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Anti-vaccine billboard sparks plenty of debate

November 8, 2018

Arecent article about a billboard placed in Huntington and several other cities across the nation alleging risks from childhood vaccinations triggered a conversation among online readers regarding the topic. A guest editorial by a physician appearing in Sunday’s The Herald-Dispatch also elicited several comments, both from readers questioning the claims by the anti-vaccination group and others supporting it.

The billboard, which promotes the view of a national nonprofit called Learn the Risk, alleged that the death of a 20-month-old New Jersey boy resulted from him receiving the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, or DTaP, vaccination less than three weeks earlier. Dr. Michael Kilkenny, physician director for the Cabell-Huntington Health Department, responded that the medical community’s consensus is that vaccinations are safe and effective remains unchanged. And the writer of the guest column also took that view.

Here are some comments from readers:

Caroline Hunter: ”... This is ‘real science’ that has been debunked numerous times. So has the anti-vaccine movement. It’s incredibly frustrating to see herd immunity weaken because of ignorant people that will believe anything they read on the internet instead of doctors who have studied and become educated ...”

Megan Cox: “Kinda rude how we didn’t learn from all the Hep A garbage just how fast a disease can spread within an unvaccinated population, but OK.”

Jim Ardary: “Do you want polio to come back? Because that’s how you get polio to come back.”

Joab Dellinger: “It’s insane how people believe the whole anti-vaccination stuff. There is an obvious connection between the rise in diseases that haven’t been around for a long time. Measles, mumps, whooping cough, etc.”

Erica Ramsey: “It’s irresponsible and reckless to allow people to advertise the blatant misinformation on antivaxxers. Do we really want a measles outbreak here in WV? Because there’s already one in SC currently. This is just dangerous.”

Rebecca Beckett: ”... Injured and dead children are acceptable collateral damage for many in the medical community. Instead of standing with families to dig deep on issues for children who do not fare well with neurotoxins being injected into them, they choose to berate, bully, insult and attempt public shaming to keep their ability to keep you uninformed. Where there is risk, there must be choice. ...”

Melissa Joy Irby Curry: “I encourage anyone to look into Delegate (Chanda) Adkins’ past. They will find she used to be a pharmacist and she knows a thing or two about the market. I encourage you also to reach out to her and message her any questions you might have. Ask her why she is for parental rights for West Virginians, especially in the area of vaccine choice. You might be surprised the things you’ll learn. And she is very quick to respond.”

Johnnee Crowder Leach: “If vaccines work, then don’t worry about those who choose other options. You don’t get to say that ‘most reactions are minimal’ when in the vaccine inserts (posted by the CDC) illness after illness is listed (including death). ... It is absolutely OK to vaccinate, it’s also OK to use antibiotics. It is also OK to choose not to vaccinate and use homeopathic remedies. ...”

Christian Scarbrough: “I believe the reason so many (basically all) doctors are against the spread of these messages is because they know the science. They know it is far more dangerous for people to not be vaccinated because it can seriously promote the spread of extremely dangerous diseases that are completely preventable. ... We have doctors for a reason. Please trust them.”

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