Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Jenny McCarthy Month! Live from Oregon

I am not going to write thirty posts on vaccines this month. But I do think it's worth visiting some of the breadth of the vaccine problem both nationally and internationally as we head towards Jenny McCarthy's first day on The View.

Oregon has become one focal point for the left-wing anti-vax movement, as opposed to the religious right anti-vax movement.

Here's a piece on parents in Portland just making their own schedule, based on an intuition that kids just get too many too quickly. I cannot tell you how many emails flooded my inbox after writing about McCarthy, citing the numbers - they got bigger, there are more, there are just too many. That's the kind of data convincing parents to spread it out. By contrast:
“The recommended schedule is based on indisputable scientific evidence that the vaccines will work to prevent infections and are safe,” wrote Dr. Carol Baker, ACIP’s chair and a professor of pediatrics at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, in an email to Reuters Health…”The problem that we saw is that these kids are getting fewer shots total and they’re not catching up,” said [Dr. Steve Robison, the study's lead author from the Oregon Immunization Program].”Parents and doctors don’t realize how easy it is for kids on alternative schedules to fall behind,” he added.
Indisputable is not a word used lightly.

In response, Oregon lawmakers have passed a mandatory education bill. In this article, we hear the same response as from the church about Hep-B. One mother who chose to slow down the vaccinations said:
Jennifer Margulis, an Ashland author and mother of four, said American children are over-vaccinated.

"Why are we giving a vaccine for a sexually transmitted disease at birth?" she said, referring to the required hepatitis B shot.

Margulis selectively vaccinated her children, exempting them from the hepatitis B vaccine. She rejects the notion that parents who refuse immunizations are uninformed.

"People who choose not to vaccinate according to the CDC (recommendations) are really making a thoughtful, careful decision," she said. Still, Margulis said she thinks the legislation is a good idea because parents should be as informed as possible when making such an important decision.

"It's the most educated people who are choosing to do things a little differently," she said.
So here we're getting a kind of elitism that has a different aesthetic than the voices from the church in Texas, but there's a similar epistemology.


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