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Trump Declares Flu Shots Are ‘Virtually Totally Ineffective’

The president’s suspicions are not unusual. In 2015, just under 40% of adults had chosen not to get vaccinated. About a third responded that they were either concerned about risks associated with the shot or that they feared the vaccination would cause them to contract influenza. One in ten said they did not bother to get vaccinated because they believed that the vaccine was ineffective. But the truth is, most of the popular fears about vaccines are simply untrue.

The connection between vaccines and autism has been completely debunked, and the original paper behind the scare was found to be so flawed that the doctor responsible lost his medical license. While there has been a small increase in autism diagnoses in previous years, actual experts on autism believe that the jump is because of better awareness and diagnosis, not because of any actual increase in autism diagnosis. Furthermore, while anti-vaxxers make noise about the fact that there are chemicals like formaldehyde in vaccines, there is less formaldehyde in the flu vaccine than there is in a typical pear.

The truth is, none of the research supports the idea that vaccines are harmful. But, with powerful advocates like the president on their side, anti-vaccine advocates could continue to gain ground.

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