Joe Mercola and Barbara Loe Fisher declare November 1-6, 2010 “Vaccine Awareness Week”? Not so fast!

As I pointed out earlier, a rare thing happened this week, namely I don’t have a full post ready for Science-Based Medicine because I’m at the Lorne Trottier Symposium. Not only have the organizers have packed my day with skeptical and science goodness, but I only have Internet access when I’m back at the hotel, which isn’t very often. I suppose I could pay outrageous international roaming charges by activating international roaming on my iPhone, but why on earth would I do that except in urgent circumstances? Fortunately, David Ramey stepped in with his usual excellent work.

The trials and tribulations of actually trying to do more than be at home, work, and blog aside, I couldn’t let this one pass. The ever-observant Mark Crislip sent his fellow SBM bloggers this little tidbit from the website of that well-known promoter of quackery Joe Mercola. Buried near the bottom of Mercola’s “newsletter” is an announcement of this intriguing (from a blog fodder perspective) initiative: & NVIC Dedicating November 1-6 Vaccine Awareness Week

In a long-scheduled joint effort to raise public awareness about important vaccination issues during the week of November 1-6, 2010, and NVIC will publish a series of articles and interviews on vaccine topics of interest to newsletter subscribers and NVIC Vaccine E-newsletter readers.

The week-long public awareness program will also raise funds for NVIC, a non-profit charity that has been working for more than two decades to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and protecting informed consent to vaccination.

The November 1-6 Vaccine Awareness Week hosted by and NVIC will follow a month-long vaccine awareness effort in October that was recently announced on Facebook by parents highlighting Gardasil vaccine risks.

The six-week-long focus this fall on vaccine issues will help raise the consciousness of many more Americans, who may be unaware that they can take an active role in helping to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths and defend the legal right to make voluntary vaccination choices.

And remember, you can always visit and for the latest vaccine news updates and other important vaccine information.

“Six week” focus? Methinks Dr. Mercola meant “six days.”

Be that as it may, Mercola and Fisher apparently think that their simply declaring the first week of November to be “Vaccine Awareness Week” will make it so. Of course, there actually is an Immunization Awareness Week here in Canada, but it was six months ago. In the U.S., August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Still, if anti-vaccine loons want to make the first week of November “Vaccine Awareness Week” in order to peddle their pseudoscientific and dangerous misinformation claiming that vaccines cause autism and various maladies, I say we let them have it.

Just not in the way they expected.

So, given the power invested in me as editor of Science-Based Medicine and the power of my fellow partners in crime at SBM (which is the same power Joe Mercola and Barbara Loe Fisher, except that we have science on our side), we at SBM hereby second the call to declare November 1-6, 2010 “Vaccine Awareness Week.” As part of the activities that week, we at SBM plan on spending more time than usual–perhaps even all of our posts that week–emphasizing the dangers of the anti-vaccine movement and providing science-based rebuttals of the lies of the anti-vaccine movement. In particular, we will concentrate on whatever propagandistic misinformation Joe Mercola and Barbara Loe Fisher decide to publish that week. Given whatever persuasive power we have as bloggers at what is a well-respected medical blog, I now request that any and all medical and skeptical bloggers out there also take advantage of Vaccine Awareness Week to do the same. I’ve already taken advantage of proximity here in Montreal to speak with Ben Goldacre and will be contacting other bloggers after I arrive home from Montreal. Tomorrow I’ll have a chance to meet with Randi.

Joe Mercola and Barbara Loe Fisher want to declare a week “Vaccine Awareness Week” in order to bury readers in a deluge of pseudoscience? Let them! Surely we can do better than they can and make sure that when anyone Googles “vaccine awareness,” what is found is not the current list of anti-vaccine pseudoscience but rather a flood of rational, science-based discussions of vaccines and refutations of the lies of the anti-vaccine movement. What I’d love to see from November 1-6 are a tsunami (word choice intentional) of posts that:

  • Include science-based discussions of the safety and efficacy of vaccines
  • Include science-based refutations of anti-vaccine misinformation
  • Specifically refute posts by Joe Mercola and Barbara Loe Fisher during that week. (You can throw in Age of Autism, too, if you like.)

Spread the word and join the crusade. Anti-vaccine pseudoscience is pseudoscience that hurts and kills children.

