The Not Quite Adventures of a Professional Archaeologist and Aspiring Curmudgeon

Monday, April 6, 2009

Vaccines and Hysteria

This morning I read this essay, in which the author talks about attending a conference where a large number of anti-vaccine folk began to spout the usual uninformed drivel about the evils of vaccines. What was interesting about this essay is that, as it discusses specifically the HPV vaccine and HPV is a sexually transmitted disease, the left-of-center and rather bizarre anti-corporate rheotirc that vaccine haters usually spout off has been accompanied by a strong dose of right-wing misinformation as well. It's worth reading, check it out.

Of the entire essay, I think this part is especially worth noting:

When you attack vaccinations, you are really helping Big Pharma out. First of all, you’re being an anti-science crank, and it allows Big Pharma to paint all critics as anti-science cranks, even though with legitimate concerns. Second of all, you’re distracting people from the real issues. The real issues are how they test experimental drugs (in some cases, like the link above), and how they spend their R&D money. People who are freaking out about vaccinations are generally not the same people who are pointing out that drug companies spend all this money on developing mildly different kinds of erection drugs instead of spending that money researching new drugs that we really need, such as more vaccinations. And getting the spotlight off the real problems with drug companies is exactly what Big Pharma wants.

Thanks to Skepchick for the link.

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