[dropcap letter="R"]ecently, as we here at the 8List have mentioned, the CBCP put up an article on their website, which claims to reveal the “truth” about vaccination. Which is problematic. Very, very problematic.
You see, when you consider the fact that there was a measles outbreak happening around the time of the feat of the Black Nazarene, it was only a case of sheer blind luck that this didn’t result in a massive epidemic afterwards. Measles is a highly contagious disease that has and will continue to kill people, if given the chance. And true, developed countries like America might take measles vaccines for granted when over a hundred cases nationwide is already considered “a high number” for them, but we, as a developing nation, do not have that luxury.
That the CBCP decided to throw in its oversized hat into the vaccination discussion with its non-existent expertise in medical science is no laughing matter, because we have more than enough lock and step Catholics who will follow whatever the CBCP says about any topic, even if it clearly falls outside their area of competence, and unfortunately for us, everyone pays the price for it.
Here are 8 reasons why the CBCP article was grossly irresponsible, which in turn points to the need to publish an immediate retraction of their article, lest they endanger more lives…
[buffer id="bar"]8. They are using a lone dissenting voice as the foundation of their belief.[/buffer]
The Claim: Because we have a medical practitioner saying this, her take on the matter must be true! After all, it’s not like nearly every other scientist actually has a contrary opinion, backed by years and years of research. Oh, wait. They do.
The article opens with the quote: “It seems almost like conventional wisdom to many, but according to a well-known obstetrician and gynecologist, vaccines may not exactly be the best safeguard against diseases.”
One resource person.One. When Colgate makes the claim in their TV commercials that “9 out of 10 dentists recommend Colgate,” do you think they’re implying that you should listen more to that single dissenting voice who thinks you should be using some other toothpaste?
Yet, for some strange reason, the CBCP listened to one Dr. Eleanor de Borja-Palabyab, who is a member of the ludicrous-sounding group “Doctors for Life Philippines,” as if to say the default for a bunch of people who took the Hippocratic Oath is to not be for life. Really?
[buffer id="bar"]7. Citing “unclean conditions” as an issue is a red herring.[/buffer]
Not pictured: “natural.”
The Claim: Because vaccines introduce viruses into the system, then it must be unclean. Therefore, unsafe. Why would you stick disease into your body, right? That’s just insane.
De Borja-Palabyab makes the claim that “viruses and bacteria cannot grow without an unclean condition,” as if to insinuate that vaccines are unclean and unsanitary themselves.
What do you think contracting measles is? Clean? Sanitary? Oh, right. “Natural.” Because somehow, only “natural” things are good, right?
[buffer id="bar"]6. They are trotting out the repeatedly debunked “link” between vaccines and autism.[/buffer]
The Claim: Research by Dr. Andrew Wakefield in the late ‘90s has shown that there is a connection between vaccines and a rising diagnosis in autism. In the late ‘90s, “Stonecold” Steve Austin was also main eventing in the WWE, so both Stonecold and vaccines are to blame why we now face an autism epidemic!
There is a ton of scientific material that completely debunks the notion that vaccines could magically cause autism, a neurological condition you are born with.
I understand it is very difficult for parents of children with autism to deal with the challenges of raising their children. I even understand how easy it could get to blame vaccination as the reason their children are autistic. But this is patently not true, especially when you consider that autism is a relatively new condition that we have only begun to diagnose and understand, while diseases like mumps and measles have been well-known and well-documented for centuries.
Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the “scientist” who has “discovered” the “link” between the mumps-measles-rubella (MMR) vaccine, did not only make a “mistake” in his “research,” he actually deliberately skewed his research and even neglected to mention that he had a massive conflict of interest: he was being paid by lawyers, who were planning to sue pharmaceutical companies, to conduct his research. His entire research was eventually completely retracted by the Lancet, after they have more than sufficiently proven that his research was not only impossible to replicate the results of his research, but outright fraudulent. This is not the guy you want to listen to when it comes to how best to keep your kids from getting sick, is what I’m trying to say.
There is no proven scientific, causative link between vaccines and autism. I bolded and underlined that just in case I was being too ambigious about this.
[buffer id="bar"]5. That some vaccines came from aborted fetuses is a red herring.[/buffer]
The Claim: Some vaccines were directly developed from aborted fetuses. This promotes abortion! This is immoral! Shame on you, science! Shaaaaaaame!
Really now. So what? Because the Vatican was against using these vaccines since they originally came from an aborted fetus? You mean the same Vatican that pointed out that using these vaccines should not be shunned if there are no acceptable alternatives present? Dr. De Borja-Palabyab is clearly anti-abortion, which is anyone’s right, but to completely misrepresent the stance of the Vatican on the matter is a bone-headed mistake, at best, and a glaring case of intellectual dishonesty, at worst.
Let’s also not forget that these fetuses were not aborted specifically to make these vaccines. Dr. De Borja-Palabyab would like us to gloss over that little detail, because the facts really get in the way of her making vaccines out to be some kind of boogeyman.