Posted in: Vaccines

Leave a Comment (16) ↓

16 thoughts on “Joe Mercola and Barbara Loe Fisher declare November 1-6, 2010 “Vaccine Awareness Week”? Not so fast!

  1. TsuDhoNimh says:

    Hmmmm … I think I can make a few articles on the topic, queue them up and submit one a day for that time period.

  2. Jayhox says:

    “The week-long public awareness program will also raise funds for NVIC, a non-profit charity that has been working for more than two decades to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and protecting informed consent to vaccination.”

    They are boviously a very effective group, as there have been very few vaccine related injuries and deaths over the past 20 years. Thank you!

    Now, if people will donate to my fund to prevent purple elephant trampling injuries and deaths, I would be most grateful. Since its inception, there has not been a single purple elephant trampling. You’re welcome.

  3. Th1Th2 says:

    Vaccine apologists and doctors can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. People beware.

  4. Mark Crislip says:

    I always apologise when putting lipstick on a pig. It is the polite thing to do.

  5. Joe B says:

    I’d rather kiss a pig than a vapid anti-science crusader like Jenny McCarthy.

  6. Peter Lipson says:

    Updates on the week’s festivities are on twitter using hastag #vaxfax

  7. Josie says:

    Great idea! Any upticks in search engine hits will find the science-based sites as well as the more dubious vaccine related propaganda during that week :)


    ..I like your idea, but do the elephants wear lipstick?

  8. Maz says:

    I think Th1Th2 is trying to say that if diseases are a pig, vaccines are like a pig with lipstick.

    While it IS a funny analogy, because pigs are funny (especially when wearing lipstick), it’s value, sadly, goes no further.

    I’d propose that if disease = pig
    Than it’s obvious that vaccine = pork chop

    And everyone knows that pork chops are wholesome and delicious.

    As for you, Th1Th2:

    You’ve already tried the “Pig With Lipstick” gambit — why don’t you try something new? Make it interesting for us! At the very least you could misinterpret an out-dated scientific paper or stretch some innocuous evidence to back yourself up.

  9. Maz says:

    While I don’t have a blog with which to support your efforts, I’ll be facebooking the hell out of this most Brutal-Blogging-Battle-Royale. Huzzah!


    I did some research and it seems that, no, elephants don’t YET wear lipstick. Sounds to me like an untapped market.

  10. Reductionist Nurse says:

    I will celebrate by helping people murder as much influenza as I possibly can, and h perhaps some streptococcus pneumoniae too.

  11. Maz – I’m afraid that pork chops might be neither Halal or Kosher, could we put the lipstick on something with a broader market? Say an egg?

  12. Chris says:

    In case anyone thinks Th1Th2 is anything but a joke, please read this and what follows. Do not engage the troll.

  13. nybgrus says:

    Great googally moogally! Chris! I had no idea that thread continued on so much! After I wrote my comment (which was answered, shall we say, poorly by both trolls) I actually never followed up on it. I am one exam away from finishing my year here in “evil child infecting, drug pushing, and disease producing” school and got a bit tied up with that piddly stuff.

    I will echo what I said on that thread though! Why do we all keep feeding these stupid trolls? In skimming through his posts, besides rampant self contradictions, it seems to me like he thinks that the human body has zero ability to fight off disease except for innate barrier protection. The entire realm of adaptive immunity and professional antigen presenting cells are lost on him.

    And Sid’s only apparent rebuttal to my analysis and rebuke of his inanity was that mine was too inane to need a response to rebut itself! WTF?

    I have to admit, it is entertaining feeding the trolls from time to time. But don’t forget, if you get them wet, or feed them after midnight all hell breaks loose, just like in that post Chris linked to!

  14. nybgrus – it’s always interesting when I see pleas to not feed the troll, directly followed by troll food within the same post. I recognize it because I do it myself, but I’m just saying…

    Regarding the referenced thread. I think it’s a demonstration of how when you give some people enough rope they will inevitably hang themselves with it. Of course it’s questionable whether it’s worth the energy and sheer dullness of the task to keep dolling out rope.

  15. nybgrus says:

    micheleinmichigan – ahhhh… very true. Though I didn’t say don’t feed the trolls (in this post anyways) I said be careful feeding them and I did admit that it was fun to feed the trolls! ;-) lol. It truly is a guilty pleasure.

  16. rdmiller3 says:

    You should start your awareness week a day or two in advance of theirs. Then they’ll have to answer your posts instead of the other way around.

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