In 2008, I tried to answer the question: How do doctors become contrarians, quacks, and antivaxxers? A Twitter encounter suggested to me not just answers but that an update to that post is massively overdue.
Recently, antivaxxers were all over social media after Tucker Carlson touted a “revelation” that the phase 3 clinical trial used to support licensure of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine didn’t examine its ability to block transmission as meaning that its inability to block transmission had been “covered up”. It wasn’t, and antivaxxers are ignoring everything we’ve learned over the last two years to make the claim that vaccines “don’t prevent transmission”.
Misrepresentation of VAERS reports has been a longstanding antivaccine propaganda technique. Now Del Bigtree has gotten his hands on V-Safe, the system created to track adverse events after COVID-19 vaccination. The results are, predictably, disinformation.
Distrust of COVID-19 vaccines has led to spillover of distrust to all childhood vaccines, and among antivaxxers antivaxxers is much rejoicing.
Every so few years, someone writes in a reputable journal that evidence-based medicine is corrupt or an “illusion.” Here we go again, this time in The BMJ, and antivaxxers are going wild.