The Anti-Vaccination Thing
The debate over whether kids need to be vaccinated against communicable diseases baffles me.
The debate over whether kids need to be vaccinated against communicable diseases baffles me.
The modest outbreak of measles traced to Disney Land has refocused attention on the issue, which I had thought mostly relegated to the fever swamps of those who take their medical advice from Jenny McCarthy. Two major Republican politicians, both considered potential 2016 presidential contenders, made controversial statements on the subject.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was asked about the issue while touring a research facility in England and was quite blunt: ”All I can say is that we vaccinated ours. That’s the best expression I can give you of my opinion. It’s much more important, I think, what you think as a parent than what you think as a public official.” He got some pushback, though, from his caveat: “But I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well so that’s the balance that the government has to decide.” Similarly, Senator Rand Paul’s statement that most vaccinations should be “voluntary” and are “an issue of freedom” isn’t particularly novel or shocking. Most Americans probably agree with his assessment that vaccines are “a good thing” but that parents “should have some input” into whether or not their children get them.
But Paul proceeded to give comfort to the lunatic fringe with his nonsensical declaration that, ”I have heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines.” I’m sure that many kids have come down with tragic illnesses after taking vaccines. But there’s zero evidence that the vaccines caused the diseases.
Christie was pretty unequivocal on that point, stating forthrightly that, “the challenge you have is if you have a certain group of kids who don’t get vaccinated, and if it grows large enough that a percentage of the population doesn’t get vaccinated and they’re the folks who can’t get vaccinated, small infants, for example, or people with certain vulnerabilities that can’t vaccinated, they suddenly become much more vulnerable.” He added that the science behind vaccines is “pretty indisputable.” Still, he qualified, ”There has to be a balance and it depends on what the vaccine is, what the disease type is, and all the rest.” He continued, “Not every vaccine is created equal and not every disease type is as great a public health threat as others.”
While Rand Paul and Michele Bachman have voiced support for the “vaccines lead to mental illness” nonsense, this isn’t a partisan issue. As WaPo’s Chris Mooney points out, Democrats and Republicans almost universally immunize their children and there are no meaningful differences in their views on the risks of doing so. Nor, incidentally, is there meaningful variation along gender, educational, or income lines; roughly 70 percent of Americans think immunizations should be required and 30 percent think it ought to be up to the parents. (Interestingly, the main variation is age, with younger respondents more “freedom” oriented than older ones. Perhaps Josh Marshall is right that “society seems to have lost the historical memory of various horrific endemic childhood diseases.”)
All 50 states require a series of immunizations for children attending public schools and all but two—Mississippi and West Virginia, two of the “red-est” states—allow opt-outs on some immunizations of religious grounds. And, of course, the outbreak that sparked the latest round of debates took place in California, which allows religious exemptions. As WonkBlog’s Christopher Abraham points out, the patterns of actual immunization of children are much different from what most would expect:
[T]here is one health metric on which Mississippi does surprisingly well: vaccination rates. That’s right: 74.6 percent of Mississippi toddlers have received the full complement of CDC-recommended vaccinations, putting it at number 12 among the states and well above the national average of 70.4 percent (for the curious, the full vaccine regimen consists of ≥4 doses of DTaP, ≥3 doses of poliovirus vaccine, ≥1 dose of measles-containing vaccine, full series of Hib vaccine (≥3 or ≥4 doses, depending on product type), ≥3 doses of HepB, ≥1 dose of varicella vaccine, and ≥4 doses of PCV).
Alabama usually accompanies Mississippi at the bottom of health rankings, but it does even better when it comes to vaccines — 77 percent of toddlers there are completely covered. Overall, state-level vaccine rates buck the familiar trend of “south= bad, northeast and west = good” that we see on countless other health measures. New Hampshire kids are well-vaccinated, but Vermont and Maine kids less so. Mississippi comes in at #12 in the rankings, while just across the river Arkansas is dead-last. California, currently in the news for a large measles outbreak at Disneyland, is squarely middle-of-the-pack at number 30.
This isn’t a Republican-Democrat, Red-Blue, Left-Right, rich-poor, or educated-uneducated issue.
While I don’t think Christie is “courting the anti-vax vote” so much as siding with a deep American sentiment for parental rights, I otherwise agree with the Atlantic’s David Graham that the appearance of a partisan divide, even an illusory one, is problematic.
A world in which support or opposition to vaccination could become a partisan litmus test would be a dangerous one. It’s not that hard to imagine—just look at climate change, once a relatively uncontroversial issue that has shifted to the point that Republican officeholders widely reject it. (A poll over the weekend suggested that rank-and-file Republican voters are far more open to admitting the reality of warming.)
So far, the partisan valence of vaccinations hasn’t been especially clear. Anti-vaccination proponents are sometimes portrayed as oddball hippie types; worries about vaccines and genetically modified foods are portrayed as the left’s answer to climate-change denialism. But a January 2014 paper by Harvard and Yale researchers found little correlation between left-right politics and vaccine skepticism.
Yet as my colleague Cari Romm reported in December, trying to bust the myths about vaccines causing autism or other cures can actually backfire. Research from Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler shows that beliefs about questions like vaccines are often not derived from empirical evidence. And trying to convince people out of their beliefs can actually encourage them to hold those views more staunchly, since they flow out of identity with a community rather than facts.
That means Obama’s unequivocal statements Sunday might backfire, encouraging the anti-vaccine movement and more deeply entrenching beliefs. Maybe Christie will be an anomaly, or perhaps other Republicans will line up to agree. Phrasing it not as a question of scientific effects but as a matter of whether the government is overreaching is a somewhat innovative approach, and just the sort that could help to make vaccines a partisan issue for limited-government advocates. Unfortunately, following Nyhan and Reifler’s research, Christie’s “clarification” is likely to make much less public splash than his original statement.
It’s a catch-22 for public-health officials: They can’t sit idly by while vaccination numbers plunge and mostly vanquished diseases make a comeback, but anything they do to encourage vaccinations may instead encourage the opposite. One thing health officials could do without is politicians making their work harder.
As to the politics of the matter, I’m pretty much exactly with Christie here. And we may both be in agreement with President Obama; I agree with everything I’ve seen him say on the issue but haven’t heard him comment on the exemption issue.
My parents had me immunized when I was a kid and I had all my boosters along the way. I don’t recall it ever being an issue. Similarly, when it came time to get my own kids immunized, I of course did so. Virginia has opt-outs and our pediatrician presented the vaccinations as optional but recommended; I told him I’d side with medical science.
My late father was almost an absolutist on parental rights. He fully backed the right of Christian Scientists to refuse life-saving surgery for their children, seeing no role for the government at all on the matter. That struck me as an extreme position even as a kid. But, while I don’t have a deeply entrenched position on the issue, I’m not so dogmatic on the other side that I think the state ought forcibly inject children with vaccines over parental objection or deny children an education because their parents are religious nuts. Like Christie, I think the risk associated with a particular disease has to be factored in.
While they’re being lumped together, Paul and Christie are in very different categories here. Christie is vehemently urging people to get their kids immunized, dismissing the fears of getting sick from the vaccines as unscientific nonsense, but recognizing that we grant parents rights in certain cases. That’s not only a decidedly mainstream position, it’s in accord with the longstanding law of the land. Paul, by contrast, is on the side of the nuts. That he’s a medical doctor compounds the problem.
UPDATE: Kevin Drum makes an important point. He notes that the 1998 “study” by Andrew Wakefield that linked the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) shot to autism was debunked as fraudulent; recanted by The Lancet, the journal which published it; and that Wakefield’s medical license was revoked over the scandal. Beyond that:
It’s one thing to be skeptical of the scientific community and its debunking of the Wakefield study. But it’s now 2015. MMR vaccines that contain thimerosal—the supposed cause of autism—have been off the market for well over a decade. Not one single child has gotten a dose of thimerosal since about 2002. And yet, autism rates haven’t gone down. They’ve gone up. You don’t need to trust scientists to see that, very plainly, thimerosal simply never played any role in autism. And there’s never been any reason to think that any other vaccine does either.
