Back to the Vax: A Journey Back to Evidence Based Medicine
By Lydia Greene
Heather Simpson is a mom who was popular in the antivax community as the mom who dressed as measles for Halloween, the least scary thing she could think of. She also made multiple viral antivax polls on facebook.
Lydia Greene was an antivaxxer for 12 years and wrote a story on her journey to changing her mind, and bringing her 3 children up to date. She is now in nursing school to get into public health, to deal with vaccine hesitancy on the front lines.
Intro music Easy Day by Crowander
Back to the Vax: A Journey Back to Evidence Based Medicine Sep 16, 2023
Desiree Townsend AKA The Flu Shot Cheerleader
You may recall her story back in 2009. I certainly did. I used it as an indictment on flu shots. Desiree's story went viral for being a cheerleader who developed neurological complications after a flu shot and could only walk backwards without them impeding her. She has seen the inside of the antivax world as a token and has lots to say about that today. She is now an advocate for flu shots and wants the world to be pandemic ready.
More about Desiree
Some reference links to topics of discussion.
Mother to Baby
Diets for IBD referenced
Nothing discussed is medical advice, please talk to your doctor.
Episode 8. Dr Abraham Alahmad Blood Brain Barrier Scientist
In this episode we talk to Dr Alahmad to discuss the antivax misconceptions of vaccines and the blood brain barrier. He tries to get medication to cross this barrier for his research along with trying to repair the blood brain barrier after damage like a stroke. This man is the BBB expert.
Copy the link to see these slides on our facebook page. You will probably want a visual aid. This podcast is really technical.
S3 E3 Back to the Vax. Vaccine Fears Overturned by Facts. Booklet Review and Chat with Dr Rose, PhD Immunologist
I met Rose on Twitter (@rosepoptosis) when I joined back in 2020. She has a PhD in Microbiology & Immunology, & an MSc in Nutrition & Metabolism. She is a vaccine advocate and is passionate about addressing misinformation online. I have had the pleasure of meeting up with her for dinner a couple times while visiting the city and I consider her a good friend and a wealth of knowledge. I hope you enjoy her review of our booklet Vaccine Fears Overturned by Facts, and her addition of a trope that did not make it into the booklet. We also discuss cancer and autoimmune disease.
Season 3 Ep 2 Heather and Lydia Reintroduce Their Journey. WE WROTE A PUBLIC HEALTH BOOKLET!
We introduce ourselves in this casual conversation between 2 good friends and partners in crime. Listen to this candid conversation as we marvel at our continued failing upward. Dont ask us how we did this. We dont know. Next episode we will go over the booklet in detail together.
New Years Crossover Episode Extravaganza.
Brent Lee from Some Dare Call It Conspiracy with Ivor Mectin and Stars of Covid with Lads on Tour. Spencer Watson from Truth Unrestricted. Last and definitely not least Dr Dan Wilson, Science Communicator from Debunk the Funk.
Join us as we hand out Twitter awards and make predictions.
Back to the Vax S2 E7 Dr Alison Meek and Laura from @Iamlevelingup
Dr Alison Meek is a history professor focusing on cults, conspiracy theories, and extremism.
Laura (@Iamlevelingup on tiktok and now youtube) is a returning guest who left the crunchy life. We feel that leaving the crunchy antivax life was like leaving a cult and so we discuss the parallels with an expert in cult behaviour.
Apologies for my mic. I dont know why it was so tinny sounding.
Hieeeee! Crunchy antivax brigade, you can leave me all the one star reviews. I take them as a badge of honour. Byeeeeeee!
S2 Ep 6 Crunchy CULTure. An interview with an ex crunchy mom. Laura is Leveling Up.
The TikTok algorithm brought me Laura. Her TikTok's display remarkable self-awareness and she has a good sense of humour about her past life. She is a formerly crunchy mom, and our stories have many parallels. If you are curious about the inner workings of the crunchy mind or are a recovering crunchy mom yourself, or are a crunchy mom that can not fathom anyone leaving the "best parenting style ever," this is worth a listen. We share our insights, crunchy motivations, and even laugh at some mistakes we made along the way.
Follow her on TikTok at iamlevelingup or lauraislevelingup.
