, I think it would be difficult for a largely uneducated demographic to be able to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate credentials. :/

Though vaccines are provided without charge. So I’m unsure what people would get from pretending to be one?

Caravanfan's avatar

@raum Sure, if that’s a legitimate thing then I’m all for it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Good thoughts @raum.

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