It would be easy to make the argument that social media—and Big Media, at times—have done a great job of overriding scientific proof that the best way to avoid getting the flu is by getting vaccinated. It seems that every reluctant patient has it on the authority of YouTube or Twitter that vaccines do more harm than good, no matter how much data you throw at them. Some may have even seen the Tweet television titan Joe Scarborough sent last week, saying, “I don’t do the flu shot. Sorry. It just gets me sick early and often.” However, it didn’t take long for Scarborough to get his comeuppance at the hands of Dr. Judy Stone, an infectious disease specialist who penned a response for Forbes magazine. Stone called out Scarborough’s missive as “irresponsible.” The Twitterverse got on him, too—to such an extent that he removed the offending post and vowed to get a flu shot himself “next week.” Stone’s op-ed piece also included the kind of data we’ve shared here over the past few weeks, noting that in the recently completed Australian flu season—which was severe—only 27% of Aussies diagnosed with flu had been immunized. The next time a patient says they “don’t do the flu shot,” think about mentioning Scarborough’s about-face on the issue (as well as the science).
National Media Volleys Provide Ammo for Convincing Anti-Vaxers to Get a Flu Shot