Every time I hear or read about someone who is against vaccinations per se, a feeling of helplessness and sadness comes over me. What is it that makes people distrust vaccinations. Here are six possible reasons.
Reason #1 This generation has not seen the horrors of disease that past generations have
This article, ‘No concept of how awful it was . . . ‘ describes the phenomenon, and I can affirm the sentiment expressed. My generation saw the eradication of smallpox and polio in India. Those who survived smallpox were often left blind, but certainly scarred for life. The scarring from smallpox has to be seen to be believed. Till my teens I saw many blind people, mostly beggars with deeply scarred faces. Smallpox was eradicated in India in the late 1970s shortly after the epidemic of 1974.
My father’s generation experienced the heartbreak of losing siblings to dreadful diseases. But my generation, with access to antibiotics and vaccinations, were spared, but we saw the evidence of how disease once ravaged the population. We saw the scarred faces of blind beggars and we saw severe crippling due to polio.
We were the generation that was vaccinated regularly for typhoid and cholera; it was called T.A.B.C. And we were regularly inoculated against smallpox. We would be lined up in school for these pricks and cuts. Although unpleasant, these measures by the government paid off.
When I see adults today, belonging to the next generation, who do not value vaccinations, I realise that we have done a poor job of sharing our experiences. Young parents today have not seen the sights that instilled fear and awareness in us. Naturally, their children are not as protected against diseases as they could be. The danger is that some of these diseases can make a comeback, and we could lose all that so many strove hard to achieve.
Reason #2 The quality of science education seems to have declined
Students graduating high school do not seem to have a basic foundation in physics, chemistry, and biology. This is compounded by a confusion over what constitutes ‘science.’ All manner of subjects, often controversial, are classified under the broad banner of “science.” Ridden with subjectivity and with statistical data being twisted to suit political agendas, the word ‘science’ has lost the authority it once commanded. This is a tragedy on many counts.
Science is the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of natural phenomena. As a person of faith, I find the idea of studying the work of God’s hand in nature to be a most noble undertaking. Science has also given us an invaluable corpus of human knowledge. To be disdainful and skeptical of all things ‘science’ is to throw the baby away with the bathwater.
In the context of vaccinations, I remember learning in school about the English physician and scientist Edward Jenner who pioneered the concept of vaccines including creating the world’s first vaccine, which was for small pox. When we say that he created the vaccine, it is not to say that it was not practiced elsewhere before that, but it was Jennings who conferred scientific status on the procedure, and it came to become a subject for scientific investigation. The science behind vaccinations is settled—that introducing a pathogen or an antigen into the body can stimulate the production of antibodies against the disease. If someone were to tell me that they do not believe this, I am at a loss as to how to respond, other than to feel sad.
It is the same when people so easily criticise Allopathic medicine. Allopathic medicine (Western medicine) is unparalleled in the areas of diagnostics and testing. Other schools of medicine may have their benefits in some cases. I am a big fan of some Ayurvedic medicines myself, but the respect a doctor of Allopathic medicine commands is different, and is earned after many years of systematic study in medical school followed by constant updating of one’s skills and knowledge. Sadly this respect is steadily being eroded because of the gradual decline of knowledge, which could be because of insufficient formal learning of science in school, which in turn leaves people defenseless when faced with misinformation.
Reason #3 Conspiracy theories
Because of Reasons #1 and #2, many are sitting ducks in these days when conspiracy theories rage.
It is beyond the purview of this post to go into all the conspiracy theories, but here is an article that might be helpful. Microchips, Magnets And Shedding: Here Are 5 (Debunked) Covid Vaccine Conspiracy Theories Spreading Online. Some have even refused to believe that Covid-19 exists, leave alone that a virus is behind it.
Reason #4 Irresponsible medical papers
Some people believe that vaccines cause autism. This is because, some decades ago, the British medical journal, the Lancet, published a paper stating that the MMR vaccine, against Measles, Mumps, and Rubella, caused autism in children. This caused a decline in vaccination, as a result of which incidence of these diseases soared.
