Argument: "If there were any problems with vaccinations, if they were unsafe or ineffective, doctors would know about it, but at present there is almost complete medical consensus - vaccinations are safe and effective. After all, doctors, for their long years of training, probably learned more about vaccinations than you read about them on the Internet".
My wife also thought vaccines were safe and effective. They were taught this. I asked her how many hours during the whole period of her training she had, had been devoted to vaccinations. It turned out that only a few hours. Of these, for two hours they taught about the vaccination schedule, and for another two hours there was a lecture on "how to respond to anti-vaccination arguments." By the way, after this lecture, almost all the students said that the lecturer's arguments did not convince them, and that the arguments of the anti-vaccinations were more convincing. They, of course, did not think that the anti-vaccine handlers were somehow right. They decided that the lecturer simply did not prepare well for this lecture.
But maybe in other universities everything is different? That's how much they teach about vaccinations in the most prestigious American universities. Of the 6,700 pages that a medical college student must learn, only 4 pages are devoted to vaccinations.
Doctors have a financial interest in vaccinations. The more vaccines they sell, the higher their bonus..
The insurance company Blue Cross Blue Shield, for example, pays doctors $ 400 for each fully vaccinated child. But only if the percentage of vaccinated in practice is above 63%. This is the main reason pediatricians in the United States refuse to treat unvaccinated children.
Argument: "But I talked with several doctors, and they all say that vaccinations are safe. Moreover, doctors would not have vaccinated their children if they considered vaccinations unsafe ".
Most people believe that a doctor can treat as he sees fit. Far from it. If, for example, a doctor read several scientific articles and came to the conclusion that it is better to treat a certain disease in some other way, he has no right to do so. The doctor must follow the permitted treatment protocols, otherwise he will lose his license. If the doctor advises the patient about any unapproved medicine, for example, to treat whooping cough with vitamin C, and not with an antibiotic, and something happens to the patient, the doctor will go to court. If the doctor prescribes antibiotics (not particularly effective in whooping cough), and something happens the patient, the doctor will not bear any responsibility. What is the point of the doctor advising the patient something that is not approved by the protocol?
Similarly, the doctor, by and large, does not have the right to advise the patient not to get vaccinated. He may very quickly lose his license (especially in the USA), and even if he does not lose it, his career will not go far.
Nevertheless, there are many doctors openly opposing vaccinations. Of course, these are always doctors with their own private practice.
If you ask my wife, as a doctor, if she advises you to be vaccinated, and she does not trust you, she will answer that she does advise it. Vaccinations, she recites, is the greatest gift of medicine to humanity, they saved millions of lives.
If you ask her if she is vaccinating her child and she trusts you completely, she will explain that she will scratch out the eyes of someone who will approach the child with the vaccine, and will advise you to do the same.
Therefore, it is important to ask the right question. More importantly, the doctor to whom you ask the question must fully trust you, and must not think you could complain about him, or publish his advice.
Of course, most doctors are likely to vaccinate their children. But only because they are taught almost nothing about vaccines. Therefore, it is also important to ask the doctor how many scientific articles about the safety and efficacy of vaccines he has read. Ask him to also give you a chance to read at least one study proving the safety of the vaccine he is about to inject.
Yet many doctors take risks, and do not advise their patients to get vaccinated. Here are a few studies:
Despite awareness of recommendations, why do not health care workers not immunize pregnant women?
Am J Infect Control
Despite the fact that 93% of doctors know that the Ministry of Health recommends vaccinating pregnant women for flu and whooping cough, only 70% follow these guidelines. A third of doctors believe that both vaccinations are dangerous, or that their safety is questionable. 40% of doctors from those who believe that these vaccinations are dangerous, still recommend them to their patients. (Israel)
How do physicians immunize their own children? Differences among pediatricians and nonpediatricians.
5% of non-pediatric doctors do not vaccinate their children against measles, mumps and rubella. They believe that combined vaccines are unsafe, that it is better to have the disease than to get vaccinated, and that homeopathic treatment works well for these diseases.
10% postpone DTaP vaccination for a later date, 15% postpone MMR vaccination.
A third of the doctors did not vaccinate their children against hepatitis B and hemophilic bacilli. Only 12% were vaccinated against the flu, and only 3% were vaccinated against chickenpox. 34% of pediatricians did not vaccinate their children according to the vaccination schedule.
The survey involved only InfoVac subscribers, that is, doctors who are actively interested in vaccinations. From which it follows that the actual number of doctors who do not vaccinate their children is probably much more. (Switzerland)
Vaccination practices among physicians and their children.
21% of pediatric specialists and 10% of total pediatricians will refuse at least one vaccination for their child.
19% of specialist pediatricians and 5% of general pediatricians will delay MMR vaccination until 1.5 years of age.
18% of specialist pediatricians will not vaccinate their child against rotavirus, 6% will not vaccinate against hepatitis A. (USA)
Physicians who do and do not recommend children get all vaccinations.
J Health Commun
11% of doctors did not recommend their patients vaccinate their children with all vaccines.
Doctors-therapists did not recommend inoculation twice as often as pediatricians did (therapists earn less on vaccinations).
