BYU research: Here's how to convince those on the fence why vaccines matter

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  • Jonsur Cibolo, TX
    June 10, 2019 5:07 p.m.

    "So who do we believe? To other pro-vaccine commentators, remind me again, which side of this debate relies on disinformation around vaccines?"

    You can't even read the disclaimer that's on the VAERS website. The one that you have to click a box saying that you have read it and understand before they let you access the raw data.

  • Nosea Forest Grove, OR
    June 10, 2019 1:53 p.m.

    Katarina Witt - Louisville, CO:

    Have you ever heard of "The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)?" You claim that there has not been a single vaccine related death in the last 25 years.

    Yet this government site which tracks injures and deaths, even with its gross under counting (only like 1% of cases reported), clearer shows at least a death from vaccines weekly, and many experts say deaths daily occurring from vaccines. The Vaccine Injury Compensation Trust Fund was set up in 1988 and nearly went broke with settlements to 10,000s of autism injury cases per year alone.

    So who do we believe? To other pro-vaccine commentators, remind me again, which side of this debate relies on disinformation around vaccines?

  • Thinkagain Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2019 1:51 p.m.

    What I find ironic are some of the posts that claim other people's comments are lies or suggesting people need to check their facts.
    The US government is strongly pro vaccine yet US government websites still report billions of dollars paid out related to vaccine injuries. Government websites clearly show that vaccines can cause deaths and other serious injuries. Look them up by vaccine type on the CDC website. Government websites clearly show measles have never been eradicated. Hoping the Deseret News continues to allow comments on both sides of this controversial issue

    June 10, 2019 10:26 a.m.

    I don't have all the data but I find it ironic that African countries are dying to get vaccines and here in America many find reasons to avoid them.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    June 10, 2019 3:22 a.m.

    The question is, does God want children to receive 53 vaccines from ages 0-4 years old?

  • Experienced Mom West Jordan, UT
    June 10, 2019 12:11 a.m.

    So the article admitted Provo has a high rate of unvaccinated person's yet we've had no breakouts? Here's the thing...even if you were to get measles or chicken pox, all of these diseases we're still vaccinating for are NOT life threatening in today's modern medical atmosphere. No one that has caught any of these diseases in the past several decades has died thanks to sanitation and modern your research and perhaps delay for newborns

  • Katarina Witt Louisville, CO
    June 9, 2019 8:27 p.m.

    loveacoralreef-You would be hard put to find ONE death from a vaccine in the last 25 years; ditto any debilitating injuries. It's just not happening. Many vaccines give lifelong immunity; a few need boosters.

  • Just saying 7 Indianapolis, IN
    June 9, 2019 7:44 p.m.

    What convinced me about vaccines was viewing 19th century death registers and all the preventable diseases my ancestors and others died from. Why on earth would people risk their children unnecessarily because of their first world bubble of security. With world travel bringing unvaccinated carriers to your space, it makes vaccination a no brainer. Parents should be grateful not to bury their children for preventable diseases.

  • Rita B Herriman, UT
    June 9, 2019 7:22 p.m.

    EE2 - it is funny that you bring up the recent navy ship incident to try to show that the "MMR is not as effective as claimed." In fact, the MMR claims to be about 97% effective, and on that navy ship, about 3% of the sailors came down with mumps, a highly contagious disease, in closed quarters. That supports the science.

  • Mick , 00
    June 9, 2019 6:01 p.m.


    We trust the FDA because the average life expectancy is now well in to the 80’s as opposed to the 50’s like it was at the turn of the century.

  • Jonsur Cibolo, TX
    June 9, 2019 5:30 p.m.

    @loveacoralreef Your whole post is full of misinformation and straight out lies. You throw out a whole bunch of assertions with no accompanying evidence. You couldn't even do a google search for the WHO's real answer on smallpox.

    How about instead of spreading misinformation and lies, you do some actual research. How about you research immunology, virology, organic chemistry, biochemistry, etc.?

  • Golden Rules Okay, OK
    June 9, 2019 5:27 p.m.

    Parents who do not vaccinate their children should be prosecuted if they claim that the reason is that they don't trust "Big Pharma" but don't hesitate to use medications for themselves that are sold by the same companies as the vaccines. They are clearly willing to gamble with their children's health but not their own.

  • Eponymous Eggplant Salt Lake City, UT
    June 9, 2019 4:54 p.m.

    What a fascinating article about using anecdotal evidence to sway public opinion. As other commenters have noted, countervailing facts do not appear to have been considered, so that the stage could be set for a careful, reasoned judgment to be made. Rather, the article is recommending emotional reasoning. Even the headline itself presumes one position is the right one, and that anyone who disagrees needs to be convinced. "Here's how to convince those on the fence why vaccines matter"

    Instead, how about reasoning with people? How about relying on the scientific method and research? Good science always includes consideration of risks and bad outcomes. Note them, acknowledge them, document them. Truth always means the whole truth.

