The GOP And The Anti-Vaxxers

Chris Christie’s endorsement of parental choice over public health while we have a measles epidemic strikes me as yet another disqualifying aspect of his judgment, character and personality in his bid for the presidency. Here’s some important context for his remarks – Christie: Michael, what I said was that there has to be a balance … Continue reading The GOP And The Anti-Vaxxers

Talking Sense Into Anti-Vaxxers

Chris Mooney reports on a new study that suggests it may be impossible: The paper tested the effectiveness of four separate pro-vaccine messages, three of which were based very closely on how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) itself talks about vaccines. The results can only be called grim: Not a single one … Continue reading Talking Sense Into Anti-Vaxxers

Will Vaccination Become Partisan?

Sarah Despres hopes not. She notes that, currently, “support for immunizations is largely bipartisan”: According to a recently released survey from the Pew Research Center, the public opinion on vaccine requirements, for example, divides much more by age than by political affiliation. This may be a function of the fact that younger people are less likely … Continue reading Will Vaccination Become Partisan?

A Measly Epidemic

Measles Day at Disney! #WorstDayIn4Words @HashtagShenani pic.twitter.com/Liwixs89Ol — Joe Messina (@joemessin) February 1, 2015 Thanks in part to anti-vaxxer hysteria – now getting a boost from Christie – the measles are making a comeback: Between Jan. 1 to 30, 102 cases of the measles were reported to the CDC from 14 different states. The majority of the … Continue reading A Measly Epidemic

The Whole Damn Country Is Sick

Basically: The annual influenza outbreak has reached widespread levels in 43 states – up from 36 states a week ago. Flu season arrived early this year – reaching epidemic levels last week: That the flu has reached epidemic status is not unexpected — this is a regular part of flu season — but it has reached … Continue reading The Whole Damn Country Is Sick

Treating The Anti-Vaccine Moment With Kindness

Amanda Schaffer contemplates Eula Biss’s new book about vaccination: Biss sympathizes with parents who fear vaccines, and she understands the cultural roots of their hesitation, which include an insistence on bodily independence; an obsession with physical purity, free from chemicals; and even a kind of pre-industrial nostalgia that casts vaccines as newfangled and unnatural. She … Continue reading Treating The Anti-Vaccine Moment With Kindness

The Anti-Vaxx Movement Gets Worse

Amanda Marcotte explains: It’s hard to believe it was possible, but anti-vaccination fanaticism has taken a darker turn, as Chris Mooney reports for Mother Jones: Now, it’s not just vaccines that parents are foolishly rejecting for their children, but also a simple injection of vitamin K that has been a standard part of newborn care since the 1960s. … Continue reading The Anti-Vaxx Movement Gets Worse

Not A Measly Number

288 cases of measles have been reported to the CDC so far this year, “the largest number of measles cases in the United States reported in the first five months of a year since 1994.” You can probably guess who’s to blame: “The current increase in measles cases is being driven by unvaccinated people, primarily U.S. residents, … Continue reading Not A Measly Number

Refusing To Treat The Unvaccinated

by Patrick Appel Sydney Spiesel considers the choice that pediatricians like him face when dealing with anti-vaxxers: What do we do about vaccine refusers? It’s a difficult question. If we don’t allow unimmunized kids in our practice, where will they get medical care? That’s the reason that many (though I’m not sure how many) pediatricians allow unimmunized … Continue reading Refusing To Treat The Unvaccinated

The Return Of A Deadly Disease

by Patrick Appel Russell Saunders blames anti-vaxxers for the measles outbreak in NYC: This is not some inconvenience to be laughed off. Measles is a highly-contagious illness caused by a virus. It usually presents with a combination of rash, fevers, cough and runny nose, as well as characteristic spots in the mouth. Most patients recover after an unpleasant but … Continue reading The Return Of A Deadly Disease