When This Anti-Vaccine Image Went Viral, an Immunologist Responded — and it Was Amazing

When This Anti-Vaccine Image Went Viral, an Immunologist Responded — and it Was Amazing

Recently, this anti-vaccination image was posted on the popular microblogging site Tumblr:


(Credit: Imgur)

Now if there's anything that gets scientists riled up more than climate change denial or creationism, it's the spread of misinformation about vaccines. It didn't take long for one scientist, an immunologist no less, to unleash this passionate response:

You are the worst person.

You can be a vegan and whine at people, thats hurting nobody but when you tell people to not take vaccines, you’re endangering public health.

If YOU mixed mercury, aluminium phosphate, ammonium sulfate, formaldehyde and viruses and injected it into someone, you’d kill someone because you have no pharmacological experience. 

If someone in a lab mixed those together, they know how they work, they have medically assessed and peer reviewed evidence and strict guidelines to follow to create a safe and effective product. Why is it legal? Because they know what they’re doing and know how to spell “phosphate” and “ammonium”.

Why don’t YOU educate yourself instead of subscribing to the notion that all scientists are evil and want to poison you are your natural, vegan lifestyle. I say this as a fucking IMMUNOLOGIST, you are single handedly responsible for the skyrocketing resurgence of deaths caused by TB, measles and the worrying prospect of smallpox returning.

Let’s break this one down and give you some education.

* Mercury is an element in the compound thiomersal which was part of many vaccines. It has been claimed with NO tangible evidence other than a multifaceted correlation that thiomersals cause autism. This has been investigated thoroughly and no causal link has been found.

* Aluminium phosphate is an aluminium salt which is used as an adjuvant in vaccines. An adjuvant is a compound which causes an immune response to be higher and stronger, so that the immune system comes into contact with the attenuated virus more, so that it can recognise the antigens of the virus and provide immunity. They are a necessary part of the vaccine if you want it to work well.

* Ammonium sulfate is used in the process of purifying the proteins in the synthesis of a vaccine. It is also found in bread and flour, so you’d better learn to enjoy rice if you want to avoid it.

* Formaldehyde is used in the treatment and purification of vaccines and stops contamination. Most of this is removed before the vaccines is shipped, although some remains.

In my personal and scientifically backed opinion, the war against disease is a hundred fold more important than the mum-led war against vaccines. Do you want your child to die a slow, painful, agonising death? If not, then shut the fuck up with your so called “facts” you got from Yahoo Answers and get your kid vaccinated.

I am going to sound derogatory, but if you don’t have formal education in at least biology, you have no role to talk about the way vaccines should be done. You have no idea of the actual function and mechanism in which they work, and you have is a vague knowledge that mercury used to make people mad, formaldehyde is used in embalming and that ammonium sulfate and aluminium phosphate sound scary.

Vaccinate your kids if you want them to live. End of. If you don’t then you clearly don’t love your kids and would prefer to see them die of completely preventable diseases.

This has been a rage filled, alcohol induced response from a scientist.

WOW. Here are the follow up comments:


(Credit: Imgur)

Enough said. Scientists are often seen as mild mannered because they're busy all day doing experiments and calculations and trying to make the world a better place, but question decades of scientific evidence that comes from years of sweat, blood and tears, and you can be sure that a supernova of a response is coming right back in your direction.

Of course, there's always the creative response as well:


How much do you trust the information in this article?

Lucky Tran

Lucky Tran is a scientist with a PhD in molecular biology from Cambridge, who has worked at the intersection of science research, policy and education in the US, UK and Australia. As a science media maker, he is interested in how science and technology is rapidly changing how we live, as well as the story of growing participation: citizen science, maker movement, and open science. Get in touch at info [a] luckytran.com.

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