This connection between autism and the MMR vaccine was proved false. The age when Regressive Autism is usually discovered in children is also the age when the MMR vaccine is given to children—between 15 and 24 months—which makes this an unfortunate coincidence in the lives of children with autism. The damage was done, and although the Lancet retracted the paper, some people are unable to let go of the idea. In fact some believe that all vaccines, not just MMR, can cause autism.
You may also find the article Do Vaccines Cause Autism? helpful; it is published by historyofvaccines.org, which is an award-winning informational, educational website created by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia.
Reason #5 The Risks
To complicate matters further, vaccines come with their risks. Real risks. We are being told that a rare type of blood clot is connected with both the Oxford-AstraZeneca and the Johnson and Johnson coronavirus vaccines. With the Pfizer vaccination being offered in New Zealand, we do not have that issue. Even so, a handful of people have had adverse reactions to the vaccine.
Am I saying that we must get vaccinated without considering the risks? No. One needs to weigh the potential risks of vaccines against the benefits. A small number of people may die in New Zealand, because of the Pfizer vaccine, but a much larger number will die when a population is not vaccinated, should the virus get a hold here.
Reason #6 The Ethical Concerns
Ethical concerns are paramount. A common notion is that foetal tissue from abortions are routinely collected and used for making vaccines. For us to be complicit in the death of an infant is sinful. But will we be complicit by getting vaccinated? I do not think so.
When speaking about foetal tissue and vaccines, we need to understand what cell lines are. These are cells that are cloned or grown in the laboratory and used in various kinds of medical research. HEK 293 is the cell line that has been used in the testing of COVID-19 vaccines. The original cells of this cell line were taken in 1972 from the kidney of a single foetus. HEK stands for Human Embroyonic Kidney. It is not known if the foetus was miscarried or was aborted, but this baby had died about a decade before in the 1960s. In any case, the baby was not aborted for the purpose of harvesting these cells. These cells, cultured in the laboratory, have multiplied and grown ever since, lending themselves to innumerable research projects.
If foetal tissue was used directly in vaccines, it would be wrong. But when we talk about a historic cell line like HEK 293, it does not seem wrong to me, for the following reasons:
- The baby was not aborted for the purpose of medical research or making vaccines. But in death, this baby has blessed the world.
- Cell lines are difficult to achieve because no one knows the exact nutrients the cells need to achieve this. So when a cell line is developed, these “immortalised” cells are a priceless commodity. Human cell lines are rare. Other than HEK 293, the HeLa line from 1951 is also very useful. This was not foetal in origin but are cervical cancer cells from a woman called Henrietta Lacks. Human cell lines are much more effective than animal cell lines for certain things. But animal cell lines are also used. For example, measles vaccine is grown in chick embryo cells and polio vaccines are grown in a mouse cell line.
- This baby died in the Netherlands in the 1960s, which was about 60 years ago, and the cell line was developed in 1972. As Al Mohler says: “The further you go in history, the harder it is to keep a clear line of culpability in morally significant events.”
- No foetal cells of any kind were involved in the manufacture of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Some of the HEK-293 cells may have been used in testing the vaccine, but they are not present in the vaccine itself.
I hope that this post will be helpful to clear the work bench of unnecessary issues and allow us to see the main issues. May God help us to make informed decisions, with a clear conscience.
People, if they are truly curious, must be willing to take the long and tedious route of reading, research, and calculations, also listening to scientists on both sides of the equation, really listening and reading reports, then doing more research from the research. With time, they’ll realize how much they don’t know, but it’s still fascinating and well-worth reading and discussing.
At the same time, research by professionals trained in that area is more valid than research by people trained in Google University. And there are ‘both sides’ opinions on everything – whether a woman should be beaten if she burns a dish, whether a 13 year old girl should be raped if she’s wandering around after dark, whether a man should have his hand amputated if he is caught stealing, whether someone with a tattoo goes straight to hell.
