Dr. Gorski returns from medical leave and finds that a lot has been going on with respect to vaccines, antivaxers, and measles outbreaks. Measles outbreaks are changing the narrative, emboldening legislators to tighten vaccine mandates, and also making antivaxers more radical. However, the narrative is, as is usually the case, more complex than what we usually hear.
Last week, Dr. Gorski was on vacation. However, part of his vacation involved spending a couple of hours with two of his heroes, meeting new pro-science advocates, and talking vaccine hesitancy and the antivaccine movement.
A recent article in The San Diego Union-Tribune presents a pair of articles that gives a false balance regarding vaccinations. Those who oppose vaccination do so on the basis of ideology rather than science, thus placing the public's health at risk.
California SB 277: New evidence that restricting nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine requirements works
The 2016-2017 kindergarten numbers are in. SB 277, the new California law banning personal belief exemptions to school vaccine requirements, works as intended. Early numbers show that vaccine uptake has increased, and personal belief exemptions are down dramatically.
A new position paper released by the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests taking a hard stance against nonmedical exemptions to immunization. I agree, and the evidence suggests such a stance would increase vaccination rates and reduce the outbreaks of diseases.
When California passed SB 277 into law, eliminating personal belief exemptions to school vaccine requirements and permitting only personal medical exemptions, I predicted that antivaccine quacks would start issuing bogus medical exemptions. Unfortunately, I was right.
It’s nice when a question can be resolved with objective numbers of unequivocal outcomes. Subjective outcomes give scientists a headache. In this case we are talking about the effect of vaccine exemption laws on vaccine compliance rates. The question here is not the ethical one, the rights of parents to determine the fate of their children vs the right of the state...
At the second Republican debate of the 2016 election cycle, Donald Trump parroted antivaccine pseudoscience, and Ben Carson walked back his previously strong support for vaccine mandates. Earlier in the campaign, Rand Paul blamed vaccines for "neurologic injury," and Chris Christie briefly pandered by questioning vaccine mandates. What's going on here? Is the Republican Party becoming the antivaccine party?
California has passed SB 277 into law. Beginning in the 2016-2017 school year, SB 277 will eliminate personal belief exemptions to school vaccine requirements. This will benefit the health of California schoolchildren, but the law is not perfect and already antivaxers are looking for loopholes.
California is about to pass a law that would eliminate personal belief exemptions to school vaccine requirements. The antivaccine movement is losing its collective mind over it. Let's just say that Holocaust analogies are flying fast and furious.