Online opposition to routine immunizations ramps up

A popular right-wing commentator voiced opposition to all childhood vaccines, calling for a class action lawsuit against pediatricians who don’t accept unvaccinated children at their practices. The commentator also promoted the false claim that doctors receive “bribes” for encouraging their patients to get vaccinated. 

Risk level: Medium

Recommendation: These types of posts promote the false narrative that routine vaccinations for children are unsafe and only exist for medical profit, and they may discourage patients from vaccinating their children. The widespread nature of this post elevates the risk. Messaging may emphasize that unlike most drugs and other medical treatments, routine vaccines are mass administered to a young and mostly healthy population. Because of this, vaccines are held to higher testing and safety standards than almost any other medical intervention. All vaccines, new and old, must undergo rigorous safety trials and are closely monitored by health authorities for as long as they are in use. Insurance incentive programs require doctors to meet a variety of performance goals related to the quality of patient care and health outcomes, including timely vaccinations, regular appointments, and appropriate use of medications. The CDC recommends a series of routine vaccinations to prevent severe illness and death in infants and in children.