All my illusions that Canada is free of anti-vaccination zealots (antivaxxers) disappeared this week as the H1N1 vaccine was approved in Canada. After starting an H1N1 information page on Facebook (please join) it’s been an ongoing challenge to respond to the antivaccine comments – comments that are incorrect and often deliberately misleading. This is quite time consuming, so my schedule for posts on this blog has been delayed.
I’ve also been blogging at the new SkepticNorth blog on topics that aren’t purely pharmacy related. This week I blogged about the role of naturopaths in the Canadian healthcare system, as well as quackery on campus (U of T, I’m looking at you). So please check out those posts. And please follow the SkepticNorth blog – I’m one of a number of bloggers covering Canadian topics. We appreciate your support.
Back to H1N1, here’s a few credible resources that I highly recommend you consult. If you are a science-based health professional, I’m asking you to roll up your sleeves…get the vaccine, and then help correct the misinformation that’s spreading on the web.
Blogs to follow:
Science-Based Medicine – superb posts, virtually every anti-vax argument is debunked here
Effect Measure – blog written by public health scientists, covers the reality of the pandemic in detail
Other important resources:
Public Health Agency of Canada – for Canadian info, including weekly H1N1 updates
Centers for Disease Control – the American source of H1N1 information
Canadian Immunization Guidelines – outlines in detail the rationale for vaccines, the safety monitoring process, and more.
Consumer Reports Swine Flu Information page – details the variety of swine flu scams out there
Public Health Agency of Canada’s Guidance on the H1N1 Vaccine – for health professionals, details the proper use of the Canadian vaccine.
War on Science – A fantastic series that appeared in Wired magazine that details how anti-science, anti-vaccine sentiment is hurting us all.
I’m asking all of you to speak up for science and reason. Address antivaccination comments and emails with redirection to reputable sources of information. Don’t forward paranoid emails about swine flu or the vaccine. Don’t recommend ineffective or unproven therapies. Call out fearmongering when you see it. This is going to be a long flu season – let’s fight it with science, not paranoia.