Vaccine Controversy – A Global Citizen Perspective

It’s been a while since my last post.  You’ll have to excuse me however as I’ve been extremely busy and/or just not that motived.

But tonight!  I’d like to write a bit about the vaccine controversy and give it to you straight as only a Global Citizen can.  I also just got done watching “The Vaccine War” by PBS and had two beers so am now super motivated to write.

In the interest of disclosure I must also inform you that I have VERY good reason to be researching the subject.  Not going to tell you what it is exactly (you should be able to guess) and no I do not have a disease.

Recently in the news there has been a lot of controversy over vaccines and if they cause terrible side effects such as autism.  If you watch the PBS movie you’ll see what these are and many are questioning vaccines.

As I mentioned before, I’ll give it to you straight and from a GC perspective which you won’t find anywhere else.

I should start by saying that I DO NOT LIKE DOCTORS!

Well, I take that back a little.  I like some doctors but not many since returning to the USA.  The reason is (as I have written about in many-a-post) coming back to the USA feels like one big sales pitch and doctors are the worst.

I come back to the USA, go to the dentist for a cleaning and he immediately performs x-rays, gum analysis and tells me about all the cosmetic services they provide.  All of this before actually cleaning my teeth which I payed him to do.  Recently, I had to tell my dentist to stop with the x-rays and that I just want my darn teeth clean.

The MDs’ are even worse.  There I pay around $150 dollars for information I could have found on Google for free.  I’m not ill, have visited your office for a routine exam and expect you to be quick about it.  Not to try and sell me some drug or another or try to scare me with some nonsense.  I went through the bird flu just fine in Vietnam and even ATE RAW EGGS (on my sukiyaki of course).  Now you are advising me that this drug or that could possible prevent some esoteric nonsense that has been in the news recently (Tamiflu – Piece of crap nonsense).  Get back to DOCTORING!!

But you know what really upsets me?

They expect you to just listen, not ask any questions and take their advice as though it is the Gold Standard.  If you ask questions, I have had one doctor even get upset!!

So medical profession, you may know more but you know what?  If I go to Best Buy to get a TV they will tell me more about the product and with pleasure than you will when you want to inject something into my body.  Further, half the time you are trying to sell me something and as it happens you are trying to sell a salesman!  I know what you are trying to sell is not necessary but you believe that I should just take you at your word because you’re an MD and won’t listen to my concerns.

How do I know you are trying to sell something?


When I was a little kid I would have jumped off a cliff if the doctor would have told me to.  Back then, doctors had standards and ethics.  Now, our culture is all about profits and I see exactly what you are trying to do.  It took living abroad to realize this and when you try to sell me on some cosmetic drug or another you’re just making me angry.  You make me even angrier when you act haughtily as though my concerns do not matter.  You are a doctor and I recommend you stick to your doctoring and not put on your salesman hat.  It will not work, especially when talking with me.  I’ve paid you for a service and expect you to perform, not try to pad your wallet!

So, I think it is safe to say that I have lost a lot of respect for doctors since my childhood and expect them to get back to doctoring when I pay them to do so, not try to sell me things I do not need.

Having said that, my advice on vaccines is to………..

Get your vaccines.

This is not a salesman tactics and from what I have read and experienced, vaccines are exceedingly important.

Watching the PBS Frontline special the anti-vaccine people were wondering why exactly they should get the vaccine when the disease hasn’t been seen in the USA since the 70s’.

Well, being a GC we travel the world and come into contact with some nasty stuff.  The pro-vaccine people make a very good point in that these people simply haven’t experienced the terrible disease since it has been largely eradicated due to……..  VACCINES!

But, I must say that I almost always subscribe to the “Pigpen Theory.”  The pigpen theory is that exposure to germs is a good thing since we get sick, then our bodies produce natural defenses.  The human race has survived on our own bodily protection methods and I am completely down with alternative medicines and so on.  Again it is our societies fault (MBA post – read it) who get us very excited/scared and that we need to apply sanitizer to our entire bodies every 5 seconds to scare off the nasty germs.

That is a bunch of nonsense.  We should have exposure to germs to increase our naturally developing defenses.

The problem is however, that there are some very nasty diseases out there and “What does not kill me only makes me stronger,” only works about 90% or so of the time.  Again, we do not trust vaccines and the medical profession because they are always trying to sell us something.  But, they do have a good point in many cases.

Some diseases will absolutely debilitate you.  This is easily seen in the third world and they do exist.  Just because the anti-vaccination people haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it will not come back, even to the USA.

So, now on to examples.

First of all, I’m no expert but will tell you straight from my experiences.

In Vietnam Hepatitis is quite common.  I didn’t have any vaccinations and never got it but if you do your research a lot of the population does.  Get your vaccinations on this one.

I also came down with a rash and fever once, went to the doctor and he fixed me up pronto.  In this case, the pigpen theory wins,, but also the drugs the doc gave me to get me fixed up.  I forgot what the problem was but let me tell you, mosquitoes are everywhere and those buggers transport blood and give you whatever your neighbor has.  Not fun.

As for worms and diarrhea, you will get these when living abroad.  But no worries, everyone does and you just take “Cipro” and some chalky substance and you’re all fixed up.  But if there was a vaccine that could be taken to stop the poops before they happen, I would definitely get that.  Unfortunately, it does not exist.

So, as a GC I highly advise everyone to get their vaccines should the be traveling abroad.  The chances of some awful side effect are very very very tiny vs. the chance of contracting some disease which in comparison are very very very high.

But having said that, don’t buy into the hype about Swine Flu, Bird Flu and so on.  That is just a ploy to sell more drugs and newspapers.  They said there were a lot of cases in Vietnam (where it originated) but in reality, there is more of a probability of a piano falling on your head.  OR to make an even better point, our culture, media and so on really glorify sex and you have an excellent chance of catching an STD if you are not careful so worry more about that than Swine Flu, Bird Flu or other “media” diseases.

Again, be sure to get your vaccinations.  You really shouldn’t travel abroad without them.  I wouldn’t tell ya wrong.

By Mateo de Colón

Global Citizen! こんにちは!僕の名前はマットです. Es decir soy Mateo. Aussi, je m'appelle Mathieu. Likes: Languages, Cultures, Computers, History, being Alive! (^.^)/

1 comment

  1. Re-reading this I could have added quite a bit more. But as I banged it out in about ten minutes I'm sure you guys will get my main points.

    1. Media Hype = Bad
    2. Vaccinations = Good
    3. Doctors = Need to learn social skills. Maybe most don't have any because they spent too much time with the books. Then, they had to take a class on how to deal with people and read more books. I want my pediatrician back…… 🙁
    4. Before going abroad – Take the drugs/vacs your doctor recommends if you are a tourist. If you're longterm, get the vaccinations but forget the meds, you can figure it out overseas and buy the drugs more cheaply over there (from a Western hospital of course — the French are everywhere)

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