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Anti-Vaxxers Shut Down Immunization Events

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J.Adderton has 27 years experience as a BSN, MSN .

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Are the Anti-Vaxxer's Extremist Behaviors Causing a Global Threat?

Immunize Nevada recently canceled two fundraiser events because of harassing social media posts made by anti-vaxxers.  Read on to learn why the anti vaccination movement has moved from a local concern to a top global threat.

Anti-Vaxxers Shut Down Immunization Events

A Nevada non-profit organization that promotes vaccination canceled two scheduled events after anti-vaccinators posted harassing comments to social media.  The two December fundraising events were organized by Immunize Nevada to honor healthcare workers who help with vaccinations. immunize Nevada’s Executive Director, Heidi Parker, told CNN “We looked at the whole picture and because we knew these events were to be celebrations in honor of immunization champions in Nevada, we don’t want there to be any risk”.

According to Parker, the events typically have about 200 attendees and the organization lost thousands of dollars due to the cancellations.

The On-line Posts

The anti-vaccine messages were posted as reviews on the hosting venues’ Yelp and Facebook pages. Unfortunately, this caused a drop in the venues’ overall ratings, despite Yelp and Facebook promptly removing the harassing comments. 

One post accused a restaurant of “supporting Big Pharma’s agenda by hosting a vaccine incentive program”, and another post alleged immunizations cause an “incredible amount of harm to the most vulnerable”.  The posts contradict overwhelming medical consensus and decades of scientific research that support the need for vaccination

Immunize Nevada’s Parker reported to CNN the organization has experienced an increase in extremist behaviors by anti-vaxxers. She cites an incident on December 11th where she was speaking at a Nevada legislative health care committee meeting and anti-vaxxers spoke out.  

Anti-Vaxxers Now A Top Global Threat

The World Health Organization (WHO) named vaccine hesitancy as one of the top global threats of 2019.  WHO defines vaccine hesitancy as the “reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability”. This was the first year the anti-vaccination movement was listed among the top ten global threats, joining air pollution, climate change, expected global pandemic flu, diabetes, HIV and cancer.  According to WHO, vaccines prevent 2 to 3 million deaths each year. But, an additional 1.5 million lives could be saved if coverage of vaccinations improved globally.

 In The U.S.

The CDC released a report, in October 2019, that estimated 100,00 young children in the U.S. had not been vaccinated against any of the 14 diseases recommended for immunization.  While 70 percent of children receive all their vaccinations, officials worry diseases like polio and diphtheria could re-emerge with 30 percent of children remain unvaccinated.

The report revealed a relevant minority of children didn’t have health insurance coverage.  It’s surprising these children were not vaccinated since there are government programs that will pay for immunizations for the uninsured. 

The 3 C’s- Complacency, Inconvenience and Confidence

A vaccine advisory group at WHO has identified 3 main reasons why people may forego vaccination in the U.S.  

Vaccine Complacency

Because of vaccinations, the risk of many diseases is low and some people view immunization as unnecessary.  Past vaccination programs have been so successful, vaccines are now under-valued and the risk of vaccination outweighs the benefit for some.

Vaccination Convenience

Some people are influenced by the real (or perceived) convenience of vaccination services when making a decision to have recommended shots.  “Convenience” factors that play a role in the decision to vaccinate may include:

  • The time and place of vaccination
  • Affordability of vaccination
  • What individual priority is placed being vaccinated

Vaccination Confidence

Vaccination confidence is the trust placed in the effectiveness and safety of vaccines, as well as the competence of health professionals.  People also base their decision to vaccinate on how much trust they have in the motivations of policymakers who decide what and when vaccines are needed.

Other Influencing Factors

Some may decide against vaccination for themselves or for their children because of religious beliefs or accepting incorrect information.  According to the CDC, there is no scientific link between vaccines and autism, however, some do decide against vaccination based on this misinformation.  You can learn more about this misconception and the overall safety of vaccines on the CDC website.

Immunize Nevada Moves Forward

Immunize Nevada decided to hold a virtual event, Big Shots Breakfast, instead of the planned live events.  The online event was successful and raised $14,726 to go toward public education and providing free vaccines to vulnerable populations (senior citizens, homeless and uninsured families.

Do you think the anti-vaccination movement is a threat to your community?  Let us hear from you.

Resources

Immunize Nevada

Event promoting vaccination called off in Nevada after harassing comments were posted on social media

J. Adderton MSN has over 20 years experience in clinical leadership, staff development, project management and nursing education.