[buffer id="bar"]4. Just because you did not get sick while being unvaccinated does not mean not taking vaccines at all is perfectly okay.[/buffer]
The Claim: Hey, Dr. De Borja-Palabyab insists she wasn’t vaccinated, yet she turned out pretty okay, so we’re good if we ignore vaccines, right?
Vaccination isn’t just something you do for yourself or for your children. You actually do it for the sake of the public, too. Some people can even carry diseases without them exhibiting the symptoms themselves. Vaccination minimizes this risk.
What people don’t understand is that vaccination works on the principle of herd immunity: since vaccines are never 100% effective (Normally, rates are around 90% or so.), then the only way to eventually eliminate a given disease via vaccination is to make sure everyone has the vaccine. That way, you, who are 90% immune from, say, measles, will be in contact with a person who is also 90% immune from measles. That adds up to about a .1%, or 1 in 1,000 chance of either of you contracting measles. Those numbers add up as more and more of the population are immunized against measles.
Let’s also not forget that there are inevitably some people, especially kids, who, for one reason or another, can’t take vaccines. Maybe they’re too young for it. Maybe they know for a fact that they would have an allergic reaction to it. They need to rely on everyone else being vaccinated from measles to make sure they don’t catch it.
Now, imagine if a few of those people arbitrarily decided not to have the vaccine, which, barring genetics, means they are 100% vulnerable to measles, if they encounter it. No amount of “healthy lifestyle” can prevent a highly contagious and communicable disease from hitting you if you are susceptible to it.
If one of these unvaccinated people comes in contact with someone who is vaccinated, this means that now, from 1 in 1,000 odds, both the unvaccinated and the vaccinated now have a 1 in 10 chance of contracting measles. That is how drastically you affect other people because of your poor choices: even those who are sensible enough to have vaccination have to pay the consequences for it.
[buffer id="bar"]3. Saying that vaccines aren’t 100% safe is a red herring[/buffer]
The Claim: Some people have adverse reactions to vaccines. Therefore, nobody should use vaccines!
Are vaccines 100% safe? Well, there are certainly rare side effects, some of them even fatal, but they are incredibly rare, while the odds of misery if you do get afflicted by the disease a vaccine is meant to prevent are pretty much 1 is to 1. Let’s put it this way: you are not 100% safe from measles if you are vaccinated, but you are 100% not going to like it when you do get measles. We already know the symptoms: high temperature, sore eyes, dry cough, diarrhea, nausea, a blotchy red rash, and a non-zero chance of death.
And that’s just measles. Imagine if smallpox came back in full force: you know, that disease we’ve nearly completely eradicated in the world (thanks to vaccines!) that used to kill 30% of the people who got it?
Are you going to seriously look at your kids and think to yourself, “yeah, let’s leave it to chance.”
[buffer id="bar"]2. A doctor actually has more to gain from you financially if you don’t take vaccinations.[/buffer]
The Claim: The good doctor is doing God’s work, and thank the CBCP for bringing all this to light! At least, we don’t have to spend our hard-earned money on useless vaccines now that do nothing but pollute our children’s bodies, while lining the pockets of pharmaceutical companies.
Newsflash: if your kid get hospitalized for measles, you are probably spending a few thousand, all while missing work as you have to keep watch over your kid. Those thousands will now go to your doctor, and they just made a killing because you decided to be a blithering idiot, while your kid suffers for it.
And why would they have to? The DOH does enough vaccination drives for free. The stupid “Big Pharma” conspiracy theory doesn’t even hold water in a country like the Philippines because of these free drives, especially when you understand that they stand to make more money with every single case of measles than each vaccine they sell! Now, tell me again about how much money “Big Pharma” has to earn from selling vaccines as opposed to, y’know, actually letting a measles epidemic happen.
[buffer id="bar"]1. Leave the medical advice to the medical experts, not to the religious leaders.[/buffer]
The Claim: It’s the CBCP, and we should totally respect their authority as the spiritual guardians of a pre-dominantly Catholic nation! If they see something wrong with vaccines, we must give them an opportunity to elucidate their position, even if they are patently unqualified to give us medical advice, with the backing of a doctor who is strong on rhetoric but weak on the facts.
How about we give unto Caesar what is Caesar, and unto the Lord what is unto the Lord instead?
That Catholic authorities would wield their power and influence over a country with a Catholic population of 90% just to spout misinformed fear-mongering on a subject matter far out of their purview is a gross irresponsibility on their part. They do not have the science to prove Dr. De Borja-Palabyab’s claims because it does not exist, and it would be in the best interests of everyone involved if the CBCP would apologize and retract their harmful, ignorant article, and not sacrifice the well-being of the Filipino people upon the altar of willful ignorance.
The CBCP professes to be Pro-Life, but there is absolutely nothing Pro-Life about leaving easily preventable yet potentially fatal diseases all to chance when the solution is right there for the taking at no cost and minimal risk.
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