Publish in OALib Journal
APC: Only $99
The issues of safety and efficacy of certain vaccines remains extremely contentious. The venues for this debate have included periodicals, documentary films, and an ever-increasing number of on-line sites. While debate in science is not only a common occurrence but a fundamental tenet of the scientific community, it only works when divergent opinions can be heard. When those who hold an opposing opinion are denigrated and/or marginalized by those holding the majority opinion such as in the issue of vaccination, where cultural authority for the issue is owned by the profession of medicine, both science and the public lose. What is often forgotten are the benefits derived from the questioning of drug safety that not only extends to the public but to physicians who rely on the truthfulness and accuracy of the information that is being supplied to them by manufactures and government agencies. While most physicians believe they are functioning in their patient’s best interest when making vaccine recommendations, these recommendations by in large have become a matter of rote and are made because most physicians have bought into the “vaccines are safe” mantra. What most physicians don’t realize is they have unknowingly been recruited by big pharma to assist in shutting down the vaccination debate. This suppression of vaccine opposition even among academics, is becoming more commonplace and will lead down a slippery slope that will silence opposition science, and the dangers that come with this. Those who question vaccine safety have been ostracized, misquoted and even made to appear mentally ill by those who hold the majority opinion on the issue. Physicians who question vaccine safety have had their licenses threatened or have been fired from positions. Tactics such as name calling and the use of terms such as pseudo-science, (even when the evidence being presented is from widely accepted peer-reviewed journals) or “conspiracy theorists” which has the effect of placing those holding the minority opinion in the category of such groups as 9/11 truthers, are not uncommon. Other methods of curtailing the presentation of opposing vaccine views have included pressuring venues not to allow anti-vaccination proponents to appear, or using the media to “expose” anti-vaccination groups as “crack-pots” while simultaneously presenting the majority opinion and the presenters as the sole arbiters on the issue. The more extreme elements of the pro-vaccine group will even make the statement that the issue is settled and there is no need for discussion.