That’s pretty remarkable, really.
I can’t get over the fact that the ebola-panicked, “isolate ’em all” crowd is now screaming for the “freedom” to not vaccinate their kids.
Is there even a shred of consistency in the Republican party?
This is enough for any rational person to seriously question Rand Paul’s integrity. The man is a doctor for Christ’s sake. Pathetic.
But no, it’s not a right-left thing. There’ve been TV trucks down at Reed Elementary School which is about three blocks from my home because, apparently, Reed is a mini-nest of anti-vaxxers. To give you a picture of Reed, if you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I wish I could see every iteration of late model luxury SUV in one place, preferably driven by MILFs with blond ponytails,” just drop by Reed at pick-up time. They’re wealthy, they’re educated, and Marin County ain’t exactly Orange County.
Of course there is this difference: our politicians don’t pander to our lunatic fringe.
It’s definitely not partisan, as the people I’ve seen parroting this nonsense seem to come from both sides of the aisle. But I think they’re coming at this based on totally independent causes.
The people on the right are mostly responding due to their default FREEDUMB stance on everything, aka, “the gubmint can’t tell ME what to do with MY kids!!!!” They would be opposed to the government mandating pretty much anything, period. The libertarian ethos run amok.
The people on the left (which is the majority of the anti-vaxxers I’ve seen personally) are coming at this from that new-agey, hippy-dippy, neo-luddite, everything-thats-natural-is-good/everything-with-chemicals-is-bad thing (same cause as homeopathy, and the whole anti-GMO hysteria).
To the natural-is-good crowd I always say, “Enjoy this lovely poison ivy! It’s organic!”
Don’t even get me started on this bizarre “organic” food movement. Do people even know what the word “organic” means? Pretty much all food other than salt is organic.
As far as I’m concerned, Rand Paul has disqualified himself as a candidate. Christie is very close to disqualification in my opinion.
As for the larger issue, I see it as the further atomization of American culture, as a conflict between the cult of the individual and the social obligation of people to the society as a whole.
Another aspect is the inability of people to assess risk through critical thinking process of evaluating probability and consequence. There is no such thing as zero risk but few can accept that.
Vaccinations are safe and effective. I suppose there are some parental rights but on the other side, we should have the right on non-association with idiot parents.
This whole issue just infuriates me like no other.
Yeah, but making fun of dumb Republican hillbillies just sounds so much more cool.
It’s definitely not a partisan thing. (Though of course, if you had to ask which major party would end up going full truther on vaccinations, you would not pick the Democrats.) America is not a healthy country. Many many people believe that something in the industrial environment is f—ing with us. The anti-vaccination nuts are a small subset of a much larger class.
It is certainly a big issue now here in the Bay Area, and it crosses income and class demographics. It’s as if we’re now destined – because of our collective loss of memory and stupidity – to fight some of these thought-to-be-won disease/virus battles all over again.
I live about north of San Francisco in the Greater Bay Area and what we’re finding out is that there are many people – middle class and upper middle class boomer hipsters and their offspring – who have come to be skeptical of the efficacy of vaccines, and many subscribe to (what I believe to be) junk science. For example, some believe that vaccinations contribute to autism, and the list goes on and on. Last year there was a small outbreak of Whooping Cough, now Measles is on. The CSF Chronicle ran an artlcle recently – at some schools nearly half the kids are unvaccinated.
America is dumbing down.
I love the schizophrenic attitude of Paul. He’s all for freedom, even if it hurts kids by not vaccinating. Unless it’s freedom to have an abortion, then the whole force of the government is needed to protect kids.
The people catering to the hillbillies are responsible for this. If Michelle Obama sounded like one of my all-natural acquaintances and lectured us on how we needed to have a pro-turmeric homeopath understand what was really going on in our bodies, she would get mocked too.
Words have consequences. From Republicans we’ve had forty years of the government is the problem, government overreach, privatize everything, government can’t do anything right, even jack-booted thugs. Then we’re surprised a lot of people have an unreasoning distrust of government.
@michael reynolds: I see people say doctors are scientists, they should know better. They should know better, but most doctors are not scientists, they’re technicians. They’ve had a lot of education, but very narrowly focused, and much of it rote.
You know, I know countless cases of walking, talking, normal children who wound up learning to read and do basic arithmetic shortly after being vaccinated. On the other hand, I got a flu vaccination this fall, and that day when I got home from work, my cats’ litter box had poop in it!
In a world where correlation is always causation, the vaccine issue is indeed complicated.
Two additional points,
1. Robert Kennedy Jr. is a militant anti-vaxxer http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/robert-kennedy-jrs-belief-in-autism-vaccine-connection-and-its-political-peril/2014/07/16/f21c01ee-f70b-11e3-a606-946fd632f9f1_story.html
2. And while working in consulting jobs, I am amazed at the number of biology and biological life science graduate students who refuse to get their shots. I always point out that anyone who is afraid of shots probably should not go into biomedical research.
I understand that both conservatives and liberals have accepted the misbegotten “anti-vaxxer” message. I think the problem is that general mandatory vaccination, with certain exemptions, fits in with the liberal idea of the government that vaccination is not a personal decision, but a social obligation that should be required of all citizens. Sarah Kliff explains the science here.
Now while the science is clear , conservative ideology-especially libertarianism-denies or at least resists the idea that there are social obligations that all citizens must bear as the price for living in modern society.Rather they elevate the principle that citizens should comply with such obligations only voluntarily, and that if that the government imposes such obligations, that’s “slavery.”
It’s therefore not surprising that a libertarian like Rand Paul opposes mandatory vaccination. He is doing so by claiming that the the science is “unproven”-a well worn conservative trope, usually deployed against climate science and gun control.
What will be interesting is the view of our resident libertarian, Doug. He accepts the science but as a libertarian he resists the idea of the government imposing social obligations like universal health insurance. He should logically be against mandatory vaccination as well. It will be interesting to see if he can square the circle.
The worst problem with these people is they have this overwhelming persecution complex. Studies have shown that giving them data disproving their crazy anti-science garbage, they are more likely to double down on it. When you fear the government and big pharma are lying to you, then anything can be justified. I am just hoping polio is not the next one to come back.
That one single sentence disqualifies Rand Paul from serious consideration for position in Governance of any responsibility whatsoever. He has joined Michelle Bachman in the pantheon of nut cases Republicans consider to be their leaders.
And if you’re the American Supreme Court and you think that belief is a protection against the right of women to enjoy the full coverage of modern medicine, including birth control, you should be against this too.
Ice cream, Mandrake. Children’s ice cream…
“Of course there is this difference: our politicians don’t pander to our lunatic fringe.”
I guess Cynthia McKinney has been erased from the history books.
I once worked with a woman who was militantly anti-vaccine. She ended up with a nasty case of food poisoning from eating a bag of raw organic spinach for lunch.
I’m curious how the anti-vaxxers would come down on the case of Typhoid Mary. Does the government have the right to lock her up because she won’t stop infecting people? Or does her personal liberty trump public health?
I suspect you’d get a wide range of responses, even within the subset of the population that didn’t vaccinate their kids, depending on WHY they didn’t vaccinate their kids.
(I also suspect that the ACLU would take Mary’s case, and the current Supreme Court would let her go work at Burger King if she wanted to…)
What? Who cares what their parents think? Unvaccinated children are a danger to themselves and to others, especially including other children and those with compromised immune systems.Some crazy parents’ nutso belief doesn’t give them the right to put everyone else around them at risk.
Or, as put so well by Zechariah Chafee (and often misattributed to Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.), your right to swing your arms ends just where the other man’s nose begins.
Chlldren are pretty clearly the property of their parents, since they don’t live beyond the age of eighteen and have no life independent of those that spawned them.