Ep5 S2 Dr Daniel Wilson. Debunk the Funk Part 2
I'm a chatterbox and we ended up doing a midwest goodbye. I do go on! Join us in this very candid and casual conversation. Dr Wilson is a PhD molecular biologist who runs the YouTube Channel Debunk the Funk. He is passionate about science communication and debunking covid and vaccine misinformation. He is meticulous, yet easy to understand. I highly recommend his channel to get the information to debunk any current misinformation trends. We talk about his most recent episode, parenting, covid, science communication, and working in the STEM field.
Ep 4 S2 Dr Daniel Wilson. Debunk the Funk. Part 1
Join us in this very candid and casual conversation. Dr Wilson is a PhD molecular biologist who runs the YouTube Channel Debunk the Funk. He is passionate about science communication and debunking covid and vaccine misinformation. He is meticulous, yet easy to understand. I highly recommend his channel to get the information to debunk any current misinformation trends. We talk about his most recent episode, parenting, covid, science communication, and working in the STEM field.
S2 Ep3 Dr Nathan Boonstra and Karen Earnst from Voices for Vaccines
Join us for a casual and fun conversation with Voices for Vaccines, Vax Talk Podcast hosts Dr Nathan Boonstra and Karen Earnst. Dr Boonstra is a pediatrician and podcast host and Karen Earnst runs Voices for Vaccines. We discuss vaccines, the antivax movement, celebrity doctors, Jeopardy hosts, Star Trek actors and our adventures on twitter. We did a cross podcast and their part can be found HERE.
S2 Ep2 Teens for Vaccines. Nico Montero.
In this episode we speak to Nico Montero from Teens for Vaccines. Its an organization that helps teens look up their consent laws, encourage dialogue with parents, and get over vaccine fears. Nico is a brave young man who decided to get vaccinated for Covid at 16 against his parents wishes. He has since joined Teens for Vaccines as an advocate and support for teens like himself. He tells us his story and is just an all around inspirational young man. His twitter handle is @nicomontero444 and the website is www.teensforvaccines.org.
S2 EP1 Dr Matthew Brignall ND, a Provaccine Naturopath.
Matt Brignall is a naturopathic doctor living in Seattle. He works part time in his local health department in community outreach, and has a new clinical practice in Tacoma, WA. He is a parent of an adult special needs daughter. Follow him at @drbrignall on Twitter, where he is active in provaccine messaging, and isn't afraid of the antivax troll army.
Episode 12 Dr Amna Buttar MD, MS, Geritatrician. Health and Vaccines for the Elderly.
Amna Buttar, MD, MS. Former Professor NYU school of Medicine and Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics.
Dr Buttar discusses vaccines and how people over 65 face certain challenges to stay healthy amid this pandemic. A must listen for anyone that is over 65 or has loved ones in this demographic. Dr Buttar is a kind, compassionate, powerful, and intelligent woman. When she is not caring for our elderly, she is a human rights and women's rights advocate for the people in her home country of Pakistan. Her twitter handle is @dramnabuttar.
Episode 11. Dr. Nicole Cifra MD MPH Pediatrician. Questions about the age 5-11 Covid Vaccine EUA answered.
- Dr Nicole Cifra (@DrNicoleC on twitter) is a board-certified pediatrician and adolescent medicine fellow at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Main areas of clinical interest are eating disorders and adolescent gynecology.
- Has volunteered in local vaccination efforts and has overseen >10,000 doses of vaccine, now including the children in the under 12 age group
- Fun Fact: She has a 26 toed cat named Stanley that does a mean Dr Peter Hotez Cosplay. (I just love people names for pets)
Episode 10 Grace R. 29 Year old Polio Survivor and Vaccine Advocate.
Grace is a 29 year old American adoptee. During her time in an orphanage she was missed during polio vaccinations and caught polio as an infant. We got a little carried away and as a result the podcast is a little longer than usual. I really enjoyed our candid conversation and listening to her journey with polio. You can find Grace on Twitter via her handle @candid_kitten. Enjoy!
Here is a vaxopedia article on OPV and polio in reference to part of our discussion. https://vaxopedia.org/2020/09/05/polio-outbreaks-in-africa/
Episode 9. Dr. Alastair McAlpine, Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist. Covid Back to School Special.
