Well it may be a little late to the party, but the Gray Lady is finally acknowledging that there are many, many Americans who don’t trust their government’s massive propaganda campaign to promote swine flu (H1N1) vaccine as being “safe.” Needless to say, of course, the anti-vaccine crowd are portrayed as madcap conspiracy theorists, but nonetheless it’s significant that the debate has reached the front page of the New York Times:
People who do not believe in vaccinating children have never had much sway over Leslie Wygant Arndt. She has studied the vaccine debate, she said, and came out in favor of having her 10-month-old daughter inoculated against childhood diseases. But there is something different about the vaccine for the H1N1 flu, she said.
“I have looked at the people who are against it, and I find myself taking their side,” said Ms. Wygant Arndt, who lives in Portland, Ore. “But then again I go back and forth on this every day. It’s an emotional topic.”
Anti-vaccinators, as they are often referred to by scientists and doctors, have toiled for years on the margins of medicine. But an assemblage of factors around the swine flu vaccine — including confusion over how it was made, widespread speculation about whether it might be more dangerous than the virus itself, and complaints among some health care workers in New York about a requirement that they be vaccinated — is giving the anti-vaccine movement a fresh airing, according to health experts.
“Nationally right now there is a tremendous amount of attention on this vaccine,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, the New York City health commissioner. That focus has given vaccine opponents “an opportunity to speak out publicly and get their message amplified that they didn’t have at other times,” he said…