And her daughter was an adult, too...
Chances are you’ve heard or read about the anti-vaccine or anti-vaxxer movement over the past few years, whether online or on the news.
While nothing new (vaccines have faced opposition since their inception in the 1700s), today’s digital landscape has provided the idea space for these ideas to grow and spread, especially among new and expecting parents.
A study published in the journal Information, Communication & Society, stressed the role of platforms like Facebook in the propagation of this (often false) information. Naomi Smith, the study’s lead researcher, said, “Social media plays an important role in making anti-vaccination beliefs durable and persistent.” Furthermore, the study found that the “vast majority” of people sharing anti-vaxxer information and articles online are women.
One virulently anti-vax mother turned to Facebook after finding out that her 19-year-old daughter secretly went to the doctor to get vaccinated, and her rant—not to mention her friends’ comments—are truly eye-opening.
Behind Her Back
One anonymous anti-vaxxer mom took to Facebook to express her sorrow and disbelief after she found out that her adult daughter got vaccinated without telling her. She wrote:
“I apologize in advance. I need a place to vent. I just saw my daughers after visit summary from the doctor. She is 19. She can make her own decisions, I realize that. Yet I’m so incredibly disappointed right now. Six vaccines after everything I’ve tried to teach her.”
It may seem surprising to those of us vaccinated since early ages, but the mom is sincerely upset. And her friend’s comments go even further.
Aside from the general disobedience at hand, the mother and her friends, who clearly share her beliefs, seem genuinely concerned for the daughter.
One commenter wrote, “I will pray that she doesn’t succumb to anything as a result.” Her belief alludes in part to one of the
common misconceptions of the anti-vaxxer community, which often attributes any short-term side effects as proof of their cause.
Like other similar movements, there is a conspiracy-theory-minded way of thinking that supporters use to back their beliefs. In this section of the comments, the mom and her friends rationalize whether the doctor forced the girl into getting vaccinated, ultimately concluding that the daughter must have been more afraid that “the diseases were worse than any adverse vaccine reaction.”
The mother goes on to pseudo-rationalize:
“Honestly I think that’s what makes this so difficult for people to understand. If a child has a reaction immediately after vaccines then they can attribute it to the vaccine. But if it takes six months for something to develop, then it’s just coincidence.”
If things already seem bad, they get worse. Keep reading.