(Note: if a parent requires a teenage daughter to get an abortion, DOES NOT APPLY. Wombs belong to God.)
Your example is a Rep. who’s been out of office for 8 years and who, you may notice, was not a party leader, spokesperson or anything but a fringe crank ignored by her party. In fact, when last heard from she was hanging out with Ron Paul and Ralph Nader and running for president on the Green Party ticket.
In other words, thanks for proving my point. As you so often do, though never intentionally.
Morons vs. Darwin.
I wonder who’s going to win this cage match?
Hint: it won’t be the morons.
I know this was written facetiously but Rand Paul also talked about parents owning their children. Guess what, I own my dog and she is required to get vaccinated also.
I have been a real doctor, not on campaigning for office, much longer than Rand Paul. I have not heard of or seen these “many people” Rand Paul talks about who have been damaged by vaccines. It is incredibly rare.
Also, just to be clear, there are plenty of people on the left and right who are anti-vaxxers. However, only one party has held anti-vaccine hearings, the GOP.
is a English major and a partisan hack who portrays himself as a unimpeachable authority on SCIENCE!!!
See his books
BTW, What is the problem?
Vaccines (based on the fact of evolution) make you immune? Only the backward anti-science climate denying primitives painfully die.
Because the US Government owns your children.!!!!
@steve: I just wish the news media was faster on the uptake. The interviewer should have said to the effect: “Really, I hadn’t heard that. Where are these many tragic cases? I would like to follow-up.
Rare to non-existent, even.
When he says “seen” he means his staffers found it mentioned prominently on some websites.
@C. Clavin: I think Rand is among those afflicted with profound mental disorders after vaccination. This just proves it.
@stonetools: It’s not just infants, either–my brother, age 44, contracted an autoimmune disease 15 years ago and cannot receive vaccinations. Herd immunity keeps him from catching all the nasty bugs, and herd immunity is what vaccine avoidance reduces. These anti-vaxxer morons put millions of people at risk.
I don’t know what it is these days with the anti-science movements. Anti-vaccine, anti-GMO, “organic,” homeopathy, climate change denial…on top of the old standards, evolution denial and “young earth” creationism. It’s pretty sad lately.
Say what? How is requiring children to get vaccinated before allowing them to attend a public school in any way shape or form “denying them an education”? It merely denies them an education at the cost of a society that does not want to subject it’s children to the threat of a wholly unnecessary outbreak of a communicable disease (not to mention the expense).
Parents who do not want to vaccinate their children are quite free to educate their children at home or, if they can find one, a private school that will accept their precious little bundle of whooping cough. They are free to accept the responsibilities and the costs of their decisions with out subsidy from the rest of us. In fact, I would encourage them to do so.
There’s also a big heap of “I’m not letting those evil corporations inject my kids with their evil corporation-y drugs!” on the left version too.
Just how non-partisan (or bipartisan) this issue is struck me when I followed a link at Ace of Spades (pretty hard-core right wing) to a Mother Jones article (pretty hard-core left wing) about vaccinations — and it was a hell of a good article.
But just to throw a little balance out there, here’s a pro-vaccine roundup from Instapundit that shows Hillary twice pandering to the anti-vaccine crowd, and Obama’s budget cutting $50 million for vaccines for low-income families.
I have a couple of other good links, but I don’t want to trigger the Moderation Monster.
Since I said something nice about Mother Jones, I have to balance it out by noting they’ve flip-flopped on vaccinations in the past couple of years, and Obama himself did a little pandering in that direction, too.
And here’s the AAAS on the anti-vaccine movement:
This is a good opportunity for the reasonable people to clean their own houses. Let the other side point them out, but leave the actual cleaning to the people on that side already.
Back in October Rand Paul was calling Ebola incredibly contagious.
Now he wants people to not get vaccinated against a disease that is in fact incredibly contagious.
I know he’s Doug’s guy…but he’s a flippin’ moron.
I’m disappointed with Rand Paul on this and I have to agree that this is disqualifying statement for a Presidential candidate. I do like some of what he’s doing on criminal justice reform, but someone who waffles on vaccines shouldn’t be in charge of national health issues.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
The Instapundit link is fantastic–it must be interesting to derive from a slew of anti-vaccination statements by Republicans that the real issue is Democrats being anti-vaccination. I thought we loved being pandered to. What gives?
@Modulo Myself: There are turds in both punchbowls.
If vaccination is not a left-right thing, then why is the media AND many bloggers trying to pin it on the GOP?
Have it your way.
“During the 2008 campaign, though, Clinton addressed an anti-vaccine group and cited a study at the time that raised concerns about a link between autism and vaccines.
“I am committed to make investments to find the causes of autism, including possible environmental causes like vaccines,” Clinton told the group.
Then-candidate Obama also noted concerns about such a link in 2008.
The study in question, though, has since been discredited in the medical community.”
No doubt you haven’t heard of them, either, at least long enough for you to get through a debate thread. Are there any honest Democrats?
Nope. Just rejected and marginalized. That’s what we do with our crazies. We don’t put them in charge.
@John425: If vaccination is not a left-right thing, then why is the media AND many bloggers trying to pin it on the GOP?
Because that’s the game they play. “Never let a crisis go to waste.”
Comment deleted by Jenos. On second thought, I don’t really feel like playing anjin’s games today.
Certainly both sides do it, that’s why both sides are now rejecting basic sanitation at establishments that serve food. Oh, wait. Only one side is dong that:
Long live teh freedom!
I think the following quote is applicable: “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” – Keynes
It’s inevitable that every libertarian will find himself on the side of the nuts at one time or another.
That said….it’s not inevitable that they would be pumping up long-debunked junk science.
In other words, the statements by both Clinton and Obama that you cited were – according to your own source – made prior to the study in question being deemed invalid by the medical community.
Well, have you actually seen bacteria? With your own eyes?
As we all know it the microscope is the instrument of the the devil. Only trust what you can see with your own, God fearing, eyes.
You and a lot of other people are distorting what he said. Link.
@John425: Because in this instance, it was the right that opened their mouths and spoke nonsense. It didn’t come out of nowhere.
@Gromitt Gunn: I should add that the only anti-vaxxers I know personally are hippy-dippy types who distrust the medical establishment along with their other foibles.
The difference being that Clinton and Obama made these lukewarm appeals directly to anti-vaccination people, got the hell out, and never spoke of it again. Christie and Paul are selling themselves to every GOP voter by trying to make this a cultural issue. The crazy thing is that regardless of what the GOP base thinks of vaccinations, taking on the medical elite or the right of a parent to control their child will be a plus.
Penn & Teller explain risk assessment in vaccinations. Worth a watch.
It’s an affluenza epidemic. Pure and simple.
My experience is that this is more of a trendy/new age phenomena than a hippie thing. I grew up in Marin in the 60s & 70s, and a lot of people would call me hippy dippy – vegetarian, organic, talks about good & bad “energy” a lot. I even have a Schumann resonator in the living room because I like what it does for my stereo. (Can’t wait for Drew to weigh in on that). I am acquainted with a lot of the people who shaped the hippie movement.
I think not having your kids vaccinated is insanity. I think the growing rejection of science in this country is insanity. I don’t see the people I know around here who have hippie tendencies rejecting vaccinations. It’s the people Michael was describing above. They are Johnny come latelies in Marin, they have nothing to do with hippie ideals.
Hillary Clinton on vaccines in 2015:
Obama on vaccines in 2015 :
Just to be clear, after the above obfuscations.
The vaccination debate is closely related to the Obamacare debate. In both instances, conservatives are arguing for their right be “free riders.”
Here’s a conservative explaining that those who don’t vaccinate are free riders. Link:
And here’s a conservative explaining that those who don’t have health insurance are free riders. Link:
I appreciate that my first source said this:
“Communitarianism” is a loaded word, because there are people who say things like this: “Communitarianism… the New Communism.”
