CA stricken with vaccine controversy

CA stricken with vaccine controversy

vaccine, wikimediaAs a rash of measles outbreaks raises health alarms, Californians are caught in a national crossfire of controversy over a new trend against vaccinating children. Thanks to relatively lenient laws, the Golden State has been caught flat-footed as over 100 residents have contracted the disease, which immunizations had rendered almost unheard of in contemporary America.

A 2012 law, designed to keep children vaccinated, forced parents seeking exceptions to receive counseling and a signature from doctors or other health care professionals. But a carve-out applied by Gov. Jerry Brown allowed those with an objection rooted in personal beliefs to skirt the regulation.

The so-called “anti-vax” movement, which has attracted the attention of politicians since the past decade, has developed largely in response to concerns that the ingredients of many popular vaccines could contribute to autism.

Over the years, officeholders from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to President Barack Obama have weighed in, sometimes tentatively, on the debate. Now events in California have sharpened battle lines and made opposing sides more strident.

Dangerous trends

Although California’s initially small population of unvaccinated or more slowly vaccinated children escaped the notice of regulators and activists, a recent increase to more sizable numbers has raised eyebrows and alarms. “State records show more than 13,000 kindergartners in California are unvaccinated because of either personal or religious beliefs,” the San Jose Mercury News reported, with under half without vaccination at some private schools. Thousands more children in other grades, the paper concluded, had also skipped vaccines.

These trends were visible as early as the onset of the previous school year. In September, the Los Angeles Times reported that “parents are deciding against vaccinating their kindergarten-age children at twice the rate they did seven years ago, a fact public health experts said is contributing to the reemergence of measles across the state and may lead to outbreaks of other serious diseases.”

According to state data cited by the Times, the percentage of kindergartens with at least 8 in 100 unvaccinated children had more than doubled over the same time period. The Times observed the 8 percent threshold “is significant because communities must be immunized at a high rate to avoid widespread disease outbreaks. It is a concept known as herd immunity, and for measles and whooping cough at least 92 percent of kids need to be immune, experts say.”

But in a recent follow-up report, the Times noted that vaccination rates had actually climbed in 2014, “Statewide, the rate of vaccine waivers for kindergartners entering school in the fall declined to 2.5 percent in 2014 from 3.1 percent in 2013. Bigger declines were seen in districts with some of the larger vaccine exemption rates.”

Culture war politics

For activists and analysts weighing in on the trends, however, last year’s dip in waivers isn’t enough to bring calm to the cultural storm. The “anti-vax” movement has attracted strong critics on the political right and left, each of which recognizes familiar stereotypes of their cultural opponents among the country’s vaccine rejectors. For conservatives, self-entitled upper-middle-class hipster parents are to blame; for liberals, scorn is directed at what they consider superstitious anti-science Christians.

As for medical professionals themselves, worry has centered around the elevated risk of outbreak for serious, painful diseases. Steven Salzberg, a biomedical engineer at Johns Hopkins, issued a typical warning several years ago concerning the spread of whooping cough. His frustration this year reflects a broad consensus among doctors that at least some vaccines are essential:

“Most of the anti-vax crowd have no scientific training or expertise, which might explain (but doesn’t excuse) their complete ignorance of the science. Over the past 15 years, dozens of studies involving hundreds of thousands of people have shown convincingly that neither vaccines nor any of the ingredients in them are linked to autism. Vaccines are not only safe, but they are perhaps the greatest public health success in the history of civilization.”

If pressure for increased regulation builds, “vaxxers” and “anti-vaxxers” may well be obliged to negotiate, with some vaccines becoming mandatory and others being regulated according to more or less restrictive timetables.

But on both sides, the appetite for compromise is weak. In one quote making the rounds in the media, a mother unwilling to let her child get a measles inoculation told the New York Times she’d rather her daughter “miss an entire semester” than receive one shot.

6 comments

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  1. wondering
    wondering 5 February, 2015, 14:03

    If you are vaccinated…please explain how you are at risk from the un-vaccinated? Isn’t the point of being vaccinated to protect you?

    Reply this comment
  2. Dork
    Dork 5 February, 2015, 14:13

    These diseases we whipped years ago are coming from ILLEGAL ALIENS streaming across our Southern Border. The only reason the ant vaccination people are being targeted is because they are the ones at RISK, of not only contracting these diseases but spreading them too.

