Pediatrician Explains Why Anti-Vaxxers' 'Big Pharma' Paranoia Makes Zero Sense

by Maria Guido
Originally Published: 
Image via FB/ Shutterstock

Pediatrician breaks down nonsense of ‘big pharma’ paranoia in one, viral comment

If you’ve ever been privy to a internet discussion about vaccines that involves vocal anti-vaxxers, there are a few things you may know. One, anti-vaxxers love citing random, non-scientific sites to support their arguments. Two, anti-vaxxers love referring to those of us who believe in science as “sheeple.” And three, anti-vaxxers love railing against “big pharma” — and insisting the only reason pediatricians push vaccines is because there is some kind of kickback.

As in, pharmaceutical companies pay doctors to shill “dangerous” vaccines. Apart from the fact that is a complete insult to someone who’s devoted their life to caring for children — it’s simply not true.

As one pediatrician explains, it turns out there is a kickback. But it’s not from pharmaceutical companies. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, doctors get bonuses for keeping their patients healthy and providing “value-based” care. So the big pharma paranoia that exists around some anti-vaxxers’ anti-vaccine arguments simply doesn’t make sense in reality. A pediatrician recently commented on a post on the Facebook community Refutations To Anti-Vaccine Memes and explained it:

“Actually, we do get one,” the comment begins. “I’m a pediatrician. It’s called a “Quality of Care Bonus and it DOES NOT COME FROM BIG PHARMA. It comes from BIG INSURA. The INSURANCE companies pay us a bonus for taking good care of our patients. For pediatricians like me, that means making sure that kids have all their vaccines by a certain age.”

“Now, why would an insurance company want to pay for me to give expensive vaccines (that they have to pay for, mind you) to a child if those vaccines were harmful? That would make no sense because the INSURANCE company would have to pay for the extra care that the child requires because of their ‘vaccine injuries.'”

The pediatrician explains that insurance companies do this because doctors who keep their patients healthy save insurance companies money in the long run. This arrangement is all thanks to the Affordable Care Act, which is testing new approaches to healthcare, and attempting to get us away from a fee-for-service healthcare system to one that is value based and aims to keep all citizens healthy — not just those who can afford costly private insurance.

“I’m not exactly sure if I do have a price you could pay me to do something I thought was harmful to a patient, but if that price does exist, it’s not a number I’ve ever seen. I didn’t bust my ass through four years of university, four punishing years of medical school, and three dreadful years of residency… giving up my entire twenties to work in the lowest-paying hardest-working specialty in medicine just so I could hurt kids.”


It’s not unreasonable to be scared of injecting your child with anything. Being a worried parent is par for the course. What is unreasonable, is not trusting someone you have chosen to care for the health of your child. Denying science and implying pediatricians are all giving us harmful, dangerous advice to vaccinate to serve “big pharma” is just insulting. And absurd.

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