And this brings us back to what Galbraith said:
The vaccination debate and the Obamacare debate both highlight the same core issue: conservatives are selfish children who don’t understand that when we choose to live in civilization we are choosing to accept some limits on freedom.
OK, while I don’t think *everything* that’s natural is good, that everything with chemicals is automatically bad. But I’m sympathetic to chemical-phobia, considering my dad died from asbestos exposure (30 some years later, of course).
There’s also the question of where autism and other modern problems (peanut allergies, for example, which one of my kids has) are coming from. It’s not from eating the same natural stuff that we’ve been eating for millions of years. Something is new. I understand that vaccines are not the cause (and yes, my children are absolutely up-to-date), but something is, and it’s probably some chemical that we’ve introduced in the last few decades.
Sullivan thinks Christie’s and Paul’s statements have something to do with the HPV vaccine. That kind of surprised me.
You can’t have mah gun, hippie.
I’m not sure if the anti-vaccination people are against science. I think their anxiety is greater than their reason, which is to me the very opposite of what the hippies stood for.
Now this is a good area for debate.
Their is a rise in autism diagnoses, but it’s not clear that there is a rise in autism occurences. What’s likely changed is that a large number of “Sheldon Cooper” types who in past generations would have just been considered weird are now being classified as high functioning autism spectrum disorders, rather than a growing number of “Raymond Babbitt” style severly autistic people.
@anjin-san: Schumann resonator – you made my day today. Here people build 10 km antennas to catch a glimpse of ELF waves, and you just tune into it. So groooovy.
@Mikey: It’s a emotionally driven reaction against modernity. It just manifests itself in different ways depending upon your politics. The Right rejects cultural modernity (premarital sex, cohabitiation, women working outside the home), etc. The Left rejects technological modernity (anti-vaccination, artisanal foods and crafts, “locavore” and “organic” food, etc). Both Right and Left believe in a mythical past where these things didn’t happen. Needless to say this past never really existed.
@Guarneri: “I guess Cynthia McKinney has been erased from the history books.”
You mean the one and only Democratic politician 9/11 Truther, who was primaried out after her first term in office?
I’ll accept your example as the admission of defeat that it is.
Ah, the socially and morally acceptable vaccine to
hateobject to. After all, why should women (and men but we don’t talk about that) be protected from an common virus that can cause a particularly painful cancer down the road…. what, you’re most likely exposed via sex? What, my kids don’t/won’t/never will have sex so no vaccine for them, mister!! My kids will never turn into adults so why should I help protect them now when I mostly likely won’t give them the info they need later to protect themselves?
Personally, I think they’re just pandering a-holes but this angle is definitely one they can spin if the heat gets too high. ‘I’m not against all vaccines (that’s crazy and anti-science), I’m just against this one that I feel I can make a puritanical judgement on safely to all the prudes in the audience! You misunderstood me, lamestream media!”
@Stormy Dragon: It’s both an increase in the number of cases, and an increase in the number of diagnosises. It’s hard to tease out the data with the high functioning autism-spectrum cases, but the low functioning ones have always been easy to spot (if then just misdiagnose with “retarded” or something back in the day)
And we don’t know the cause.
There is, however, a correlation in the number of diagnosed autism cases and the total amount of organic food being sold… Perhaps we are losing a herd immunity to some virus that is often being blocked by pesticides and preservatives.
I’m perfectly willing to let people decide to not vaccinate their kids. However, I think as a community we have a right to turn around and insist that they keep their little petri dish away from schools, restaurants, swimming pools, grocery stores until they can prove he isn’t infected with measles. For EVERY TIME said parent wants to go somewhere with said kid.
I wonder what these “oh my child is so special” people would do if they were suddenly dumped somewhere where diseases were epidemic. Get the shot, or just wait until their kid keeled over from something?
Vitamins, chakra-balancing water, and organic food won’t protect your kid from polio, mom. Just sayin’.
(The stupidest one so far is the bozo mentioned in the NYT article who, even though her son gashed himself on a rusty nail, decided against a tetanus shot. Let me introduce you to a fine traditional word, mom. Can you spell L-O-C-K-J-A-W?)
Yes, recognition and diagnosis of autism is new. 50 years ago it was “that weirdo” or “the loner” or “Boo Radley” or (more recently) “Rain Man.” Now we know there’s a diagnosable disorder.
The apparent increase in autism cases doesn’t necessarily mean there’s an increase in anything besides recognition of autism cases.
Some just jump headfirst with the cognitive dissonance still ringing in their ears. I have personal experience with this: my best friend’s sister, whom I’ve know since age 5, just had a child. She’s rabidly anti-vax and is one of those chem-trail, fluoride-poisoning Big Pharma conspiracy people. Interestingly enough, it started recently when she became pregnant and has driven my friend and myself right to the bottle (both of us are in healthcare and KNOW what will happen). She went on for months about how she’ll never vax and no matter how we pleaded or begged, she wouldn’t change her mind…. till the baby was born in a hospital that recently saw a case of Whooping Cough and suspected measles. The shot came out mighty fast.
When pressed as to why she changed her mind, the logic she cited was similar to those of an anti-choice protester justifying their own abortion: this case was special and her child could DIE. Her daughter was clearly never going to have autism (superior genes, dontcha know) so the risk to her health was the primary concern. But everyone else who is pro-vax is a still corporate shill trying to destroy children’s minds and bodies. She’s a concerned mother **eye-roll**
Tl;dr: When it comes down to the wire, most will change their minds…. but not their stance. They’re not wrong but this instance is special and unique so get off their case, yeah? Their special snowflake will live and their smug sense of righteousness won’t suffer one bit for the choice.
The lack of such epidemics is a major contributor to the anti-vaccine movement.
When you grow up seeing your friends going into wheelchairs and iron lungs, you don’t quibble about the side effects of the polio vaccine.
Incidence of autism spectrum disorders: changes over time and their meaning.
The epidemiology of autistic spectrum disorders: is the prevalence rising?:
There is currently no evidence that the incidence is increasing, there is just not yet proof that it’s not (by way of analogy, there’s no evidence that I am posting this comment from the International Space Station. However, you can’t conclusively prove that I’m not.)
Because Rand Paul and Chris Christie shot their mouths off and made it news. Why did you think?
Agreed that there is some debate on this matter. But the reason for the sudden increase in peanut/nut allergies (and possibly related: eczema and asthma) is not so easily explained. Yes, I know about the hygiene hypothesis and all that. All of this is again, debatable.
But the fact is, we really don’t know which chemicals we can trust until a very long-term study has been done on them (again, I’m biased because of the way my father died). Cooking with Teflon? Microwaving in plastic containers? Eating pesticides? Adding nanotechnology to skin products? Let me know how it turns out for you in 30 years, and downvote me all you want, but I’ll continue avoiding that kind of stuff.
This. To a large extent , the present generation has had it too good. One major epidemic, and all the antivaxx nonsense would vanish overnight.
In the same way Thom Tillis talks about the “free market” fixing the restuarant sanitation problem , as if back in1900 there wasn’t a pure food problem when the free market reigned supreme. It was precisely because the free market DIDN’T fix the problem that pure food and food handling regulations were introduced. It would probably take a member of his family dying from food poisioning to convince an ideolgue like Tillis that there are some things that the market just can’t fix.
I’m not read up on the peanut allergy thing, so I can’t constructively comment on that particular issue.
Is anyone interested in hearing my perspective: a hardcore leftist with hardcore right-wing parents who did not vaccinate their children (meaning me)?
Ah, nevermind. I got sh*te to do.
Okay, but only if you wear this surgical mask. 😉
Here’s a couple of thousand words of data, presented without comment:
Measles outbreak, by county
2012 election results, by county
@Mikey: Heh. Yah, part of the reason I’m so paranoid about being up to date on my tetanus shot was because I grew up in a rural area and heard all the horror stories.
