by Marco Cáceres
“The more highly skilled and educated populations are clearly questioning vaccinations.” That statement was recently made by Lorraine Baker, MD, president of AMA Victoria—a medical trade association representing doctors in Australia’s southeastern state of Victoria.1 It is not an unusual statement to make when referring to people who veer from mainstream vaccine science orthodoxy—either a little bit or a lot.
In a study published last year in the journal EBioMedicine seeking to gauge the level of confidence in the necessity, safety and effectiveness of vaccines in 67 countries, investigators found that people holding Masters or PhD degrees were “not associated with more positive views on vaccine importance and effectiveness.” People with “no education” had more positive views about vaccination.2
The fact that people, who are educated, trained in critical thinking, and financially solvent, are choosing to do their own research and make independent decisions about vaccination is commonly recognized in the evolving debate on the safety and effectiveness of vaccines and the ethics of mandatory vaccination policies. You can see this theme in numerous media articles with headlines that read:
- “Anti-Vaccination Parents Richer, Better Educated”3
- “Immunizations: More Education May Not Mean More Vaccination”4
- “More Educated Parents Less Likely To Vaccinate and Feed Children Sugar and GMO Foods”5
- “New Study Says Vaccine Deniers Are Richer, Whiter, and More Educated”6
- “Rich, educated and stupid parents are driving the vaccination crisis”7
- “Why Do Affluent, Well-Educated People Refuse Vaccines?”8
- “Why Some Rich, Educated Parents Avoid Vaccines”9
Of course, this recognition by mandatory vaccination apologists of the high education level and earning power of vaccine dissenters is, curiously, often delivered as an insult. Beneath the insult lies a subliminal question: “If you are so smart, then how can you be so stupid and disagree with us about vaccination?” It’s a great question.
However, it assumes that the science supporting the belief that vaccines are safe and effective is rock solid—that those who disagree with the majority view about vaccination are wrong. It assumes that vaccine science “is settled” and cannot or should not be revisited or revised. Both assumptions are entirely up for debate.
Oddly, it is many of those within the mainstream medical and public health communities who adamantly believe they are right on the issue of vaccine science who tend to shy away from looking beyond mandatory vaccination policy and openly debating the continually evolving science. Their preference is to simply shut the door on any contrarian talk by anyone who challenges any piece of the mainstream vaccine paradigm. One must either accept the paradigm in its entirety or risk being labeled a heretic and a danger to the public health, deserving of being punished and banished from civilized society.