Anti-Vaccine Propaganda… the Real Virus


Guest blog by: Lesley Maisey

As adults, we rely on our foundation of life experience and knowledge to guide our decision making. The difficulty lies in the areas where our knowledge is perhaps biased, negatively influenced by media, or incomplete. The question then becomes how do we as health professionals change someone’s opinion on a hot topic such as influenza immunization with all the misinformation and fear mongering about vaccines? The short answer is education.

I had an opportunity to test this with a group of firefighters during the BC immunization campaign for the 2012-2013 flu season. Last year was unique as policy on influenza immunization had changed for this season for firefighters.  In their role as first responders, the mandate was either receive your annual flu shot or wear a mask prior to entering any patient care situation.

Many firefighters arrived at the clinic to receive the flu shot but many felt they were under duress. This resistance was stemming from two main areas of thought: firstly, people like to have choices and resent being backed into a corner with no perceived option. Secondly, the amount of misinformation about the flu vaccine circulating in the news and in day to day conversation was enough to overwhelm the average person. This leaves people with an uneasy feeling that something must be wrong.

In the case of the reluctant firefighters, I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to educate either one on one or in small groups about the benefits of receiving flu vaccine. I was able to provide accurate health information and dispelled some of the tales that abound regarding vaccines. In the case of  these firefighters, the end result was the highest compliance rate I have seen yet with regards to influenza immunizations. Adults like to understand why something is important. Armed with information, many of the firefighters who initially declined a flu shot ended up completing a consent form and receiving the shot.

Moving forward to next season, initial resistance can be overcome with education. It is important to take the time to address people’s concerns, dispel the myths and provide the individual with accurate information in order to assist with informed consent.

Education is critical in countering the anti-vaccine propaganda. Propaganda is equivalent to a virus as it is just as infectious and contagious. Let’s work on getting everyone the antidote in the form of information.

Learn more about immunization here:

Lesley Maisey, RN, BSN, COHN(C), MA
Occupational Health Nurse



One thought on “Anti-Vaccine Propaganda… the Real Virus

  1. I have a neighbor that just moved in our neighborhood who is a well respected Professor of Organic Chemistry at Loma Linda University School of Medicine. He told my wife who is an RN working in surgery Pre-Post op recovery that she should refuse to take the vaccine due to the level of mercury in the vaccinations. He does not take the serum because he actually does the scientific study on various medications, which included the Flu vaccine, that the Medical Centre provides to him to do analysis. He personally did the evaluation of the serum that makes up the vaccine. His report to the medical centre is that there are at least two manufactures in the US that make the vaccine and one is loaded with mercury and the other has just small amounts. The problem is that he cannot divulge which one it is that has the high amount of mercury and therefore it is not worth the risk to not know which one you are getting and he is not allowed to make his report known to the public. A very close friend of 24 years had a terrible allergic reaction last month to the flu shot and could have died. My position is that If flu vaccines are to be used they must have a content label wrapped around the vial just like food. Then we can have a choice that can’t be argued with. i.e. You and I will not be forced to swallow any mercury.

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