Kafer: Vaccination education is great, but non-medical exemptions foolish

Kafer: Vaccination education is great, but non-medical exemptions foolish

Feb 07 2020

When a good friend doesn’t return a phone call right we assume goodwill based on past experience. She’s super busy, not uncaring; she’ll call when her schedule clears. We interpret new information based on what we already believe to be true. It works well except when the original premise is wrong. If we believe incorrectly that our friend is uncaring, the unreturned phone call becomes proof of her callous indifference.

Confirmation bias is the human propensity to interpret new information so that it confirms what we already believe. This cognitive disposition is one of the reasons it’s so difficult to change one’s mind or that of others.

Consider the following statements: Vaccines are a safe and effective way to prevent disease according to the Centers for Disease Control. For every one million doses of vaccine given between 2006 and 2017, approximately one individual was compensated for an allergic reaction, shoulder wound, or other injury from the injection. During these years, Americans received more than 3.4 billion doses of vaccines. Immunization likely saved at least 350,000 lives and prevented 10 million hospitalizations.

Source: Denver Post Denver Post