    Reply this comment
  3. Billy Bob
    Billy Bob 5 February, 2015, 21:04

    Yup, all these recidivist, backward DOOMER parents in Marin, La Jolla, and other ultra-high income zip codes must be FORCED to get their kids vaccinated so not one single child at their tony private schools comes down with the dreaded measles. Any link between today’s absurd level of mega over-vaccination and the epidemic of autism is PURELY circumstantial..

    Reply this comment
    • Tesla_x
      Tesla_x 6 February, 2015, 20:39

      Spot on Billy!

      Simply comparing stats of different countries tells the nasty tale of OVERMEDICATION by an out of control drug and medical industry.

      www dot smartvax dot com/images/PDF/gr-autism_and_vaccines_world_special_report1.pdf

      Reply this comment
  4. Tesla_x
    Tesla_x 6 February, 2015, 21:19

    The existing measles outbreak is for the most part under control, and although labeled today a serious disease, it was considered a right of passage by our grandparents. Over the last few years, have there been any US deaths from measles? Simple yes or no.

    Edenovirus 68, on the other hand, is truly a SERIOUS and deadly disease, has killed and paralyzed, and came in with Obama’s dreamers recently, so the administration and CDC breaking with historically sound immigration, health screening and vaccination requirements for new entrants to this country are to blame. Secretly trucking illigeal kids to undisclosed locations and allowing them vaccine exemptions as homeless didn’t help either. No, this blame lay ONLY at the feet of the government.

    Shifting blame and targeting anti vaxxers is DISHONEST FEARMONGERING, no better than global warming nuts saying the world will end without a carbon tax.

    Two years ago, a new strain of whoopingcough made the rounds, and anti vaxxers were again blamed. The scaremongering happened then too. That new strain of whoopingcough hit vaccinated and unvaccinated alike, and was the closest thing to proof of recent vaccine failure that you could get. Did the CDC or the government even bother to correct the record? No. More dishonesty. A probable vector for this new bug? Illegal immigration encouraged by our government.

    Now lets talk about all the scaremongering for the flu vaccines, some of which use live weakened virus, like flumist, and can actually spread the disease to immune compromised individuals (read the drug Insert, and remember lower vitamin d weakens your immune system naturally during wintertime) and only protect against a narrow range of bugs, when in any year there are over a dozen going around, and the newest ones aren’t even in the vaccine. A flu vaccine is at best 30% effective, often less, and weakens the immune system enough to facilitate catching dozens of other viruses more easily. A placebo by comparison is just as effective, and won’t weaken an immune system. Ergo, while I might get a measles or polio vaccination, a flu vaccination is just not worth the risk for anyone who has read the studies and seen the statistics.

    And, just so your short memory on forced vaccinations and outcomes files are dusty and neglected, do you remember the H1N1 scare with forced vaccinations and narcolepsy and neurological complications galore in certain Nordic countries back in 2009? Their death rates were higher than unvaccinated nations too, discussed and referenced HERE:
    orthomolecular dot org/resources/omns/v08n10.shtml

    But lets continue to harp on the anti vaxxers, further destroy parental rights on major health decision authority, and increase the jackbooted thuggery of the state, CPS and the money grabbing medical industrial complex to better tell us how to raise our kids.

    Cuz parents are stupid and can’t read old CDC censored posts about other vaccine disasters conveniently swept under the rug, like that time over 100 million people worldwide were probably exposed to a Class 2A Human Carcinogen, which probably gave rise to the waves of cancer that swept the globe, and still do to this day?
    I’ll just leave this here if you have the courage to read it and verify the references.
    www dot sv40foundation dot org/cpv-link.html

    Lets also compare us to other countries, to see if our higher rate of vaccination has really helped?
    www dot smartvax dot com/images/PDF/gr-autism_and_vaccines_world_special_report1.pdf

    There is not enough accountability in the drug industry for outdated and poorly designed vaccines. And when your kid is crippled or killed, you are stuck with no recourse except for the pathetic VAERS program, and no way to sue for more.

    At some point, the fifth estate needs to think very seriously about WHOSE SIDE YOU’RE ON, so people like us can decide if you are worth reading or not.

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