Oh boy, here we go again. Just when you thought the anti-vaxxer craze was beaten back for good with the shovel of logic, it’s back with a vengeance. There are still plenty of people who believe some conspiracy theory, like the government/New World Order/Illuminati/lizardmen/aliens, are seeking to control and hurt us with vaccines and immunization. However, fortunately, some individuals on social media are on science’s side in the fight against superstition.
A photo of a woman wearing a T-shirt proclaiming ‘Spoiler Alert… Jesus Wasn’t Vaccinated’ got posted online. Can you imagine the reaction to this shamefully uneducated, funny slogan? Go on, and I’ll give you three guesses. That’s right, you guessed it in one – internet users mocked her and other anti-vaccination preachers relentlessly, with some incredible jokes being thrown about.
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The jokes first started coming hard and fast, one after another, after the Christian Nightmares Twitter account posted the picture of the T-shirt being worn. Internet users were quick to point out that the T-shirt’s slogan made absolutely no sense at all, and came up with lots of witty and quirky comebacks.
One Twitter user by the name of Andy Richter replied to the Jesus Wasn’t Vaccinated T-shirt with: Neither was Satan. Another internet fan, using the handle Participation Trophy Wife, got personal by stating that Jesus didn’t wear T-shirts or have poorly bleached hair. (Ouch, that one had to sting). While a third tweeter, Privileged White Guy, conceded that the woman isn’t wrong, before adding that when kids die from preventable diseases, they aren’t coming back on Easter. Comedy gold.
You’re right to be worried about the anti-vaccine (or anti-vaxxer) movement. It’s a serious threat to you and me and everyone else in society. Not just to the kids whose parents refuse to let them get their shots. Anti-vaxxers also undermine a concept called community immunity, which protects a small minority that’s not immune to a disease by surrounding them by a vast majority of people who are immune to it. Unfortunately, when more people refuse vaccinations, this puts others (who perhaps can’t be vaccinated) in danger.
The World Health Organization warned that there was a massive 30% increase in the number of people contracting measles worldwide because more and more people forgo getting vaccinated against this disease. The scariest thing? This disease is resurging in countries where it was almost entirely eliminated before.
Professor Arthur Caplan, who teaches bioethics at New York University, told The Guardian that “viruses spread easily in urban environments.”
“Plus, cities are transportation hubs providing truck, car, train and plane routes for infected people to spread disease worldwide. The more unvaccinated people there are, especially in cities, the easier the spread of disease,” Caplan went into detail about the dangers the anti-vaxxer movement poses. “Anti-vaxxers put their communities and others at risk. Many people and children and newborns can’t be vaccinated due to transplants, cancer treatments, immune diseases. You vaccinate to protect yourself and kids and neighbors who cannot.”
While there will always be individuals who think that T-shirts spreading disinformation about vaccinations might be ‘a bit of a laugh’, the reality is that it’s small things like these that steadily undermine the public’s trust in shots.