The anti-vax and anti-GMO movements often utilize personal anecdotes as a means of conveying their message. To their audience, hearing a peer say something to the effect of "I cured my child's food allergies by following an organic diet" is enough. No peer-reviewed journal articles needed, no questions asked. The anecdotes are alluring, whereas a peer-reviewed citation, to a layperson, isn't quite so seductive.
I'm a pro-vax, pro-biotech mom. I know that there are many like-minded parents out there. We all have stories - simple, everyday stories - about the way science has intersected with our lives as parents. One on the ongoing features on this blog will be something I'm tentatively calling "Anecdotes (with a Side of Evidence)." And this is where I need your help. I need your anecdotes. Submit your stories to Science Moms.
And, just to get the ball rolling:
The day after Thanksgiving, Brian and I took the kids to get their flu shots. We hung out in the waiting room for a long-ass time, as one does at the doctor's office. I think it took all of three minutes, once we were called back by the nurse, for Milo and Baby Z to get their shots. Despite what the anti-sites might show, no tears were shed. And we lived happily ever after. (Seriously, the older one didn't even complain about the injection site being sore.)
Pretty damn boring, isn't it? This story won't get memed, go viral, and make anti-vaxxers run to their nearest Minute Clinic and get a flu shot. But you know what? I couldn't be happier that modern medicine has advanced to place where my children can be protected from certain illnesses.
So there's my anecdote, simplified into one sentence: "Kids in good health after flu shot." Now here are some articles to provide just some of the evidence behind why Brian and I spent an hour with a 2.5 year old and an 11 month old in a doctor's office waiting room:
- Body for Wife: "Get Your Fucking Flu Shot"
- Recent news about a swine flu outbreak in Iran
- Death from the flu is real
- Fight the Flu with These 5 Facts
(A big thank you to Kathryn Peitrosimone, PhD for providing the evidence for my anecdote. You might remember Kathryn from this post.)