Ditto for polio. My dad suffered it as a child and had a weak leg ever after. (As it was, he got off relatively easily–only needed a brace when doing stuff like hiking)
@Jenos Idanian #13:
I know nothing about food chemistry and I’m hardly religious about avoiding chemicals,although we do pay some attention to what we eat. I also have no great fear the government is lying about this stuff, although I became politically aware during Vietnam, when the government was lying regularly. I don’t know that the food industry is lying, although they have every incentive to.
But my body is the product of hundreds of thousands of years of evolution, and I’m pretty sure (picking two hamburger ingredients more or less at random) it didn’t evolve to digest ammonium sulfate and ethoxylated monoglycerides . Whatever TF they are.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
You did notice that the biggest measles outbreak was in orange county – which voted red.
I believe that can be attributed to Obama’s mind control rays…
@Mu: The biggest measles outbreak was . . . nearest the theme park that was the center of gravity for the epidemic.
Here is a great strip that lays out the benefits of vaccinations and the dangers of the antivax position.
@al-Ameda:” I live about north of San Francisco in the Greater Bay Area and what we’re finding out is that there are many people – middle class and upper middle class boomer hipsters and their offspring – who have come to be skeptical of the efficacy of vaccines, and many subscribe to (what I believe to be) junk science. For example, some believe that vaccinations contribute to autism, and the list goes on and on. Last year there was a small outbreak of Whooping Cough, now Measles is on. The CSF Chronicle ran an artlcle recently – at some schools nearly half the kids are unvaccinated.”
The article might be based upon this research, identifying the specific areas where vaccines are being refused in Northern California.
Under immunization, including “shot limiting” (parents will not consent to more than x shots per medical visit) were concentrated in:
* the East Bay (Richmond to San Leandro);
* Sonoma and Napa counties;
* a small area of east Sacramento;
* northern San Francisco and southern Marin counties; and
* a small area of Vallej
Vaccine refusal is clustered in these areas:
* the East Bay (El Cerrito to Alameda);
* Marin and southwest Sonoma counties;
* northeastern San Francisco;
* northeastern Sacramento County and Roseville; and
* a small area south of Sacramento
You may have some insight, but I’ve read that these are either high or low socio-economic areas, but not the boring middle.
I like the “post a sign” solution. We could apply the same solution to kids who aren’t vaccinated: they must wear a sign that says “not vaccinated” whenever they appear in public. “The market will take care of that.”
@Stormy Dragon: Oh, that hurt. A palpable hit.
I wish I could recall where I saw it, but I rather respected the sentiment of one parent:
“If I can’t send peanut butter to school, you can’t send your un-vaccinated kid to school.”
@John425: If vaccination is not a left-right thing, then why is the media AND many bloggers trying to pin it on the GOP?
Because it’s a gotcha game. They didn’t bring it up, reporters did. Reporters who won’t bother to ask Hillary or Obama about their past statements.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
This is about their CURRENT statements. Obama and Clinton have made statements this year that were linked to above.
So when Rand Paul told Laura Ingraham that most vaccines should be voluntary, he was responding to a “gotcha” question? I thought only liberals ask “gotcha” questions, and I didn’t realize Ingraham was a liberal.
The left/right divide over vaccines is a worry simply because it seems to overlap so well with the current FYIGM mentality of the GOP. It’s a collective solution to a problem and there should be pressure on people to get the kids vaccinated. The GOP claims to dislike collective solutions and big government, so there’s no guarantee this won’t be the next moronic cause they take up in the name of “freedom”.
I don’t want the GOP rubes to ever get the idea that being anti-vaccination is OK. They don’t question the talking points they are given, and it would be dangerous for the entire country.
Politicians ought to welcome questions about vaccines, not view them as gotchas. The answer is always some form of “they are safe and effective, and everyone ought to be vaccinated”. It’s a gimme answer.
@gVOR08: I am a biochemist and work in the food chemistry field and it is bogus scare mongering. This article illustrates that if you don’t know chemicals everything is scary. There are some awful chemicals in natural foods (arsenic in apples) it all comes down to exposure levels and understanding what is there and why if processed. But since most people won’t get food science degrees it is just easier to fall back on the position chemicals = bad and scary and disregard the science that goes into this. If you’re interested the Journal of Food Chemistry is a top notch peer reviewed journal that publishes the hard work of many food scientists.
@jukeboxgrad: Only conservatives get asked gotcha questions the press takes it easy on everyone else. Get your story right.
Clearly, the “Gotcha” media is forcing Republicans to say these things:
Cruz: Parents With ‘Religious Convictions’ Should Get A Pass On Vaccines
Ben Carson Blames Measles Outbreak On ‘Undocumented People’
GOP Rep.: ‘Illegal Aliens’ May Have Started Measles Outbreak In U.S.
To be fair, I think Ben Carson is just doing some standard anti-immigrant fearmongering there, and not any anti-vaxxer idiocy. TPM has him on record supporting vaccination programs.
True, when Carson talks about medicine, he sounds quite rational. My distaste for his politics does not alter the fact that he is a brilliant doctor.
That being said, shame on him for the nutjob fear mongering.
That distinction is as invisible to the Fox News crowd as the distinction between a Libertarian and an Objectivist is to a Trotskyite.
@Dave D: My daughter has a PhD in human nutrition, and she says the same thing. So much fearmongering going on. Her favorite pseudo-scientist punching bag is Vani Hari, aka “Food Babe.” What a spreader of B. S. that woman is.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
And the evil reporters then used their mind-control rays to stop Christie and Paul from giving the simple answer that “parents should vaccinate their kids, period.”
It’s only a “gotcha” question if you can’t help but give a stupid answer.
That was a “gotcha” question in the same way as “what newspapers and magazines do you read?” was a gotcha….
@Jenos Idanian #13:
Hillary did not wait for a reporter to bring it up, she brought it up herself. Which is what one might expect a leader to do when we are discussing a hot button issue.
Why do conservatives get all whiny when reports ask their leaders simple questions? If you can’t take the heat, get the hell out of the kitchen. Conservatives are still whining because Katie Couric asked Sarah Palin what newspapers she reads. That’s one I could have handled nicely when I was 12 years old.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
They won’t have to. As you would have known if you’d actually, like, read the thread above, both Hillary and Obama have issued unambiguous recent statements in favor of vaccination.
@DrDaveT: I have been called many things in my day, but I’ve never once been accused of being a member of the Fox News crowd.
Let’s start here.
@gVOR08: If they “shot their mouths off”, then why is there no outcry to Obama’s expedient flip-flop. In 2008 he said:
President Barack Obama called the science behind vaccinations “indisputable” on Monday, but he once appeared to call a purported link between autism and vaccines “inconclusive.”
In 2008, as a senator and presidential candidate, Obama discussed the possible link between vaccines and autism.
“We’ve seen just a skyrocketing autism rate,” Obama said in April 2008 at a rally in Pennsylvania. “Some people are suspicious that it’s connected to the vaccines. This person included.”
Vaccine/autism is like his “if you like your insurance plan..” bullsh*t. One wag noted that the anti-vaccine crowd can be found wherever a Whole Foods store is nearby. Republicans may make intemperate remarks about vaccination but the uber-left trendies are hard core against vaccines. Period.
@grumpy realist: Truly! My grandfather died of lockjaw when my father was a boy. My mother had a rather severe case of polio, living in an iron lung for a lengthy period and going through extensive physical therapy to relearn how to walk, and even then it was more of a hobble than a walk.
For those of us who have been exposed to the consequences of not having these life saving vaccines, this anti-vaccination stuff is nothing short of foolish (to put it nicely).
You should try reading the entire exchange.
If you really want to have an meaningful opinion.
An opinion based on a partial out of context quote is meaningless.
Those who “feel” vaccines are “not right” for their families and the politicians who pander to their dangerous crusade are unashamedly pro disease and should be considered pariahs.
