A new anti-vaxxer meme picked up steam online before it was thoroughly debunked by brutal responses.
The anti-vaccination movement is still fighting on, though a growing number of scientists, educators and other prominent voices have come out against it. Recently, in an anti-vaxxer Facebook group, someone shared a photo showing a baby doll with a needle for every vaccine required by the age of 2 sticking out of it.
"Doll represents how many vaccines a child receives... by age 2," the image read. "Any questions?"
The original poster added the caption "Do you really think this is safe?" to the post, which went up on the Facebook group "Natural Cures Not Medicine." Other members applauded the meme, but as it spread to other places on the Internet, users began to comment with the many questions they did have.
"Yes I have 3 questions," read one response, reposted on Bored Panda. "1. Which of the diseases that these shots guard against would you like your child to be at risk of contracting? 2. If you grouped 2 years worth of anything on a doll for a picture do you think it might look scary as well? (milk, diapers, kisses). 3. Have you ever had polio? (Neither have I, thanks to vaccines.)"
"I count roughly 20 syringes and there are 730 days in 2 years," answered another person. "I would rather have 20 shots in 730 days [than] have a crippling disease."
Some users also pointed out that the image was not even accurate, aside from representing a logical fallacy. While babies may need 20 vaccines, they are often grouped together into fewer shots. One commenter wrote that their child had gotten all 20 immunizations in just five injections.
Many more users mocked the logic of grouping two years' worth of vaccines as if it proved a point. They noted that two years' worth of anything could be frightening if taken all at once.
"Here is the amount of fluoride from 2 years' of brushing your teeth. This could kill an elephant," joked one person. "Stop brushing your teeth!"
"If I forced you to drink, all at once, the amount of water doctors recommend in a month's time, it would swell your brain and kill you," added another user.0comments
The anti-vaccination movement is facing more and more scrutiny from scientists and concerned parents as the consequences of its adherents grows. The World Health Organization has warned of skyrocketing measles outbreaks in anti-vaxxer communities, and higher risk for other diseases as well.
In addition to scientists and health organizations, support groups for parents are opening up to educate anti-vaxxers and urge them to get their children immunized. Voices For Vaccines gathers the stories and testimonials of parents who have gone from anti-vaxxers to vaccine advocates, reaching out into anti-vaxxer groups to bring them back into the fold.