    Regardless of the virtue of one's position, swaying people with emotions in order to get them to accept your view on a scientific matter is a terrible idea. As someone who is personally convinced that vaccines are safe and life-saving, I say: Do not weaken your position by throwing objective reasoning out the window in favor of feelings spawned by anecdotes. Facts don't care about your feelings.

  • loveacoralreef Highland, UT
    June 9, 2019 4:07 p.m.

    Thank you, geekusprimus, for bringing these issues up.

    According the WHO, "elimination" doesn't mean measles is gone, just that there haven't been many cases, in one place, in 12 months. Measles has never been gone.

    Only a small percentage of the world population got smallpox vaccine and, according to writers of the time, many of those were injured or killed.

    Only 1% of vaccine adverse reactions are reported. Yet, Vaccine Court has paid out over $4 billion for injuries, so far. Vaccines are causally associated with anaphylaxis, paralysis, brain damage, autoimmunity, and death.

    People in other countries are still getting polio--from our live virus vaccines. And, we get transverse myelitis and other "polio like illnesses"--from vaccines.

    Read package inserts, safety trial data, and the Vaccine Injury Table. Many vaccine adverse reactions are not related to allergies or red arms. But allergies, themselves, can kill. A patient nearly died, recently, in my doctor's office from anaphylaxis, due to a vaccine received at a pharmacy. He saved her life. The vaccine nearly took it.

    Lots to learn. Do serious research on vaccination. You can't undo it.

  • JSB , 00
    June 9, 2019 3:59 p.m.

    When my grandson got his first vaccinations, he had an almost immediate bad reaction. After that they spread the vaccinations out with fewer diseases at a time and over a longer time and he had no problems. With his younger brother, all they did was wait a bit longer before they vaccinated him. I wonder if it would help if children were vaccinated when they are a little older and their bodies more resilient.

  • EE2 Indiana, PA
    June 9, 2019 3:50 p.m.

    The benefits of vaccines have been widely overstated and the risks downplayed. There are many unintended consequences of vaccination that are hardly ever discussed. Two of the examples in the article (shingles and mumps) may have actually resulted from vaccination. Widespread chickenpox vaccination has been shown to increase shingles incidence due to the lack of natural boosting that adults get being around children with chickenpox. Mumps carries more complication risk (sterilization) for adults than children. Widespread vaccination has reduced incidence of the normally mild disease in children but increased incidence later in life since the mumps portion of MMR is not as effective as claimed (outbreaks in fully vaccinated navy ship and highly vaccinated college campuses). And there are plenty of unanswered questions about the causes of polio being more than just a single pathogen but related to widespread lead and arsenic usage in pesticides.

  • Palmetto Bug Columbia, SC
    June 9, 2019 3:03 p.m.

    I received the chicken pox vaccine when it was first introduced. A few years later I managed to catch the chicken pox (on my mission no less). Even though I was home bound for a couple weeks (which really stinks as a missionary), my symptoms were very mild. Normally adult chicken pox is very severe but since I was vaccinated my case was not.
    Our children have received vaccines for the chicken pox and every other recommended disease and when more vaccines are made available we’ll get those too.
    Children have a greater risk of dying in car accidents than being harmed by a vaccine. There a few people belonging to certain categories who should not be vaccinated, but unless you have compromised immune systems, etc you should vaccinate early and often.

    Vaccines cause adults.

  • ShaneWillis Draper, UT
    June 9, 2019 11:03 a.m.

    Your math doesn’t add up! You couldn’t have gotten all the vaccines and be 65+ years old. Many of them were not available when you were young. You mentioned that you have gotten shingles twice, yet you obviously don’t understand shingles. The only way you can get shingles, is if the virus is present and dormant, in your dorsal root ganglia. It then resurfaces (we still don’t completely understand why), and finds it’s way out to one or two of your dermatomes. In more simplistic terms, you can only get shingles, if you have been previously exposed to the varicella virus. Either by having chicken pox or getting vaccinated. So Sal, you had chicken pox as a youngster and that is what put you at risk for shingles, later in life.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    June 9, 2019 8:35 a.m.

    The internet is replete with vaccine disinformation as illustrated by some of the comments posted. Anecdotal examples of damage from vaccines are poorly documented and often spurious. Conspiracy theories about the FDA, pharmaceutical companies, organized medicine, etc. would be humorous if they were not so tragic. Clearly, vaccines are a risk:benefit calculus. The risk is real, but very, very small and invariably exaggerated, while the benefit is immense.

  • Justiciaparatodos Salt Lake City, UT
    June 9, 2019 8:16 a.m.

    Good heavens people. The science doesn't support all this fear mongering proliferated by those spreading spurious information about vaccines. Preventing the spread of disease is something that benefits all of us and should be promoted!

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    June 9, 2019 8:11 a.m.

    May I suggest that the State require a section of at least one class in high school where students learn about preventable diseases before they become parents. Being armed with education (that includes pointed stories/facts about disease sufferers) might help society in the future.