7 Followers; 117 Articles; 33,601 Profile Views; 380 Posts

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LibraSunCNM has 10 years experience as a MSN and specializes in OB.

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I just read this minutes before seeing your post:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/09/opinion/vaccine-hesitancy.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

I've stated this here before but I blame the rise of misinformation and radical extremism, whether regarding vaccines, politics, or anything else, to the now almost complete hold that social media has on our lives.  It's so easy to rapidly spread lies in ways that are persuasive to many. 

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adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

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3 hours ago, LibraSunCNM said:

I just read this minutes before seeing your post:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/09/opinion/vaccine-hesitancy.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

I've stated this here before but I blame the rise of misinformation and radical extremism, whether regarding vaccines, politics, or anything else, to the now almost complete hold that social media has on our lives.  It's so easy to rapidly spread lies in ways that are persuasive to many. 

Strongly agree.

This is the reason why it's great that state legislatures are cracking down on all non-medical exemptions. I'm usually in favor of less government regulation on people's personal choices, but when those choices affect the rest of the public, then things like vaccines need to be mandated.

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RyanCarolinaBoy has 15 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN and specializes in ICU.

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Mandate vaccines. Save lives. End of story. 

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ArmyRntoMD has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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Eh I’m for personal choice. Convince people to get vaccines and more transparency will help. The big problem is people don’t trust the corporations that create the vaccines, and I honestly don’t blame them. It is proven fact that American citizens have been tested on. If people truly believe it is what’s best, they will line up to get vaccines. The more you force them, the more you’ll fuel their paranoia.
 

 

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LibraSunCNM has 10 years experience as a MSN and specializes in OB.

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6 hours ago, ArmyRntoMD said:

Eh I’m for personal choice. Convince people to get vaccines and more transparency will help. The big problem is people don’t trust the corporations that create the vaccines, and I honestly don’t blame them. It is proven fact that American citizens have been tested on. If people truly believe it is what’s best, they will line up to get vaccines. The more you force them, the more you’ll fuel their paranoia.
 

 

I do agree that a lot of the time the more forceful the argument, the more it can turn people away.  That's been shown in literature.  However, I think a specific law about clearance for public school can be effective.  Most people don't have the resources to opt out of public school either by switching to a anti-vax friendly private school or homeschooling, so tougher laws like this can work.  It's ridiculous that in my state, to opt out you simply have to have a piece of paper that you sign saying you are religiously opposed to vaccines, and nothing else is required.

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ArmyRntoMD has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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If it’s a state law I have no issue. A federal law would be overstepping.

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LibraSunCNM has 10 years experience as a MSN and specializes in OB.

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1 hour ago, ArmyRntoMD said:

If it’s a state law I have no issue. A federal law would be overstepping.

As far as I'm aware there are no federal laws being proposed currently to mandate vaccines.

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They cancelled their events because of a few Yelp reviews (which were “promptly removed”)?  That seems like overkill. 

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juniper222 has 2 years experience and specializes in Pre Nursing.

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On 1/10/2020 at 12:10 AM, ArmyRntoMD said:

Eh I’m for personal choice. Convince people to get vaccines and more transparency will help. The big problem is people don’t trust the corporations that create the vaccines, and I honestly don’t blame them. It is proven fact that American citizens have been tested on. If people truly believe it is what’s best, they will line up to get vaccines. The more you force them, the more you’ll fuel their paranoia.
 

 

There are other things to consider as well.  Populations are getting larger which in turn lends to the likeliness of epidemics.  There are many undocumented workers coming into the country ,many of which have had no immunizations and carriers of drug resistant strains of TB and the like.  As well as the never ending war on microbes.  The question then becomes "when is the public safety more important than those of the individual".

The fear of things that are only rumor or speculation is often caused by well earned mistrust of government.  We need to be better at dispelling those myths and earning the trust of the general public if we wish to quash this fear-mongering that is so prevalent today.

Edited by juniper222

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BostonFNP has 9 years experience as a APRN and specializes in Adult Internal Medicine.

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On 1/13/2020 at 1:01 AM, juniper222 said:

There are many undocumented workers coming into the country ,many of which have had no immunizations and carriers of drug resistant strains of TB and the like. 

Which countries exactly are you concerned about? Most of the South American countries have better vaccination rates then the United States. The statement above has existed since the pre-1900s as a lightning rod for anti-immigrant ideals.

Regardless, the way to combat epidemic spread of vaccine-preventable illness is to increase the vaccination rate over the critical threshold. 

Edited by Hyperflycemia
typo

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