Social-media platform Instagram is allowing only one side of the debate over vaccines, pledging to censor “anti-vaccine hashtags,” according to The Hill.
The debate focuses on the fact that while vaccines undoubtedly prevent many illnesses and deaths, they have triggered extreme reactions, including death.
Instagram, owned by Facebook, revealed its policy after media outlets asked about “anti-vaccine misinformation” on the platform, the report said.
“As part of our work to address health-related misinformation on Instagram, we’re looking at ways to minimize recommendations of this content and accounts that post it across Instagram – including in ‘Suggested For You,’ Explore and hashtags,” the company said.
Only hours earlier, CNN and the Atlantic had reported that Instagram’s search function still included vaccine-related “misinformation.”
Targeted are #vaccinescauseautism, #vaccinesarepoison, #vaccinescauseids and other hash tags, the announcement said.
The company said, “We noted that this process would take place over several weeks.”
It was only weeks ago that Facebook said it would remove groups and pages that spread “misinformation” about vaccines
Facebook said it would instead follow the agenda of the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which advocate for vaccines and generally discount reports of horrific reactions.
That’s despite the fact the U.S. government, which protects vaccine makers from lawsuits, has paid out millions of dollars in recent years in confirmed cases in which there have been injuries, sometimes catastrophic, from vaccines.
The dispute is ongoing because of outbreaks of contagious diseases such as the measles in several locations.
But a prominent physicians’ organization is arguing against government plans to force vaccines on unwilling children.
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons wrote to the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee as well as the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
AAPS Executive Director Dr. Jane Orient argues regulation of medical practice is a state rather than federal function.
“After being fully informed of the risks and benefits of a medical procedure, patients have the right to reject or accept that procedure,” she said. “The regulation of medical practice is a state function, not a federal one. Governmental preemption of patients’ or parents’ decisions about accepting drugs or other medical interventions is a serious intrusion into individual liberty, autonomy, and parental decisions about child-rearing.”
Critics of mandatory vaccination point out the nation’s Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has paid out $4 billion in damages, the doctors said.
“The smallpox vaccine is so dangerous that you can’t get it now, despite the weaponization of smallpox,” AAPS said. “Rabies vaccine is given only after a suspected exposure or to high-risk persons such as veterinarians. The whole-cell pertussis vaccine was withdrawn from the U.S. market, a decade later than from the Japanese market, because of reports of severe permanent brain damage.”
They noted that a threat to public health is being used as a rationale for mandatory vaccines.
“But how much of a threat is required to justify forcing people to accept government-imposed risks? Regulators may intervene to protect the public against a one-in-one million risk of a threat such as cancer from an involuntary exposure to a toxin, or-one-in 100,000 risk from a voluntary (e.g. occupational) exposure. What is the risk of death, cancer, or crippling complication from a vaccine? There are no rigorous safety studies of sufficient power to rule out a much lower risk of complications, even one in 10,000, for vaccines. Such studies would require an adequate number of subjects, a long duration (years, not days), an unvaccinated control group (‘placebo’ must be truly inactive such as saline, not the adjuvant or everything-but-the-intended-antigen), and consideration of all adverse health events (including neurodevelopment disorders),” the letter said.
While measles are “probably the worst threat … because it is so highly contagious,” the letter poses a question to lawmakers.
“Are potential measles complications including death in persons who cannot be vaccinated due to immune deficiency a justification for revoking the rights of all Americans and establishing a precedent for still greater restrictions on our right to give – or withhold – consent to medical interventions?
Patients know there are complications from vaccines, even routine shots like the MMR, because they “are listed in the manufacturer’s package insert.”
“Even disregarding adverse vaccine effects, the results of near-universal vaccination have not been completely positive. Measles, when it does occur, is four to five times worse than in pre-vaccination times, according to Lancet Infectious Diseases, because of the changed age distribution: more adults, whose vaccine-based immunity waned, and more infants, who no longer receive passive immunity from their naturally immune mother to protect them during their most vulnerable period,” AAPS advised lawmakers.
Politico reported Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., had a similar message in the Senate this week.
He said government-mandated vaccines would infringe on personal rights.
Paul, a physician, said he and his children are vaccinated and that he believes the benefits of vaccines outweigh the risks.
“But I still do not favor giving up on liberty for a false sense of security,” he said.