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    June 9, 2019 12:16 a.m.

    "I think three people in 1,000,000 having an adverse reaction ..." - geekusprimus

    I guess my friend's family must have hit the genetic lottery. Her husband got his flu shot through a vaccination campaign at his place of work, and before he could get back to his work station he was feeling ill and had to be taken to the hospital for an adverse reaction.

    A few weeks later, her 93-year-old father received the same flu vaccination and had such a bad reaction it put him the hospital. Although he survived — the incident left him in such a weakened state, she was forced to put him in an assisted living facility. He never returned home and died at the facility a few months later.

    I guess that proves your three people in a million theory.

    I wonder who the third one is? Probably one of her cousins.

  • Floyd Johnson Broken Arrow, OK
    June 8, 2019 11:42 p.m.

    Sal, We did not receive the varicella (chicken pox) vaccine in childhood, because it was introduced in 1995. Our experiences demonstrate the value of vaccines: we did not receive the varicella vaccine, and we contracted that virus. We were vaccinated against polio, mumps and measles which helped prevent us from contracting those diseases.

    Every year, prior to the vaccine, about 4 million Americans contracted chicken pox, 10,000 were hospitalized and 150 (mostly adults) died. A few who receive the vaccine will later contract a mild case of chicken pox, but the vaccine prevents almost all severe cases. The childhood vaccine lasts about 20 years, adults can get a booster.

    My memory of chicken pox: if a child contracted it in the summer, other mothers would send their children to play at the sick child's house so that they would contract the disease also (and develop immunity) without missing school. Society knew that childhood exposure reduced the risk of the more severe adult symptoms. The vaccine is safer than contracting the actual disease, and it helps prevent the spread of the disease to infants and elderly who are more likely to require hospitalization.

  • geekusprimus Little Elm, TX
    June 8, 2019 9:59 p.m.


    As a matter of intellectual integrity, let's talk about the other facts: until people in Seattle and San Francisco and the like didn't stop vaccinating their children, measles had basically been eradicated from this country. Smallpox killed around 300 million people in the 20th century alone and has now been eliminated, thanks to vaccines. We haven't had a case of polio in North or South America since 1994, thanks to vaccines.

    It is a fact that vaccines have limitations. Allergies in certain people mean they can't be used, some like tetanus require boosters to stay current, and some like the flu are only effective for a short time because the virus mutates too quickly. That being said, the best way to protect people who can't get vaccines is by making sure that those who can, do.

    Vaccines aren't a big pharma or secret government conspiracy; they're an important part of modern medicine and have saved millions of lives. At the risk of being callous, I think three people in 1,000,000 having an adverse reaction more serious than some redness or swelling around the injection site sounds a lot better than one person in 2,750 being inflicted with polio.

  • Sal Provo, UT
    June 8, 2019 9:58 p.m.

    I received all the vaccines as a child and still got Shingles when I was 19 years old and again when I was 65.

    The FDA gave us Hormone Replacement Therapy which caused thousands of cases of cancer, strokes and heart problems in women. They gave us NSAIDs which cause heart attacks, ulcers, and strokes. They gave us opiods which have caused thousands of deaths.

    Why do we trust the FDA when it comes to vaccines? I would like to see the Deseret News do some homework among the liberal, educated women who first raised the alarm concerning the dangers of vaccines. Let's hear from the other side.

  • Mona Hillsboro, OR
    June 8, 2019 9:29 p.m.

    My grandma described to me the death of her baby from diphtheria--horrifying. I took care of a baby who died of whooping cough, and a half dozen of my friends who were crippled by polio in childhood now suffer from post-polio syndrome. You could never convince me to NOT vaccinate.

  • AT Pleasant Grove, UT
    June 8, 2019 9:22 p.m.

    In the spirit of science, they should also interview people who have been injured by vaccines. Without this other important piece, it's not science, just propaganda.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    June 8, 2019 5:12 p.m.

    If BYU-P wants to convince folks to get vaccinated, they just need to talk with their own alums.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    June 8, 2019 4:49 p.m.

    Hopefully, those people who are ambivalent about vaccines will do their own exhaustive research and not listen to the big pharma propaganda that is pushed by media outlets.

  • loveacoralreef Highland, UT
    June 8, 2019 4:15 p.m.

    It would be interesting to take these same students to meet families of those who have been injured or killed by vaccines--and see how the results change. We have several individuals in Utah who have verified vaccine injuries, compensated by the vaccine court. I'd love to facilitate those introductions for the students. (I'm the Deseret News can get us in touch.)

    It is a fact that vaccines do not provide even temporary immunity for everyone who gets them, that those who do develop antibodies will lose antibodies over time, that some actually get the illness from the vaccine, and that some are going to be injured or killed by the vaccines. As a matter of intellectual integrity these facts should be shared with the students. If you don't have access to accurate data, you can't reach reasonable conclusions.