Harassment of its opponents is a feature, not a bug, of the antivaccine movement, even if the victims are grieving mothers. The idea is to harass and intimidate their opponents into silence.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is the committee that decides on the CDC-recommended vaccine schedule. Naturally, antivaxers don’t like it—or any scientist on it. Or any vaccine advocate, for that matter. Paul Offit is a particular target of their ire, and they can be quite scary.
With the weekend so busy that the cracks were starting to show in Orac’s blogging activity, Orac nearly missed posting. Fortunately, he learned that Dr. Paul Offit received the Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal for his vaccine science and advocacy. Orac is, of course, more than happy to congratulate him.
Recently, Dr. Peter Hotez characterized antivaccine groups as “hate groups,” and antivaxer Barbara Loe Fisher took great umbrage, accusing Dr. Hotez and the public health community of “bullying” parents of “vaccine-injured” children. Did Dr. Hotez go too far? And what about Fisher’s hypocrisy, given that Dr. Hotez has received death threats credible enough to warrant police protection and Fisher herself has sued her critics, in effect trying to bully them into silence?
One of the great things about America has been the First Amendment, particularly the right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. These are rights allow us to gather together to protest when we see something that we don’t think is right and want to change. Unfortunately, there is one downside to these freedoms, […]