The Physician’s Weekly #PWChat series continued with another informative discussion on Wednesday, Aug. 30, focusing on how to handle antivaxxers in your practice. Topics discussed included the current status of the antivaxxer movement in the United States; why, despite evidence behind the safety & efficacy of vaccines, there are still antivaxxers; the most important things for clinicians to know about antivaxxers as a whole, and more.

It was co-hosted by Dr. Linda Girgis, MD, FAAFP.

You can view our upcoming schedule, or read our other #PWChat recaps here.

Below are the highlights from the chat. You can read the full transcript here.

 

Question 1

Q1: What do we know about the #antivaxxer movement in the US?#PWChat

— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) August 31, 2017

A1. The #antivaxxer movement has gained some strong support in recent years. #PWchat https://t.co/nBvW50o9QZ

— Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) August 31, 2017


Question 2

Q2: Why, despite so much evidence behind the safety & efficacy of vaccines, are there still #antivaxxers?#PWChat

— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) August 31, 2017

A2. There is a lot of fake science out there and many celebrities supporting it. #PWchat https://t.co/lCdlppSCXt

— Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) August 31, 2017

Q2 VERY few antivaxers in places where the diseases are still common. Cultural memory still fresh and raw #PWChat

— Matthew Loxton (@mloxton) August 31, 2017


Question 3

Q3: What are the most important things for clinicians to know about #antivaxxers as a whole?#PWChat

— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) August 31, 2017

A3. It is hard to convince them of the true scientific facts. #PWchat

— Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) August 31, 2017

T3 Anti-vacc is a belief, + belief is an emotional state, so rational arguments are futile #pwchat

— Liam Farrell (@drlfarrell) August 31, 2017


Question 4

Q4: What should the 1st step be when met with a patient or parent of a patient who is an #antivaxxer?#PWChat

— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) August 31, 2017

A4. The first step would be to find out what they believe about vaccines. #PWchat

— Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) August 31, 2017

Q4 offer to help, and promise to put their health ahead of profit #PWChat

— Matthew Loxton (@mloxton) August 31, 2017


Catch up on all of our previous #PWChat recaps here

 


Question 5

Q5: What are the most common arguments you’ve seen/heard among those who don’t/won’t vaccinate themselves or their children?#PWChat

— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) August 31, 2017

Q5 that the diseases are no longer a threat, and that “too many” simultaneous innoculations can overwhelm childs immune system #PWChat

— Matthew Loxton (@mloxton) August 31, 2017

A5. “Vaccines cause autism”. #PWchat #vaccinemyths

— Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) August 31, 2017


Question 6

Q6: Can #antivaxxers with these arguments be educated enough to change their minds? If so, how?#PWChat

— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) August 31, 2017

A6. We need to keep presenting the facts. #PWchat

— Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) August 31, 2017


Question 7

Q7: How can clinicians combat #antivaxxers who say #mainstreammedia claims #vaccines are ‘safe & effective’ with no unbiased proof?#PWChat

— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) August 31, 2017

A7. Show them the proof. There is good data to show they are safe and effective in millions of patients around the globe. #PWchat

— Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) August 31, 2017

Q7 HCPs need to light a fire under CDC to do research that directly addresses antivax ignorance and doubts #PWChat

— Matthew Loxton (@mloxton) August 31, 2017


Question 8

Q8: How can clinicians combat patients & parents who view docs as consultants whose advice can be freely rejected or accepted?#PWChat

— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) August 31, 2017

A8. By treating them with respect, even when our opinions differ. #PWchat

— Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) August 31, 2017

A bigger problem is when pts view us as profit generating machines who don’t care about them. #PWchat https://t.co/NdivZD22As

— Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) August 31, 2017

Q8 show by actions that pt health is more important than profit #PWChat

— Matthew Loxton (@mloxton) August 31, 2017


Question 9

Q9: Some #antivaxxers site single cases as studies. How can clinicians educate patients on how to better understand study results?#PWChat

— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) August 31, 2017

A9. Stress that the number of subjects is a key to relevant stduy results. #PWchat

— Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) August 31, 2017


Question 10

Q10: How has the #antivaxxer movement affected how clinicians approach patients?#PWChat

— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) August 31, 2017

A10. Some physicians do not accept non-vaxxers as patients. #PWchat

— Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) August 31, 2017


Question 11

Q11: What is the effect of redirecting resources toward counseling #antivaxxers or those questioning #vaccines?#PWChat

— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) August 31, 2017

A11. Redirecting resources has not been so effective. Need more celebrity support. #PWchat

— Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) August 31, 2017


Question 12

Q12: Should parents who refuse to immunize their children be dismissed from a pediatrician’s practice? Why/Why not?#PWChat

— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) August 31, 2017

A12. I can see both sides. Unvaccinated children may pose a health risk to those immunocompromised. #PWchat

— Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) August 31, 2017

A12. These kids still need medical doctors. It is not their choice to be unvaccinated. #PWchat

— Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) August 31, 2017