Doctors trust medical journals more than the CDC and the FDA. They trust pharmaceutical companies less than the Internet. (USA)
Paediatricians knowledge, attitudes, and practices for immunizations for infants in Italy.
BMC Public Health
Only 10% of physicians had a good opinion of all vaccines.
60% of doctors would like to know more about vaccines.
Only 25% of doctors gave optional vaccines to their patients (whooping cough, measles, mumps, chickenpox, rubella, Hib, pneumococcus, meningococcus). (Italy)
Factors associated with vaccination for hepatitis B, pertussis, seasonal and pandemic influenza among French general practitioners: a 2010 survey.
27% of doctor’s families were not vaccinated against hepatitis B, 36% were not vaccinated against whooping cough, 23% were not vaccinated against influenza. (France)
Knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices of general practitioners towards measles and MMR vaccination in southeastern France in 2012.
Clin Microbiol Infect
13% of doctors do not consider measles a dangerous disease. 12% of doctors consider the second dose of MMR to be useless.
33% of doctors do not believe that MMR vaccination should be mandatory for children under 2 years of age. (France)
What lies behind the low rates of vaccinations among nurses who treat infants?
After Israeli nurses were asked to vaccinate against whooping cough at 3 months, only 2% (two percent) deigned to do so. And we are talking about nurses working in mother and child centers (tipat halav), that is, those whose main role is to vaccinate children.
Most nurses do not trust health authorities, and desperately resist compulsory vaccinations.
They believe that parents should have the choice to vaccinate a child or not, and they demand the same respect for their rights.
Nurses share work and personal life. The fact that their work is to inculcate children is one thing. And whether they are vaccinated themselves or not, it is their own business, and they do not consider it necessary to inform parents of their opinion about vaccinations, or whether they themselves are vaccinated.
The authors of the study concluded that the nurses who do the vaccinations are, in fact, anti-vaccinations. (Israel)
This is probably the most important study of all presented here. In almost all other studies, data was collected from surveys of doctors. Doctors perfectly understand that they should not negatively react about vaccinations, therefore it is logical to assume that the real number of doctors who do not vaccinate their children is much higher. The data in this study is real, they are not based on surveys. 98% of nurses whose main role is to vaccinate children refuse to be vaccinated themselves!
Israeli doctors, however, also refuse to be vaccinated against the flu.
Influenza vaccination among healthcare workers in Italy.
Hum Vaccin Immunother
Health workers are refusing influenza vaccination, despite ten years of efforts to increase vaccination rates. Only 30% of doctors, 11% of nurses, and 9% of clinical staff have been vaccinated against the flu. (Italy)
Vaccinating health care workers during an influenza pandemic.
Occup Med Lond
41% of healthcare workers refused to vaccinate against swine flu during the 2009 pandemic. They believed that the vaccine was ineffective, and there were side effects, and in general, this infection usually passes easily.
57% of healthcare workers refused to get vaccinated for regular flu. (London, Great Britain)
Influenza vaccination amongst hospital health care workers in Beijing.
Occup Med Lond
Only 13% of doctors and 21% of nurses vaccinated against influenza.
40% of health care workers believe that flu vaccine can cause flu. (Beijing, China)
Seasonal and Pandemic A (H1N1) 2009 influenza vaccination coverage and attitudes among health-care workers in a Spanish University Hospital.
More than half of health workers refused to be vaccinated against influenza, and only 16.5% were vaccinated against swine flu during the 2009 pandemic. They doubted the effectiveness of the vaccination and were afraid of side effects. (Madrid, Spain)
Influenza vaccination compliance among health care workers in a German university hospital.
For more than 20 years, German health care workers have been pushed to be vaccinated for influenza, but only 39% of doctors and 17% of nurses are vaccinated. They are afraid of side effects, believe that vaccination can lead to illness, and do not believe in its effectiveness. (Berlin, Germany)
Influenza vaccination attitudes and practices among US registered nurses.
Am J Infect Control
41% of nurses are not vaccinated against the flu. They were afraid of side effects, they believed that the risk of infection was low, and in general, they did not consider this vaccine to be effective. (USA)
Skepticism towards Emerging Infectious Diseases and Influenza Vaccination Intentions in Nurses.
J Health Commun
Swiss nurses are skeptical of infectious diseases and the vaccine against influenza.
Outbreaks of diseases are always less dangerous than announced by public health authorities and the media, reducing public confidence in the reliability of expert sources of information. Conflict of interest between public organizations and private corporations also reduces public confidence.
Are Recent Medical Graduates More Skeptical of Vaccines?
Recent graduates of medical faculties less often believe that vaccines are the safest medicines, and that vaccines become better and safer. They are more resistant to compulsory vaccination, and they believe more that vaccination does more harm than good.
Australian doctors who help to their patients refuse vaccinations are prosecuted. More.
Doctors in India who order many vaccines, receive gifts from a pharmaceutical company.
Here is an example of a doctor who went on trial for recommending a low-carb diet on Twitter..
However much doctors and nurses push that all vaccinations are safe and effective, not all believe in it.
Scientific evidence suggests that the medical consensus on the safety and effectiveness of vaccinations is a myth.