I’ve just learned that antivax ads are now running on the Times Square Jumbotron in NYC (ironically, I was just there, right at that intersection, but I was in a cab and missed seeing the ad). These ads are sponsored by Joe Mercola and the National Vaccine Information Center.
It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned these two fonts of rabid antivaccination nonsense. Mercola is an alt-medder who claims to only want to promote "natural health", which must mean getting pertussis, polio, and measles, because he fights vaccines tooth and nail. He won’t let reality stop him, nor decorum and good taste. He’s another in a long line of alt-med bullies, hoping to shout so loudly they can drown out reality.
The NVIC is just as bad if not worse; they spread dangerous information about vaccines, then sue anyone who tries to call them on their antics.
So it’s a pretty safe bet that any ads sponsored by Mercola and the NVIC are in and of themselves a threat to national health. Matt at Skeptical Teacher has details on the ads and what can be done, while Elyse at Skepchick is spearheading a campaign to stop the ads.
This kind of thing must stop. Now. The antivaxxers are a serious health threat; vaccines save lives, and when vaccinations rates drop, people — including babies — get sick and some die. It’s just that simple.
Pertussis image from Microbiology2009.