Now tell us who that “person” is. Link.
It came out in 2009 that Wakefield (the publisher of the since debunked article on the MMR vaccine autism link) had falsified his data and that there was no connection. In 2010 the General Medical Council found Wakefield ” to have acted “dishonestly and irresponsibly” and to have acted with “callous disregard” for the children involved in his study.” Obama and Clinton made some tepid statements about needing more research on a potential connection before the article was conclusively debunked and shown to be fraudulent. Since then they have made strong statements in support of the science on vaccines. This is in sharp contrast to Rand Paul and others supporting the anti vax nonsense years after the one study that purported to show a connection was conclusively shown to be a web of lies. Can you really not look beyond your partisan blinders to see that there is a very large difference between those two things?
@michael reynolds: I’ll drink to that.
I think the response to the anti-vax thing needs to consider the pain and desperation of parents who can’t get any answers from science for why their child, to their eyes, just stopped being like other kids.
@MBunge: “I think the response to the anti-vax thing needs to consider the pain and desperation of parents who can’t get any answers from science for why their child, to their eyes, just stopped being like other kids.”
And what if some parent of an autistic child believes it happened because they neglected to sacrifice enough virgins and they set about murdering young women? Do we need to consider their pain and desperation before trying to stop their killing spree? Or is it just this one ridiculous set of fantasies we are required to pretend to respect?
@MBunge: I think the response to the anti-vax thing needs to consider the pain and desperation of parents who can’t get any answers from science for why their child, to their eyes, just stopped being like other kids.
Consider it, yes — we’re not heartless monsters. But we can’t let our natural sympathy and compassion trump reality and common sense.
I’m just pulling numbers out of my ass here, but here’s the argument I’d make: “If you don’t vaccinate your kid, there’s a 1 in 10,000 chance they will get sick and be permanently impaired, or killed. If you do vaccinate your kid, there’s a 1 in 1,000,000 chance they will have an adverse reaction and be permanently impaired, or killed.”
There is only one guarantee in life: that we will die. Demanding absolute guarantees and absolute safety is simply not rational.
@anjin-san: I would agree with him, with one addition: any institution that chooses to let its employees opt-out of handwashing must post a sign at every entrance (in letters 2″ high): OUR EMPLOYEES ARE NOT REQUIRED TO WASH THEIR HANDS AFTER USING THE BATHROOM. Then, let the market decide.
Do you want typhoid outbreaks? Because that’s how you get typhoid outbreaks.
@MBunge: “I think the response to the anti-vax thing needs to consider the pain and desperation of parents who can’t get any answers from science for why their child, to their eyes, just stopped being like other kids.”
No, it doesn’t; it needs to establish that that’s not caused by vaccines. That has been done.
@John425: Because it was 2008. Christie and Paul made their remarks Monday. There’s a reason it’s called “news”.
I need to modify my earlier statement:
“If you don’t vaccinate your kid, there’s a 1 in 10,000 chance they will get sick and be permanently impaired, or killed. If you do vaccinate your kid, there’s a 1 in 1,000,000 chance they will have an adverse reaction and be permanently impaired, or killed.” And if you do not vaccinate your kid, then I will tell the next parent that their odds are now 1 in 9,000 that their kid will get sick.”
@gVOR08: And here’s Obama’s spokesman being asked three times if Obama supports mandatory vaccinations — and evading it all three times.
Shortly after that third evasion, roosters everywhere suddenly started crowing.
What’s missing from this discussion is why has the anti-vaccine crackpottery taken such a hold? I think it’s because there are a lot of parents out there who are simply desperate to get help with their kids with autism and even more desperate to believe that it’s not their fault.
@Dave Schuler: I think it’s because there are a lot of parents out there who are simply desperate to get help with their kids with autism and even more desperate to believe that it’s not their fault.
That’s certainly A factor. I’d also toss in parents who are terrified of putting their children at any risk at all, so they’d rather do nothing (no vaccine) and run the risks than doing something that might cause problems. What’s more important to them is that they didn’t actively cause the problem, rather than the odds.
And the “all chemicals are bad” type, who see “natural” as “good” and “artificial” as “bad.”
And the conspiracy nuts.
There are a lot of roads that end up in that bad place…
@Jenos Idanian #13:
Pot, meet kettle.
@SC_Birdflyte: So, you are for replacing a straightforward, universal regulation that has no consitutional problems with a another government regulation that is a) complex b) will leave some people sick and c) might constitute compelled speech. Libertarian logic!
@anjin-san: Tillis was joking with that example. He completed it by saying that they would have to post a sign saying that the employees were not required to wash their hands.
He’s right to a large degree on the market sorting itself out when it comes to food safety. Our local paper posts Health Department scores for restaurants every week and one of the local news stations does so as well. It seems that many restaurants with failing scores either get their act together or wind up going out of business because no one wants to eat there.
No, he was not “joking,” although his suggestion is a joke. He seriously thinks a sign is an adequate substitute, even though it’s not. He also fails to explain how requiring a sign is not just another regulation.
And those scores only exist because there is a Health Department. According to ‘small-government’ dogma, there should be no Health Department.
@Moderate Mom: And what does the Health Dept score? Adherence to rule and regulations.
@SC_Birdflyte: Which is exactly what he said.
So you have no problem with your family eating food prepared in unsanitary conditions while you are waiting for the marketplace to work it’s magic? No problem with people’s children eating food prepared in a filthy situation? People getting sick with totally preventable illnesses in the name of Teh freedom? Do you wash your hands before you cook for your loved ones?
I worked in that business for a long time. What he is suggesting – and no, he was not joking – is insanity.
Hey, I don’t have a problem with the regulations. I’m all for them. What I do have a problem with is taking things out of context, or not including all the information, to score political points. Which you did, taking what I pointed out, and expanding on it to meet your idea of what I meant.
Some here were doing exactly that. And that is a problem with BOTH political sides of the divide in the comments frequently posted here.
Here is the article I referred to. Please tell me what is taken out of context, or what information is missing.
Except it might be and they need to man up and accept that. Remember, fault and blame are two separate but related critters. If autism turns out to have a genetic link, it’s their “fault” in that they are the source of the genetic material in question but they are not to “blame” since there was no maliciousness or intent to harm. Like Tay-Sachs or any other genetic disorder, parents feel can guilt because they are assuming blame when they really shouldn’t be – it’s nature rolling the dice.
Hate to say it but sometimes @^#& happens. Kids get sick. Kids have terminal diseases, kids have lifelong disorders or disabilities. There is usually no one to blame or rage at – life is cruel like that. This is nothing more then trying to find someone to punch for their existential angst, a desperate attempt pinning their grief on a tangible thing. This is what counseling is for – to work through these feelings. You don’t get to rewrite science at will, upend social order and risk society’s health because you can’t deal with the fact that little Johnny is always going to be different. These people need to grow up and see a therapist, not their Congressman.
Which is what you did when you said this:
No, he was not.
Some have argued that this is not partisan. Please name the Democratic presidential candidate feeding red meat to their base by advocating against vaccines and if I’ve heard the name before, then I’ll believe you that both sides do it. My point is that former playboy models spouting off pseudo-science are easily and properly dismissed, but political officeholders have a higher responsibility to their communities.
@anjin-san: You are a textbook example of what I just posted and are absolutely insufferable at times. This is one of them. Extrapolate much?
And may I point out that while food service employees are required to wash their hands, some do not. Unless their employers post monitors in the bathrooms, we just have to hope that employees actually do wash their hands because it’s just good hygiene.
Once again, please tell me what is taken out of context or what information is missing. It’s not my fault if you make a statement you can’t support. So you can either back up a statement that you chose to make, or you can talk about how mean I am.
Yes, and some obey speed limits in school zones, and some do not. Should we abolish seed limits?
