A recent Twitter post is getting mocked after posting a request that the media avoid using the term “anti-vaxxer,” calling the label “derogatory” and “inflammatory.”
On Sunday, a Twitter account associated with an anti-vaccination website called Crazy Mothers posted the request to stop using the label, which is often applied to those who claim without evidence that vaccines are dangerous. The same message was posted to the site’s Instagram account.
Vaccines are safe and effective at establishing herd immunity and reducing the risk of disease for sensitive populations. In March, a decadelong study showed there was no link between vaccines and autism, a common claim among the anti-vaxxer set.
Measles cases have surged to the highest number reported in the U.S. in 25 years, which health officials have attributed to undervaccinated communities allowing the highly contagious disease to spread.
Many Twitter users decided to needle the Crazy Mothers account by suggesting there are even more appropriate terms than “anti-vaxxer” or “vaccine risk aware.”
One person explained, for example, that “anti-vaxxer” is meant to be an insult.
Other users offered other terms that more accurately reflect the effects of being against vaccines.
A couple of doctors chimed in to point out that while no vaccine is without risk, the benefits far outweigh the potential dangers.
Others broke down the possible semantic alternatives.
And while the request to start referring to anti-vaxxers as “vaccine risk aware” was made to media, one person claiming to be an immunologist explained why that probably wasn’t going to happen.