Well written and comprehensive, and I agree with most of what you say. However, I have a few comments to make:
In Reason #2, you mention the decline in knowledge of science. I have not personally witnessed any decrease in science, rather I see new opportunities beyond science (e.g. marketing). We are witnessing science and technology innovation at an unprecedented level. I think the larger reason is decline in respect for science as a part of the global anti-elite movement. The elites have brought us financial collapses that have disproportionately hit poor people, the elites have pushed to get involved in wars in faraway places, the elites have pushed globalization causing non-college educated people in developed countries to decline into poverty, the elites have brought us increasing levels of inequality. So, the have-nots are now striking back, thumbing their noses at what the elites tell them is good for them. If the elites say that hydroxychloroquine has no value and a vaccine is good for you, then the opposite must be true! If someone cannot accept that a mask is good for cutting transmission, how would one expect the same person to trust an mRNA vaccine?
In Reason #4, you mention irresponsible medical papers. Scientists do make mistakes (they are human and are usually in a hurry to publish). Also, knowledge is accumulative (so scientific consensus does change with time, hence emphasis on hand-washing moved to emphasis on masks) – but the damage (no doubt) is immense e.g., the autism ‘link’ in strengthening the anti-vaxx movement. Also, sometimes scientists can be as dogmatic as the anti-vaxxers. For example, if Trump says something, the exact opposite must be true, right? It turns out that this is a safe assumption only 98% of the time! But the damage from being wrong 2% of the time has been immense (e.g., previous scientific consensus that Covid-19 originated in bats now looks less certain).
There is another dimension to Risks (Reason #5), i.e., self-centered risk/benefit analysis. If I am a healthy 16-year-old, the tiny risk of me getting harmed by the vaccine may be in the ballpark of the tiny risk of me getting harmed by Covid. But the benefit to society is clear (cut transmission). Motivating this group will be a challenge.
I find your article patronizing, compromising, lacking clear evidence and referencing bias material.
1. Stating that the science behind vaccinations is settled, is a complete fallacy and only ignorance persons would say such a claim. There is no such thing as settled science.
2. Stating that those who question political opinion are conspiracy theorists is patronizing and plays well into the hands of those who oppose free speech.
3. Seeking to justify immoral behavior for the good of the outcome is in itself morally bankrupt.
4. To justify your opinion using God and conscience, is manipulative, when the point of this post was to berate any other thought or opinion.
Instilling fear is the motivation of politicians and media, and driven not by scientific facts or outcomes but for ulterior motives. As Christians, God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. For this reason we are not to be pawns or sheep to a godless world whos end is destruction.
I have never ever met one person, absolutely looking to enforce vaccine requirements, that isn’t filled with propaganda and ill-designed reasoning.
Nice propaganda stories out there. Put a Sandra Bullock film about a space station attacked by space trash to promote the idea of spatial pollution. Look. If this were the black plague, I’m sure everyone would be cutting into lines to get vaccinated. This is the common flu with nothing more that political propaganda designed to control a people. They’ve obviously got one more puppet here.
Hello from the UK
I read your post with interest, but I must disagree with your overall thrust which is to suggest that vaccines have been of any use.
To be a true vaccine, as opposed to merely a saline or vitamin injection, they are supposed to train the immune system to recognise a virus and to prepare anti-bodies to deal with the supposed infection.
This is at odds with the created order which you clearly believe in as far as I can tell so far; at least you believe in a pre-flood people who were intelligent and perhaps who were much wiser than much of the world today. That is the view I hold in any event.
As regards vaccines I used to think they were of some use, albeit not against the ‘flu which is currently called Covid 19. This was because I was aware of people having ‘flu like symptoms after the vaccines in some cases.
Then I carefully researched last year and changed my mind. I looked at all the other Covid 19 related issues as well. I was shocked to realise how much we have been lied to over a very long time. It is not however surprising because current virology theory is based on evolutionary theory which is plainly foolish, especially if one accepts a created order and created ‘good’ by the Lord God.
The pharmaceutical companies are making huge profits out of the vaccines which are in essence pointless for health as I explain.
I have put my findings down on my site under the following page link. Please note that elsewhere I do my British sense of humour to lighten the mood and to make my points.
I sometimes point out in a ridiculous way to those who promote the current Covid 19 vaccines which are clearly causing harm and even deaths that they are being ridiculous, and that the god of this world has blinded them to the truth.