I understand your desire to change the subject. Saying that a regulation is hard to enforce is a separate matter from saying the regulation should not exist. Tillis did the latter.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
I followed your link about Hilary pandering to the anti-vaxxers and this was something that happened in 1993, at which point there genuinely were questions which have since been answered. The study “proving” a link between vaccination and autism was published in 1998. For ten years many people cited that article — including, I believe, Barack Obama (somebody will check me on this). That article, now termed by some “the worst medical hoax in a century,” was debunked in 2010 and its author’s medical license was withdrawn.
Therefore I can forgive people who voiced doubt before 2010, but not those people who still cling (bitterly!) to their fears and their preventable diseases
@Dave Schuler: “What’s missing from this discussion is why has the anti-vaccine crackpottery taken such a hold?
Anti-vaccine nuttery has existed for as long as vaccines have. The reason for the *current* upswing is the extensive, free, uncritical and unquestioning national platform that Oprah, CNN, Larry King, Greta Van Sustern, etc gave to Jenny McCarthy back in 2007/2008
@Ken: “Anti-vaccine nuttery has existed for as long as vaccines have. The reason for the *current* upswing is the extensive, free, uncritical and unquestioning national platform that Oprah, CNN, Larry King, Greta Van Sustern, etc gave to Jenny McCarthy back in 2007/2008”
That, and the “balance” that all news outlets seem to require — no matter how out-of-touch the other side of an issue is, it has to be represented.
Rand Paul now says he didn’t say what he said…so in addition to being a stupid fvck…he has no balls.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
Did you actually listen to the exchange or did you just accept the characterization by hot air? I’m guessing the latter or you wouldn’t be crowing about it. He was very clear that the science is clear and that parents should vaccinate their children, but said that they haven’t finished reviewing the case law as to whether there is authority for a federal law.Such a gotcha you found there.
@jukeboxgrad: No he didn’t. He said he wouldn’t have a problem with it not being a regulation, as long as they were required to post a sign, or use some other means, of letting the public know that they didn’t require employees to wash their hands. Watch the tape.
A totally parenthetical comment: George Washington made medical and military history by requiring that all the soldiers in the Continental Army be vaccinated for smallpox.
Hahahahaha….you crack me up.
I suggest we create a tradeoff. You, as a parent, are free to not vaccinate your child for an infectious disease. We, in our turn, can ban your little disease vector from any public area or any place where large numbers of people congregate. We also can quarantine you and your family for the length of any disease outbreak. Hospitals and doctors have the freedom to ban you from showing up on their doorstep, and health insurance companies have the right to refuse to pay for any medical treatment necessary when your little precious snowflake picks up measles/mumps/rubella/polio/whatever and you discover that granola and chakra-balancing water wasn’t enough.
In addition, your child (if still alive) will have the right to sue you at age 21 if because due to your not vaccinating him, he ends up sterile/blind/paralyzed/physically or mentally impaired. If the degree of mental impairment is to the extent that he is legally incompetent, a trustee appointed by the court can bring the lawsuit on his behalf.
(By the way–this has nothing to do with hippies and everything to do with stupidity. Two of my friends, both very unconventional organic-food types, have been extremely careful to make absolutely sure that their son is completely up to date on all his vaccinations. Maybe it’s because Mom is originally from Brazil, works for the WHO, and has seen at first hand what happens in communities that don’t have vaccinations.)
She was voted out by her constituents when her crazy finally got to Republican levels.
@Dave D: Indeed anyone that has taken some chemistry classes can only laugh at some of this stuff. I see people occasionally posting about chemicals on facebook and of course once I tell them what it really is they stop caring…
Is a link I like to use to point out to these people how stupid they are being.
All religions are nutty!
I think you’re conflating two different claims here. The original claim was that anti-vaxx idiocy is nonpartisan. I think that’s correct — the parents who choose not to vaccinate fall roughly equally on both ends of the left/right scale.
On the other hand, the pandering to the idiots is highly partisan. Republican candidates are (as a group) much less likely to take an unambiguous pro-vaccination stance than Democrats. They are also more likely to suggest that there is credible evidence that vaccinations can cause autism, or other discredited claims.
Testicles are not the seat of integrity.
He was also behind early attempts to add flouride to the water supply.
so I don’t know for sure but will they even let you in the military now without being up to date on your vaccines?
@Rick DeMent: They may let you in – not sure of that – but you can bet you’ll be up to date within a few minutes of taking the oath.
@Rick DeMent: I don’t know how they do it today, but when I joined, they made sure you were up to date by giving you a bunch of them in basic training. If you didn’t have all the necessary ones when you showed up, you’d certainly get them. And they didn’t use needles, they used those air-jet guns, which only hurt about 100X more than a needle and if you twitched they would cut you.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I think the reasonable moderate libertarian take on this is:
1) You’re a complete ****ing dumb**** if you don’t get your child vaccinated. This is what should have come out of Rand Paul’s mouth. The fact that it didn’t makes me seriously reconsider whether I would vote for him. This is not an issue where anecdotes and pandering can be condoned.
2) Compulsory vaccination is a potentially troubling precedent. In a perfect world, where it was limited to vaccines like MMR that were (a) completely safe and (b) completely necessary, it could be the least bad option.* My concern is that once the precedent is set, it becomes easier to mandate other vaccines and preventative treatments, and that getting a treatment mandated might be good money for whichever company owns the patent. Maybe even good enough money for lobbyists to get lawmakers to put things on the mandate list that aren’t as necessary or as safe.** My willingness to trust that such a mechanism would not be abused in the future is small to nonexistent, so I would want any kind of mandate to come with very bulletproof language to keep that kind of slippery slope from occurring.
*Of course, the real least bad option is that people take their responsibilities as citizens seriously, and get vaccinated when it is safe and necessary, thereby making the whole idea of compulsory vaccination a moot point.
**I don’t have a problem with Pharma in general. They do a lot of good work, but they have the same incentives as any other corporation. I’m not wild about K street though . . .
the author shows his lack of knowledge by stating ” But it’s now 2015. MMR vaccines that contain thimerosal—the supposed cause of autism—have been off the market for well over a decade. ” the MMR is a live virus vaccine that has never contained Thimerosal. If he cant get that detail correct, how much else is he getting wrong.
No one is taking your right to having a vaccine away. You can vaccine to your hearts content. Just don’t force me to have them.
This is the bottom line- if you want to vaccinate yourself, your children and your animals with everything out there you are free to do so. That same right is one others should have to not have them. Very simple.
The idea that everyone has to have them for your vaccine to work is inaccurate and dangerous. That is an idea put forward so that the group puts pressure on everyone to conform. You an decide for you, and I will decide for me.
Google herd immunity and understand that there are people that are immunocompromised that cannot get the vaccines.
No Joy. It has nothing to do with conformity. It has to do with the prevention of the spread of a fatal disease.
Apparently this pile of corpses is OK with you.
Actually, I am saying that if you believe in vaccination and what it can do for you then great, vaccinate like crazy, but it should not be related to my choice to vaccinate. They are setting up a ponzie scheme scenario. “We don’t win unless we all enroll in the program” the product is dependent in how it works upon everyone participating a certain way.
Who is “they”?
Who are you quoting?
What other product out there besides Communism is dependent upon everyone doing it for it to work??? It points to a defective product or system.
The “they” that I am referring to are the medical organizations that promote the current vaccination protocol.
They are the ones claiming that their product only works with everyone using it in unison. The same protocol at the same time. So, failure is about those not conforming to the protocol instead of the focus being about making a more effective product.
Yeah, Joy you are right. The prevention of all these diseases is certainly a Communist Plot and has nothing to do with biology.
The problem society has with citizens like you is that your pro disease stance will cause pain and suffering that is totally preventable. But, you know. Better dead than Red.
Depending on a system that everyone must do in order for it to succeed is the formula for failure.
You better have other tools for disease prevention because vaccines are very flawed. They aren’t what they are cracked up to be. I hope you have a strong immune system.
