Vaccines with Heather Simpson
Today we're talking about vaccines well. More specifically about the toll. The anti vaccine movement has taken on our public health. Let's start with some basics x one of the most successful public health interventions in human history. They've saved millions if not billions of lives. They protected generations of children in the us and around the world from deadly diseases and right now the surest path out of the covid nineteen pandemic is to vaccinate as many people in as many places as possible but that of course requires wide scale public trust and participation two things that the anti vaccine movement has been working really hard to undermine vaccine movement has been growing in darkness for decades and now they've captured the spotlight as an is fear uncertainty to so doubt and spread lies about the coupe nineteen vaccines their efforts have been amplified by public figures who used their platforms to elevate debunked conspiracy theories and all of this is made much much worse by lack of accountability from social media and technology platforms themselves. The nfl move hurting our ability to recover from this pandemic and it could affect which vaccines this generation of kids received well beyond covid nineteen. So what can we do. How do we fight. The powerful tide of disinformation that began long before this pandemic and has unfortunately gained momentum during it. How do we overcome mistrust around vaccines and help more. People get the facts that they need to make the right decisions for themselves and their families while to answer this questions. I'm talking with two people who are confronting these challenges head on later. We'll hear from my friend. Dr peter hotels vaccine researcher and advocate and co director of the center for vaccine development at texas children's hospital. But i i'm talking with heather. Simpson a mom who fell down the rabbit hole and then pulled herself back up. Heather is an activist a freelance writer and a mom to three year. Old daughter hers is a story of how effectively the anti vaccine movement entraps people and a reminder that it's possible if not always easy to change minds. I started our conversation by asking heather how she went from someone who had always gotten vaccinated then anti-tax social media influence my mom vaccinated all of ice. It wasn't until i was eighteen. I had the choice to get my meningitis shot. And i hate needles so on. That alone chose not to get it going in college which was stupid. I did get the tea dot in two thousand fifteen. I got the flu shot school. It wasn't until me and my husband really started trying to have our daughter that we were like Should we do the schedule. I mean we haven't given much thought. And a documentary series popped up on facebook as an ad and it was nine hours a just pure propaganda. It was doctor after doctor blaming everything under the sun on vaccines so by the time. You're done watching all nine hours of terror. You're not gonna wanna inject your kid. I mean i was terrified. I was thinking if we inject charlotte. She will die in her sleep that night. The strength of the fear that i had was so so strong i was ashamed a little bit a little bit embarrassed about it because my mom groups were so pro vaccine so it didn't really tell anybody but when she was about eighteen months old i decided to start talking about it casually on the internet on facebook and it just took off and i didn't realize that their birth thousands and thousands of antibodies mom's on facebook that had all found each other and that there's this huge huge growing community and they just accepted me as one of them and it just took off from there.