Well, that escalated quickly. You may recall earlier this year when Disneyland was ground zero for a measles outbreak. In total, 147 cases were confirmed, and it spread to six states and Mexico and Canada.
The outbreak shined a bright light on the anti-vaccination movement. With no regards to actual science, high-profile advocates were seemingly validating the idea the vaccinations were causing autism and dangerous to kids.
Why were people taking medical advice from the likes of Jim Carrey, Jenny McCarthy and Kirstie Alley? Same reason some still think the Earth is flat.
The consistent spread of misinformation led to an unvaccinated rate as high as 8.6% in some CA communities. They used the personal exemption to skirt the requirements. The escalating unvaccinated rate resulted in a drop in what health officials call herd immunity and caused localized outbreaks.
It all came to a head with the Disneyland outbreak. No longer was it just individual schools getting hit. Six states plus other countries. The United States, which had all but eradicated measles was facing a measles outbreak. All because of debunked science and people listening to actors.
I thought Americans hated listening to Hollywood? Of all the things to latch on to from certain Hollywood stars, people picked not vaccinating their kids. Yeah, that sounds just dumb enough.
On Tuesday, CA Governor Jerry Brown signed SB277, which removes all personal and religious exemptions for parents wishing to not vaccinate their kids.
Medical exemptions will remain in place. Take Marin County father Carl Krawitt. His son is recovering from leukemia treatment and cannot be vaccinated yet. That will still be allowed. All families have to do is verify the medical condition with a letter from their doctor.
The idea is to rebuild the herd immunity to protect kids like Mr. Krawitt’s son. Kids with compromised immune systems or other health conditions would be protected thanks to their classmates being vaccinated.
The Anti-Vaccination Reaction
SB277 is now law in California. We yield the floor to crazy.
Reality show star Kristin Cavallari? In response to a question on Watch What Happens Live, she pushed backed against the law:
“Here’s the thing: At the end of the day, I’m just a mom. I’m trying to make the best decision for my kid,” the shoe designer, 27, replied. “There are very scary statistics out there regarding what is in vaccines and what they cause — asthma, allergies, ear infections, all kinds of things. And we feel like we’re making the best decision for our kids.”
Ah yes, the debunked study on vaccinations.
Kirstie Alley, do you have an incoherent response to SB277?
NO on SB277…no no no…protect your rights to CHOOSE the vaccines your kids and YOU have…they are NOT all HARMLESS…Ur kids,Ur choice
— Kirstie Alley (@kirstiealley) June 19, 2015
And now, Jim Carrey. What do you say, brother?
California Gov says yes to poisoning more children with mercury and aluminum in manditory vaccines. This corporate fascist must be stopped.
— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) July 1, 2015
Alrighty then. That’s complete bullshit. Here’s the study debunking that. Not everything is a conspiracy.
Are there risks to vaccines? Of course. Every medical procedure has some form of risk. Vaccines are not immune to it. It’s terrible when it happens, but something even more terrible? A country that had measles all but eradicated becoming a breeding ground for preventable epidemics. Your personal choice, not backed by science, does not trump another kid’s right to safety.
Maybe it’s the product of growing up in a Naval family and every time we moved it seemed like a damn laundry list of vaccinations was waiting for my brothers and me when we swapped schools. And trust me, I hate needles.
Personal exemptions based on nonsense have no basis in public schools. If you want to homeschool your kid, go for it and don’t vaccinate. Risking the rest of the class because you read something factually wrong on the Internet?
The rest of us shouldn’t have to deal with the consequences of what you read on Twitter.