By TLB Contributing Author: Christina England, BA Hons
Every now and then, a popular television series or cartoon is used by governments to increase the uptake of vaccinations, using scare tactics and fear mongering as their tools. On December 5, 2016, the script writers behind the popular television series, Family Guy, decided to do just that.
In just fifteen minutes, they managed to turn what had appeared on the surface to be a fairly balanced discussion on vaccination safety into what can only be described as a scene resembling a horror movie.
The scene involving the subject of vaccinations opens with the main characters, Peter and Lois, taking their son, Stewie, to the local hospital for an x-ray. On completion of the x-ray, the doctor informs them that Stewie is behind with his vaccinations and gives them a leaflet on the side effects of vaccines.
After studying the leaflet carefully, Lois is shocked to discover that by having her son vaccinated, he could suffer an adverse reaction and decides not to have him vaccinated.
When they arrive home, the couple decide to research the subject of vaccination on the Internet and are shocked to discover that vaccines can cause autism and contain dangerous ingredients, such as thimerosal, aluminum and formaldehyde.
After their discovery, Peter and Lois decide that it is their duty to warn others about the dangers of vaccines. They head for the streets with placards that state, “Just Say No to Vaccines and Stop Poisoning Our Kids.”
Image credit: Family Guy wiki hotshots.
As a result of their campaign, many local parents decided against having their children vaccinated, leading to a measles epidemic, killing over a hundred children.
Wiki Hotshots took up the story:
“As Brian (the dog) gloats over being right, Lois has a change of heart and decides she wants to get Stewie vaccinated, but Peter has destroyed all of town’s vaccines. When Peter suddenly starts to feel ill, panic sets in as they try to keep Stewie disease free. When he pretends Rupert has become ill, he flees the house. As Lois panics over Stewie’s disappearance, he runs into himself from the future who tells him he needs to get out of town, but is really is there to steal glue from him to get high. Trying to cross a bridge by swinging underneath to avoid the police, an upside-down train causes him to release his grip and he is rescued by Sean Penn. Lois is lukewarm to his appearance due to his liberal Hollywood leanings, but he has brought vaccinations for the town.
As the family counts their blessings, they reveal that around 150 people died.”
See Family Guy Video here
If script writers are going to tackle the subject of vaccination head on, then it would make sense to research the subject in more detail, as the program was full of inaccuracies from the beginning.
Inaccurate Information Being Portrayed to Viewers
I have decided to highlight just a few of the many inaccuracies that were portrayed to viewers in this episode.
Error # 1
When the doctor explained to the family that their child had not had his vaccinations, he stated that:
“As long as you are here, I see that Stewie has had not had his vaccinations yet. Shall we take care of that? Oh, but first, I am required to have you read this pamphlet about the risks of vaccinations.”
Whilst I appreciate that some doctors do offer parents a leaflet on vaccination safety before vaccinating a child, very few, if any, offer a parent a leaflet on ‘the risks of vaccination.’
For example, the only information offered to parents on adverse reactions in this 12-page leaflet on the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination, is a small section that stated:
“What are the side effects from the vaccine?
Not everyone gets side effects from the vaccine. To provide protection, the vaccine mimics the three infections that it protects against. Some people may get a rash that looks like a mild form of measles, the face may swell to look like mumps or they may have pains in the joints like rubella. These side effects occur in a small percentage of people after the first dose.
The side effects from the measles part of the vaccine are usually seen when the vaccine starts to work – around 6 –10 days after vaccination. Swelling of the face or joint pains tend to come on around two to three weeks after vaccination when the mumps and rubella vaccines start to work.
Side effects such as a rash or neck swelling only last for around 2–3 days and are not infectious. This means that if you do develop these side effects, you cannot pass on the infection to others.
On rare occasions, a reddish-purple rash that looks like tiny bruises can occur up to six weeks following vaccination.”
The information provided in this leaflet hardly amounts to a ‘pamphlet about the risks of vaccinations,’ does it?
Error # 2
Throughout this whole episode, measles was portrayed as a killer disease, which, without the vaccine, kills thousands of people. However, many health care professionals disagree.
In an article published in 2010, titled, Are Childhood Infections a Good Thing?, author Dr. Jayne Donegan explained that measles was, in fact, little more than a regular childhood illness, which the majority of healthy children should sail through. She wrote:
“We vaccinate against lots of childhood diseases now because we are told that having the diseases is a bad thing and leads to thousands of deaths. However, when we look at the figures from the Office for National Statistics, we see that 95% of the people who used to die from measles stopped dying before the vaccine was introduced in 1968 and similarly 99% of the people who used to die of whooping cough.”
“Why did vaccination catch on in such a powerful way?
“It was all to do with Pasteur and his ‘Germ Theory of Disease.’ He said, ‘The germs are present in the disease; therefore, the germs cause the disease.’ However, meeting a germ is no guarantee of catching the disease; that is why all the people on a bus where one person has ‘flu don’t get the ‘flu. It all depends on their susceptibility.”
Dr. Suzanne Humphries agreed, and in an article titled, The Truth About Measles the Mainstream Media is Suppressing, she wrote:
“In the case of measles, the death rate had declined by almost 100 percent (before the introduction of the vaccine.)”
