A few weeks ago, I wrote about the SafeMinds anti-vaccine “PSA” that was going to be rolled out in movie theaters across the country during Thanksgiving weekend and how a massive skeptic letter-writing campaign got at least AMC Theaters to pull the commercial. Well I also wrote a letter to the editor of my local newspaper about it that was published on November 29. Here it is, second letter down the page [Note: The link may go inactive after awhile]:
This week, the anti-vaccine propaganda organization SafeMinds is rolling out a commercial in some movie theaters that makes bogus claims designed to scare people away from getting their annual flu shot.
Given the well-known importance of herd immunity to vaccine efficacy, this misinformation campaign poses a direct threat to the public health and must be challenged head-on. Contrary to what audiences will hear from this commercial, every reputable health organization on planet Earth recommends vaccination against the flu and agrees that the overwhelming evidence demonstrates that the vaccine is more than reasonably safe and reasonably effective.
And despite what SafeMinds would have people believe, thimerosal is not poison or dangerous to anyone, including pregnant women. What is dangerous to pregnant women is the very thing the vaccine protects against: the flu. More than 30,000 Americans die from the flu in an average year, and New Jersey has the sixth-worst vaccination rate in the country.
Vaccines are among the safest health measures ever discovered, and denying this fact is tantamount to denying gravity. Vaccines save lives. Period.
- Be thankful: No anti-vaccine propaganda at the movies this weekend (sciencebasedmedicine.org)
- SafeMinds retaliates against skeptic blogger (leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk)
- Don’t Mess with Skepchick! (sandwalk.blogspot.com)