If you think I would listen to you, an advocate for the spread of Anthrax, Polio, Smallpox and other diseases that are successfully prevented by vaccines, you are deluded.
The position that vaccines for MMR, Polio, and other diseases that used to kill millions are a danger in and of themselves is ignorant at best. Speaking of ignorance, you need to understand what herd immunity means. The more people that are vaccinated the more effective the vaccine is at protecting everyone including the immunocompromised and others that can’t be vaccinated, like infants.
An easy to read primer on vaccines and vaccine myths can be found here.
Are you familiar with concept of traffic lights?
I just mentioned one.
Certain kinds of problems are best solved through collective action, which means “everyone participating a certain way.” Libertarians and spoiled children find this concept hard to grasp.
I don’t know if this a good example JB. After all it is the RED lights that control driving!
Signs of commie infiltration all around us. Good thing folks like Joy are warning us.
Great diversion with the Commi remarks but it isn’t going to fly. If you really believe that we are one step away from mass measles outbreaks that somehow have mutated into a dangerous and deadly virus from what it was when all of our parents contracted it then I can see why you might be tempted to take away our hard fought for rights as human beings. It is not ethical to violate the Geneva convention and force medical procedures on anyone for any reason. Tyranny is not a concept that my Grandfather, who flew in the lead B-17 over Nazi Germany, would be a supporter of. He sacrificed so that I would not have to live in a Country that forces its citizens to take a shot into their body’s, a sacred place, when they are opposed to it.
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.
I agree that isolation or quarantine might be appropriate in an outbreak. I am not opposed to that. I do know that humans have a propensity towards panic and fear and become irrational in their decision making processes as a result. I am against Government forcing, ie, mandating that people must vaccinate. If a person wants to vaccinate everything and anything then they are free to do so. That same freedom should be extended to those of us who do not want to.
Medical Freedom is very precious. I might be forced to do many things as a citizen of this Country, but I must draw the line when it comes to being forced to take something inside of my body. That is off limits. I hope that those born protectors out there in this great Country like my Grandfather, will stand for those of us who do not want to be physically forced to comply with a medical procedure.
Just a side note, my Grandfather was just named, “Man Of The Year” for the honorable and sacrificial life that he has led even after his service in WW11.
It is exactly that irrational fear the anti-vaxers are exhibiting.
I am curious how consistent you are in your medical autonomy argument. What is your position on the legality of abortion (early and late term) and your opinion on requiring transvaginal ultrasounds prior to abortion?
No Typhoid Joy. You should not be given the freedom to spread fatal disease. Apparently the spread of preventable fatal disease is your vile agenda.
Stop being so kind to these pariahs. They are pro disease who would likely embrace the bubonic plague.
Typhoid Joy is one of their stooges.
I am not for forced abortion, if that is what you are asking. This is exactly what I am talking about. No one should be able to force a medical procedure on you if it is not your choice. Forced Abortions is CRIMINAL!!
Grewgills- being obnoxious and rude does not make your argument valid.
Your pro disease stance is more than obnoxious and rude. It is dangerous and fatal to citizens.
Forced abortions? I don’t know where you are coming from on that front. Do you support a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion? Do you support limits on that right? Do you support the state forcing a woman to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound in order to be able to get an abortion?
You brought up abortion and in the context it would be about someone not being able to have the choice to ” opt out” of abortion for any reason but medical. Right now our vaccination program is set up so that people can “opt out” . Abortion is a medical procedure that is not mandated and people can do it if they so choose. Abortion is a different argument as the core issue involves whether the developing baby is a developing person with an equal set of rights protected under the law. If so, it is murder to undergo a medical procedure that ends the life of the developing child. If not, then a person just elected to terminate a pregnancy. No one is forcing a medical procedure. The woman is choosing to undergo the event. Mandated vaccination is about force. Plain and simple.
No Typhoid Joy. Mandated vaccination is about preventing fatal disease. It is about saving the lives of citizens because we know that vaccines prevent fatal disease.
Your PRO DISEASE stance totally irresponsible and deadly.
This has to be a troll, right? Nobody is simultaneously that clueless and that vocal…
From the World Health Organization:
I am not a troll and it is time to get real about the measles virus. The same people that are heralding Measles as a most frightening illness are the same people that view flu and chickenpox in the same light. Somehow we are all going to die if we acquire the flu, the chickenpox or the worst of all: THE MEASLES. Sort of like how we were all going to die from the SWINE FLU. It is hype. People do have complications from all illness’ just like people have complications from vaccines.
Talk to people older than 50 and ask them about Measles/Mumps/Chicken Pox, and the Flu and listen to their response. Don’t buy this hype that YOU WILL NOT SURVIVE UNLESS YOU TAKE THE VACCINE. You are more likely to die of a staph infection than measles. Give me a break. Yes, Measles is contagious. People that are the most at risk are in Countries where they are suffering malnutrition and serious Vitamin A deficiency. They will suffer from the vaccine with brain swelling and systemic damage if they are already this compromised in their immune system. Defeat the real problem- Unclean Water/ Malnutrition/ Vitamin deficiency/ Lack of information on how to care for sick people. Common sense that Pharma is not profiting from unlike vaccines. Get out of your emotionalism and put on your thinking cap. Geez.
Where are these people?
What everyone here has pointed out is that vaccines are safe and have nearly completely eradicated diseases that used to kill millions of people every year. You also appear to be conflating mild respiratory infections to influenza. What average people call the flu is not influenza that the vaccine protects against. People that choose to not vaccinate themselves and their children out of some irrational fear are why the measles is resurgent. You make this country a less healthy place and much more dangerous to the immunocompromised.
“These people” are everyone around me over a certain age. They all had Measles/Mumps/Chicken Pox and Flu and are stronger than I am and I am fully vaccinated. I am actually not immune to Measles even though I had all of the recommended vaccines. The vaccine did not work, but my Husband, Mom, Dad, three Uncles an Aunt Grandmother and Grandfather had all of the above diseases and have lifelong immunity with a stronger immune system than mine, hands down. I talk to people everywhere about Measles. The people under around 45 are PARANOID AND ACT COMPLETELY HELPLESS IN THE FACE OF THE DREADED VIRUS but those over that age shrug and say, oh yeah, I had that when I was a kid, and said that their parents took them to homes that had the Measles so that they could get it and get it over with and have lifelong immunity. People get a grip. The next vaccine that they come out with will have the same panic surrounding it. The Panda Virus Vaccine and we all will have to rush to Walgreens in a panic so we don’t all die of Panda Virus.
It is clear that you are already diseased with some form of dementia.
I hope you have acres of land because pretty soon the unvaccinated will start dropping dead faster than Brian Williams credibility and we are going to bury them all in your backyard.
Who needs science when we have anecdotes?
I bet if you ask members of your family and their friends that are over 55 if they had Measles they would say yes. Ask them about their experience. Science is limited as scientist have a lot to learn when it comes to the human body. Science used to claim that cigarettes did not cause cancer and were good for people. Don’t buy into the arrogance. Science can be arrogant without good reason. They used to say MERCURY was good for the human body. Wow, not that smart. This last “EPIDEMIC” which is up to about 100 people the last time I checked, no one has died, ect.. So many more people have died in the same period of time from Doctors errors in hospitals. Do we have a vaccine for Doctors errors yet. Maybe the one vaccine I would approve of for myself.
So you would turn down a vaccine to prevent Alzheimers.
Alzheimers is not caused by a virus. How might the vaccine industry create a vaccine for something that has so many known causes. One of those causes is Aluminum which is found in many of the vaccines on the vaccine schedule. How ridiculous would that be- give people a vaccine with Aluminum as the adjuvent, to prevent Alzheimers. Yet, there would be a ton of people lining up for it just because they don’t want to have Alzheimers. They wouldn’t even think of what is in the vaccine or if it will do them harm, or if it will even work. Just take this magic pill and all will be well. UTOPIA.
Neither are Doctors errors.