Using a graph, Didn’t Vaccines Eradicate Diseases was able to prove that there was a natural decline of the illness, before the vaccination was introduced.
She stated that:
“Analysis of the data shows this often-repeated mantra that vaccines were key in the decline of infectious disease deaths is a fallacy. Deaths had decreased by massive amounts before vaccinations. In the case of scarlet fever and other infectious diseases, deaths declined to near zero without any widespread vaccination.”
In other words, deaths from many of the diseases that we vaccinate against today had fallen dramatically before vaccinations had been introduced and, therefore, their decline had absolutely nothing to do with the vaccine.
Error # 3
One of the most misleading pieces of information portrayed to viewers during this program was when super-hero Sean Penn stated:
“I have brought enough vaccines for your whole town. I hope you realize that vaccinations are not are not a freedom of choice issue, they are a public health issue. Thanks to them, countless serious diseases, mumps, polio, smallpox and rubella have all been eradicated. Like clean water and functional schools, vaccinations are a human right.”
Vaccinations Have Not Eradicated Disease
The word ‘eradicate,’ according to most dictionaries, means to wipe out something, to eliminate it in its entirety so that it no longer exists. Therefore, if a vaccination could eradicate a disease, as stated, then it would no longer exist today.
Vaccinations are used by governments and pharmaceutical companies to supposedly increase the body’s ability to combat disease organisms and make them less susceptible to disease. They do not eradicate the disease itself; this is a fallacy that has been portrayed by governments.
On October 27, 2016, Collective Evolution published an article titled, Didn’t Vaccines Eradicate Diseases? An Untold Truth About Vaccines. The author, Joe Martino, wrote:
“Vaccine education is also very important. There’s plenty of misinformation out there on both sides of the coin and it’s causing confusion among the masses. Part of this is a result of lack of public knowledge, since it’s often difficult to find good information, and part of it is a result of the mainstream handing out inaccurate information to shape and manipulate public opinion.
A great example of that is with common diseases, which people believe vaccines eradicated completely. Yet in truth, they were either wiped out naturally or eliminated by some other societal upgrade. Why is this important to know? Because the more we know about what is ACTUALLY going on, the better we can stop responding to these issues emotionally and the clearer the picture becomes for how to move forward.”
Using a graph, published in the Journal of Pediatrics in 1999, Martini was able to demonstrate that clean water and effective sewer systems were responsible for the decline of infectious diseases and not vaccination.
And it appears that Martino is not alone in his theory.
In 2015, Joel Edwards, a senior at Kennesaw State University, with an anthropology major, published an article, titled, How Plumbing (Not Vaccines) Eradicated Disease.
“Before plumbing was widely used, indoor facilities consisted of a washstand and a washbowl, a pitcher, and a chamber pot or commode. Human waste was thrown into the street or anywhere convenient.
This total lack of sanitation in urban areas filled with rats and other vermin provided the perfect environment to spread disease. The Black Plague alone killed 75 million – 200 million people – including 1/3 of Europe’s population. Though this disease is not entirely eradicated, human infection has become a rare occurrence. The last plague epidemic in America was in the early 1900s.
Edwards stated that:
“Polio thrives in fecal matter and is easily transmitted through human waste. Plumbing and water sanitation in India is way behind the rest of the industrialized world. In areas where sanitation and hygiene are good, polio is rare. In areas where sanitation and hygiene are poor, the disease can spread rapidly.”
“India is the second most populous nation in the world, with an estimated population of 1.2 billion. Currently, 780 million Indians do not have a toilet; 96 million Indians do not have access to clean drinking water. In rural areas, open defecation is still more common than attempting to dispose of human waste in a more sanitary fashion, such as burying it.
There have been some efforts to improve sanitation, but they pale in comparison to the extensive efforts to vaccinate Indians. Over $9 billion has been spent in this vaccination public health campaign. In some parts of India, children have received as many as 30 doses of the oral polio vaccine before their fifth birthday. Bill Gates, the World Health Organization, and GAVI have ardently been pushing vaccines on people who still don’t have access to clean drinking water or the sanitary means to dispose of human waste.”
The super-hero that was portrayed in Family Guy, stated:
“Like clean water and functional schools, vaccinations are a human right.”
If ‘clean water and functional schools’ were basic human rights, as suggested, then why, are so many children worldwide, denied these rights and only given the vaccinations?
Let’s face it, if Bill Gates was correct and vaccinations were doing such a great job, then there would be no need to vaccinate these vulnerable children with up to 30 doses of the oral polio vaccine before their fifth birthday
We suggest that if the producers of Family Guy really want to encourage parents to keep their children healthy, then they should stay away from the subject of vaccination and instead offer them information on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, clean drinking water and a balanced diet.
About the Author: Christina England, BA Hons was born and educated in London, U.K. She received an A Level in Psychology and a BTEC in Learning Disabilities. She has spent many years researching vaccines and adverse reactions. She has an HND in journalism and media and is currently writing for The Liberty Beacon, American Chronicle, the Weekly Blitz and Vaccination Truth on immunization safety and efficacy.