Luke Yamaguchi is a man who runs a Udemy course and runs a website called “Gut Resolution”. One of his Udemy courses is about the “dangers of vaccines” (essientially) where he pushes anti-vaccination beliefs. His education “qualifications”? A Master’s in arts. His twitter claims him to be a “health educator” but he has zero formal academic qualifications to back up his belief systems. His twitter (@gutresolution) is filled with anti-vaxx beliefs and attempts to question the validity of vaccines.
Luke, call me Vi. Unlike you, I actually have formal education in both biology (it was my minor for my undergraduate degree) and preventative medicine (my Master’s was in public health with a concentration in policy and management — in simple English this means that I understand how the government works when it comes to making laws and statues). I have also actually worked in a hospital, as a medical transcriptionist where I worked side-by-side with doctors in the Outpatient Unit, Intensive Care Unit, and Inpatient Unit. Given my biology background, I actually understand the science behind vaccinations and know what is in the vaccine itself.
And yes, you risk killing me.
If you are not aware, I was diagnosed with cancer in October 2018. Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stage 2 to be exact. With regular doses of chemotherapy, I am regularly going through the condition known as neutropenia, which in plain English means my white blood cell count is dangerously low. On average, it only works at about 9–10% at its max capacity. This means that something as simple as the common cold or flu (diseases often not thought of as “deadly” by the average person on the street) risks killing me or hospitalizing me for several days. Your white blood cells are your body’s army that fights diseases. For simplicity sakes (and to really drive the point home) let’s imagine your white blood cells regularly have ten fighters (again, I am grossly simplifying things so the greatest number of people understand just how dire my situation is). Me in my current condition? I have one. If an invading army (say the common cold or the flu) invades my body, and I spike a fever? I am risking death and will need to be hospitalized.
What anti-vaxxers forget is that they are also putting cancer patients like myself at the risk of death. It was never “your child, your choice” because “your choice” affects everyone you come in contact with. The man who linked autism to vaccines (Mr. Andrew Wakefield) lost his license to practice medicine. The celebrity that pushed the anti vaxx movement (Jenny McCarthy) has zero formal education qualifications. There is no mercury in vaccines. What’s in the vaccine is a dead or almost-dead virus.
What anti-vaxxers forget is that vaccine-preventable diseases have an extremely high death rate. These viruses (polio, whooping cough, measles, among others) kill between 75–95% victims that they infect (depending on the exact virus). The only reason why we, as a society stopped having so many people die from them was because prevented children and people from getting infected in the first place.