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The world of Twitter is surely the best when it comes to on-the-spot issues on just about any topic. California recently passed a law which calls for mandatory vaccination of school children. Vaccinating children or just vaccines in general have been a hot debate amongst people for quite some time. Specifically, are vaccines necessary or not? Some people have the strict belief that they have no real use whatsoever, that vaccines can cause neurological disorders as well as possible aluminum and mercury poisoning. Scientists have debunked that belief, but there are those who just do not choose to believe in their benefits. Jim Carrey is one of those folks. He is opposed to the new mandatory vaccination law and even refers to the California Government as corporate fascist.
The power of a celebrity’s word is quite an influential one. With a large fan base, their message is able to reach out to a much wider audience. Carrey took to Twitter in order to voice his concern over the California law. They were quite extreme, to say the least by providing claims that science has already proven wrong. He also went a little further by referring to the government as a fascist entity. Merriam-Webbster’s definition of fascism refers to it as a system of government where a dictator has complete control over the citizen’s lives and no disagreement is tolerated – a very nationalistic system. There has yet to have been any reports of a bounty or man-hunt by the “corporate fascist” California Government over Carrey being opposed to the mandatory vaccination law.
The law is not one that is seeking to outright control the lives of people, but it is meant for the health safety of the public. Schools are perfect breeding grounds for simple illnesses like the cold which gets passed around easily – someone coming to school with a dangerous illness can pose a huge threat due to the large number of contacts that are made. Vaccines help with this problem by training the body to fight the illness. They are simply weakened forms of the bacteria or virus which the body learns to fight off and prepares for the next attack.
The Director in Immunization at Ontario Public Health, Dr. Shelly Deeks disagrees with Carrey’s bold claims. She says, “I can’t really understand how people can buy in to the Jim Carrey and (ex-partner) Jenny McCarthy arguments, because they’re not scientifically valid.” The belief of the link between vaccination and autism is normally traced back to a 1998 now-discredited study where a larger number kids who developed autism, did so after receiving their vaccines. The study however, only looked at 12 kids who had autism – an extremely small number to be representative of the general population. A 2002 study of a much larger sample size of 237,000 had concluded that there was no link between autism and vaccination. In fact, the vaccinated kids showed a slightly less probability of developing autism, but the difference was too small to be considered significant.
It is without a doubt that vaccines are more helpful than they are harmful. Although Carrey being opposed to the mandatory vaccination law and calling the California Government Corporate Fascists are entirely his own personal beliefs, it should not be of concern to those who are not completely knowledgeable on vaccines. There is no need for any form of social uprising.
Opinion by Frank Grados
National Post – The void behind Jim Carrey’s rant: Arguments against California vaccine law have nothing to do with science
Time – Jim Carrey, Please Shut Up About Vaccines
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