Monday, June 24, 2019


Jeffrey Kluger, invariably an interestingly creative reporter for Time Magazine, in a recent issue describes how a woman, pregnant 14 years ago, decided her baby would be brought up naturally and chemical free, just as a British doctor published a paper, linking vaccines to autism. It stuck in her mind.

Though the paper and others like it was deemed fraudulent later, the woman, Christina Hildebrand, who is currently founder of Voice for Choice, an advocacy group that challenges vaccine science, was part of the huge crowd of pro and anti-vaccines, at the statehouse in Sacramento, California, as the legislature voted on bill to close loopholes that allows parents to sidestep vaccines.

Reporter Kluger describes warring crowds in Arizona, Texas, Oregon, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Texas, revealing that every state in the U.S. except Alaska and West Virginia, has at least one anti-vax political action committee, even though 82% Americans, (Pew Research number), believe children should be vaccinated, unvaccinated children represent danger for other children. as well as adults.

What galls public-health experts is anti-vaxers saying they are fighting for their personal choice, which isn’t all that personal. Depending on the disease, it’s necessary for about 95% of a population to be vaccinated to provide so-called herd immunity, the ability of a well-inoculated community to protect its members. During the current epidemic, anti-vaxers are choosing the individual over the group that's in mortal danger.
       “Vaccines are a victim of their own success,” says an authority. “People have forgotten how sick measles can make you and how dead measles can make you.”

None of that is likely to dissuade Hildebrand and other opponents of mandatory vaccines for whom the argument becomes YES or NO: Do parents have the right to choose? Kruger points out how climate-change deniers make it harder to get environmental legislation. Similarly, every parent who chooses not to vaccinate has at least one child whose own health is being left at risk, and who represents a danger to others too.

       As I was writing this blog, tucked away in my office here in NYC, wanting to shout, "Guys, you have to do whats right for the country, not just for yourelf"--fortuity! June 14th, the powerful, well-known guys who run the state and affect the Northeastern part of the country--yay hurray--HERE'S WHAT THE STATE OF NEW YORK HAS DECIDED.  

1 comment:

Linda Vee Sado of Slippery When Wet said...

People who don't vaccinate their kids are playing with fire. My sister is almost blind because of one of the childhood diseases and I had a friend in grammar school who died of diphtheria. In the news not long ago there was a story of a flight attendant who is in a coma due to measles.
My niece had a hysterectomy in her 20's thanks to HPV and these people are convincing others not to take those shots either.
And then you and I were alive when there were so many people in iron lungs.
Autism has been around long before vaccines, but like dyslexia, they just said you were mentally retarded or "not quite right in the head" and didn't have the fancy designations for these problems