Cartoon artist: Stahcer (2015) —

Anti-vaxxers (aka people who are against vaccinations for any reasons other than medical) are the bane of the public’s existant. However, now it’s personal, so I’m pissed.

If you are not aware, the anti-vaxx movement started en-masse when the now disgraced scientist Andrew Wakefield posted a study, making the bold claim that “autism is caused by vaccines”. Since then, he has had his licenses removed that were related to the science community (so he is no longer considered officially a scientist), and the other authors on the now-infamous paper have written to the journals that published the paper to “please remove their names from the paper” because of how much of a public health disaster it is.

It doesn’t help that celebrity-type figures jumped on the movement, that further fueled fire under it. People now think that five minutes of Googling suddenly makes them smarter than public health officials and doctors who have spent years researching, educating, and studying all things about the medical field and preventative medicine (aka the science of how not to get sick and translate it to make it easy to understand for the public eye).

What do I mean by “now it’s personal”? It’s not just a catchy phrase. I recently just started chemotherapy for my stage 2 Hodkin’s lymphoma. Lymphoma is cancer of the lymphatic system, which plays an important role in keeping you healthy. Your immune system is composed of a multititude of different types of “mini warriors” that patrol your body 24/7, to keep you safe. This cancer affects them. The type of lymphoma depends on the exact fighter that is infected within the immune system (this is the main different between Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s).

Chemotherapy, one side effect is that it has a tendency to seriously deplete these warrior’s numbers. How does this affect the patient? It means that if something as “simple” as the common cold or flu infects the patient (which includes myself at this point), I could be seriously hospitalized for days, or worse, dead. Normally I’d just take over the counter meds if I’m feeling a little under the weather, but now the first sign of illness, I HAVE to go to the hospital and get the proper medication, possibly stay a day or two (depending on how ill I am), and hope I don’t die.

But alas, anti-vaxxers are obsessed with the idea that “autism causes vaccines!” (or some other outrageous claim, which I don’t see how autism is suddenly more terrifying than an epidemic that wipes out entire populations, but you know, priorities I guess). Anti-vaxxers are so freaking ignorant and arrogant to believe their 5 minutes of Googling questionable websites suddenly makes them smarter than public health officials and doctors who, again, have spent years studying. Anti-vaxxers have the stubborn belief of “it is MY CHILD so I MAKE THE RULES”, failing to see the entire picture and see their that if their child did get the unfortunate roll of the dice and got infected; their child kills me or almost kills me or others with weakeneded immune systems. Anti-vaxxers get so obsessed with the “scary chemicals in modern day vaccines” that they might as well wrap their child in bubble-wrap every time their child leaves the house. ANYTHING can be broken down into “scary chemicals”.

GASP! SCARY SCIENCE WORDS I DONT UNDERSTAND! (Still no excuse because most of you have a freaking smart phone!)

I put this photo here, just to prove a point. Without digressing into how “organic vs GMO” is pure bullshit, this photo shows that anything can be broken down into “scary chemicals”, even something as simple as a banana.

So, here’s yet another article where a person is pleading with you to please see the bigger picture. Anti-vaxxers are the reason we are having outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. Before vaccines, people were dying in large numbers because of these diseases. Vaccine-preventable diseases (such as measles, mumps, and whooping cough that commonly affects young infants/babies) are known to be particularly deadly, often having an infection rate of 75–90% (meaning if 1 infected person walks into a room filled with 9 people, making the total number of people in the room 10, that means that 1 infected person just infected everyone in the room, except 1–3 people, which is horrifying because of how seriously ill these diseases make you). Of those infected, depending on the exact disease, the kill-rate is anywhere between 30–80%. Let’s think worse case scenerio; of those 9 people who are now infected, 7 will die. In the “least problematic” situation; of those 9 infected people who are not infected, 2–3 people will die (the exact number comes to 2.7, and since there’s not 70% of a person walking around in the room, you can round up or down).

Whether it’s 2–3 people dying or 7 people dying from those 9 infected, it is too many. Espicially from a vaccine preventable disease. The only reason under the sun a person can not get a vaccine is because of a legitimate medical reason, such as having a weakened immune system. We rely on herd immunity to not get infected. This means, the more people vaccinated, the much less likely chance someone will accidentally infect us by say sneezing on us or coughing on a meal we are about to eat (which can be done by cooks, unfortunately).

Please, you anti vaccination people are killing people.

It is no longer “your child, your choice” when it could potentially seriously hospitalize and/or kill people with weakened immune systems. If you still hold onto that belief after I’ve prevented you with the statistics (which can easily be looked up on the CDC and other reputable sources, again, some variation depending on the exact disease), you are an ingnorant asshole who is going to end up killing me or one of the thousands of others with a compromised immune system.

I’m a queer adopted healthcare worker who writers in their spare time. I have a MPH degree.