Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks

How to Talk About Vaccines With Relatives Who Might Be Anti-Vaxxers?

I just read this post over on Gizmodo and it got me thinking about talking to some of my quasi-anti-vaxxer relatives tomorrow. Do any of you O-Decker's have advice or past experience to share re: how to explain the importance of vaccines to your relatives?

I recently realized that my super conservative cousin may be flirting with anti-vaxxer rhetoric, I assume as a result of her increasing involvement/infatuation with "Christian holistic medicine." Her husband didn't have medical insurance for a few years and she got really into stuff like all-natural home remedies, homemade baby food ("because it doesn't have all the cancer-causing preservatives!"), unnecessarily gluten-free everything, etc. Initially I th


ought, "Ok fiiiine, these things are kind of annoying and ironically New Age-y, but if she wants to live like she was born in the wrong century, more power to her." However, just yesterday she posted a link to this article. I clicked on it out of curiosity and—not to belittle those parents' unfortunate situation—its comments are a gathering of the most ridiculous, misinformed anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorists I've seen in quite a while.

My cousin's comments accompanying the link skewed preeeetty sympathetic to anti-vaxxers and this is super frustrating to me for LOTS of reasons, but primarily because 1) she has two young children whose health I worry about (not to mention the health of their playmates), and 2) the anti-vaxxer "movement" is completely delusional and unsupported by reason and science which makes me doubt my cousin's sanity for agreeing with them.

Anyway, if this issue comes up, I'd like to talk with her about it in a polite and informative way. It just makes me SO irritated! I love her and want to shake some logic into her, but I assume that a facts-and-research dump is probably not the best way to get through.


If you have any good advice or past experience to share about discussing this with delusional relatives, please let me know in the comments!

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