It seems that in many cases, you either have to be completely “with us or you’re against us.” No middle ground. And if you’re not with us, then you’re probably not qualified to have an opinion, and so you might as well just shut up. Unfortunately, this sort of attitude discourages any kind of civil, reasoned conversation or debate. This is precisely what’s happening on the issue of vaccines and vaccination policy. There are the “pro-vaxxers” and the “anti-vaxxers.” There does not appear to be a willingness to accept that there is a huge group of people who find themselves somewhere in between or don’t know enough to be anywhere on the spectrum.
My carry-home point here is to stress, regardless of your position on vaccines, anyone who is passionate about researching deeply should always ignore those who tell them that they’re not qualified, or don’t have the right, to express their views on the topic, because they’re not an “expert” and don’t know the science. Sorry, but science isn’t that hard. If you have a sincere interest in the broad issue of vaccines, and you dedicate yourself to learning about it, you’ll probably end up knowing more than most medical doctors and scientists and public health bureaucrats who are either uninterested or are so stuck in their narrow paradigm that they do not have a good perspective.