The Anti-Vaccination Movement - Sadhguru's Views
Sadhguru: This is a phenomenon that we must observe historically or within families or with individuals – human beings get tired of wellbeing; they want some trouble! See, America spent billions of dollars to build highways, but now everybody buys off-road vehicles because people like some trouble. They want a little chaos. Too much order creates a certain level of irritation in a human being.
So this anti-vaccination campaign is gaining momentum, particularly in California. A whole lot of parents come and ask me about this, and I tell them, “Don't be a fool.” Because what if you find your child is crippled with polio or something else.
I remember this very well – when I was in high school, there were four polio-affected students – three of them boys, one girl – who came to school in a wheelchair. But in those days, there were many places where the wheelchair couldn't go in, so they would just drag themselves and go around. It was so terrible to see them like that. But today, even if you go to the remotest village in India, to the government schools where we work, there's not a single polio-affected child. It's fantastic to see that.
The Anti-Vax Movement
We don't realize the value of these vaccinations. Unfortunately, we get tired of wellbeing, and we want to invite some trouble. Having said that, I was talking to some parents in California, and they said they were being put through around forty different types of vaccines. Maybe in United States they are overdoing it a little bit. Apart from treating the basic things which would cripple or cause death in children, I think the healthcare system is trying to give a vaccine for just about everything.
I'm not some kind of a medical expert to make a commentary on this, but from listening to parents, this is what I gathered. I thought some of the things they were giving vaccines for were just absurd. If a child catches a flu, or something like this, it is all right to go through some of these illnesses when you are growing up. But now they are giving vaccines for a whole lot of things which may not be necessary, which today parents are apprehensive are causing a learning disability or some other problem. It may not be connected, but this is the fear that is being spread.
A Pragmatic Solution
Vaccines have brought a power and wellbeing to our lives – most of us are sitting here because we were vaccinated. Otherwise we would definitely not be here.
The problem is just this – especially now because of social media – we either go to one extreme or the other. If the kind of vaccines and the spectrum that they are giving, for example in the United States, is too much, I feel the World Health Organization should tell them that “this much is not needed – these vaccines are compulsory, and the rest are by choice.” If it is made like that, I think there will be a more healthy proportion.
Otherwise, some parents are just not vaccinating their children. I told them, “You must be crazy. You will lose your child.” Anytime it can happen – the child goes to school and that may be the end of it. But out of their fear that the vaccine is going to damage their children’s brains, they are going for this kind of decision-making.
I think a clear statement from an organization like WHO would help parents to make a better choice. It would be good if credible scientific information is made public about what is a must and what is a choice.
Editor’s Note: This discussion took place at the United Nations General Assembly in Geneva on 27th June, 2019 and was hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO). The full talk is available here.