Dr Alastair McAlpine is a Canadian Physician based in BC. He is Pediatric Infectious Disease specialist. He is originally from South Africa where he went to med school. For a time he was a Palliative Care Pediatrician, wore many hats, as his job in South Africa required it. We talk to him about COVID-19 in children, just in time for school to start. You probably have seen his viral tweets on various social media, including one very touching one about what his patients taught him in palliative care. Our interview is very informative. Enjoy.
Episode 7 Alexis Danielsen, New Age and Waldorf Cult Survivor and Former Antivaxxer.
I met Alexis when she reached out to us after hearing us speak on the Conspirituality podcast. She is a Back to the Vax group member and now cheers on other people who are getting vaccinated, after believing they were poison for so long. She is an amazing woman who has experienced her whole world change when she left the Waldorf cult and its New-age beliefs behind her. She was born into the Waldorf community and its all she has known. She lost her entire community and is trying her best to integrate into the mainstream. She is now focusing on building a new life and catching up on vaccinations while learning to integrate evidence based medicine into her life. We discuss the parallels of this cult with Alt-med and antivax as well as what caused her to change her views. I really enjoyed commiserating with someone who gets it. I hope you enjoy our chat as we take a deep dive into some of the ugliness of our pasts.
Her Instagram handle is @alexisandthevax
Episode 6 Jonathan Jarry, Science Communicator.
We talk to Jonathan on how to be more critical of the information we find online. We try to define pseudoscience and identify buzzwords and phrases that should get your skeptical spidey senses tingling. We discuss how to trust ourselves once again, after being fooled by pseudoscience in the past. A good listen for those trying to navigate information in these complicated and confusing times.
We highly recommend his podcast Body of Evidence as it takes a critical view of multiple popular online health claims.
Episode 5 Light for Riley, with Riley's mother Catherine Hughes
In this Episode we listen to baby Riley's story. Riley was too young to be vaccinated against pertussis. His tragic death occurred 2 days before Australia started recommending all pregnant women be vaccinated with TDaP in their 3rd trimester. Catherine tells us about Riley's life and death, and how it led her to start the Light for Riley campaign to spread the message of vaccinations during pregnancy. Catherine also goes on to share some of the harassment she has received from antivaxxers along the way. This is a must hear story and I hope you take the time to listen.
Here is a link to the Immunization Foundation of Australia and the Light for Riley campaign.
Episode 4. We Talk Our COVID Vaccine Adverse Events and Our Kids Very First Vaccines.
We discuss our very different experiences getting a COVID vaccine, how it affected us, and some myths we've heard along the way. Should we get our affairs in order?! Listen and find out. We then discuss what it was like to vaccinate our children with routine childhood vaccines for the first time after believing they would harm our children for so many years. Enjoy!
Episode 3 Dr Kevin Ault. HPV expert and CDC Advisor
Today we have Dr Kevin Ault on the podcast. He is an MD and FACOG with multiple awards, honors, and publications. We talk about the Human Papilloma Virus and its relation to cancer along with the HPV vaccine. Kevin is married with 2 daughters so we also chat a bit about parenting and marriage. Enjoy!
Links to the studies we referred to:
Heart 2 Heart. Special mini-episode with Nurse Denise, (Lydia's mother-in-law)
In this short episode Lydia asks her mother-in-law some questions. She goes right to the point and asks how her antivax views affected their relationship. Lydia's antivax views were particularly hard for Denise because she was a vaccine nurse for many years, and is now a contact tracer for public health. They then go on to discuss vaccines and Lydia asks questions you may want to ask a covid contact tracer.
Back to the Vax. Episode 2. Dr Paul Offit.
In this episode we talk to Dr Paul Offit, about vaccines, COVID-19, and autism. We also ask Dr Offit some questions we crowdsourced online. The antivax crowd considers Dr Offit a shill and the enemy. We now appreciate Dr Offit for who he is, a child advocate. Enjoy the podcast!
Back to the Vax. Episode 1. Heather and Lydia: An Introduction
In this, our very first episode, we discuss how we fell into the antivax movement and how we came out of it. We also get into some of the antivax tropes we really believed, and discuss the tetanus vaccine. The beginning is a little rough as we are so new at this, but we get into a good conversation about where we came from, and where we plan to take our movement.
We hope you join us again. We hope to have Dr Paul Offit on next time. Dr Offit is seen as the enemy in the antivax movement, so the interview should be really interesting. Check out our website for more info, www.backtothevax.com