Arlo goes to the Waldorf School. In the midst of a measles epidemic that stretches from Portland to King County, Washington lawmakers have introduced a bill to end the personal vaccinations that are otherwise required to attend day care, as well as state and private schools. This bill was introduced by Paul Harris representative from Clark County, where at least 35 people, almost all of whom were not vaccinated, were diagnosed with measles ̵
At present, parents can exclude their children from receiving these vaccines if they have religious or philosophical objections, and the number of people seeking these exemptions has been increasing for years. In Clark County, for example, the vaccination rate for kindergartens has risen from 91.4% in 2005 to 76.5% in 2018
The demographics of people seeking these exceptions have also changed . Vaccines were something that a small number of religious groups opposed. Today, however, almost no religions oppose vaccines. Instead, objections more often come from secular people who have encountered anti-vocal skepticism or in pop culture (for example, Dr. Oz ) or online.
Highly liberal communities like Vallan Island and Waldorf For example, schools often have lower vaccinations than the country average. For example, in the Waldorf School in the renowned Progressive City of Ashville, North Carolina, almost 70% of parents refuse to vaccinate their children, and nearly a quarter of children in school have received chicken pox, which is also a completely preventable disease last year.
According to doctors and experts in public health, science behind vaccines has long been regulated: Vaccines are one of the safest ways to prevent infectious diseases and significantly reduce mortality worldwide. Yet many people are not convinced. Larry Cook, for example, a self-described "natural lifestyle protector," runs the StopMandatoryVaccination.com website, which publishes heartbreaking, though unverified stories that children are injured or even killed by vaccines.
Cook lives in California, a state that has completed personal release in 2015, but he is involved in the vaccine fight in Washington. This week, he launched a $ 6,000 fundraiser to buy a Facebook ad specifically targeted at women in Washington.
"The goal here is to help parents begin to question the safety and efficacy of vaccines, which will help them understand why vaccine terms may be problematic for their children," the site said. the collector of funds. "We want those parents on the fence to become active in Washington." After just one day fundraising was almost half way to full financing.
Cook, who says he was born in Washington, has vocal allies in the area. Bernadette Payer, head of the "Informed Choice" in Washington, and the mother of a 15-year-old son, who says she suffers from "vaccine injury", has spent much of her life in recent years fighting compulsory vaccination. She believes that vaccines are being pushed by pharmaceutical companies to make money. "I know that vaccines are designed to protect children from infections, but they are pharmaceuticals produced by the same companies that produce opiates," she told me on the phone.
In response to the proposed legislation, Paier has distributed an e-mail to legislators, the Ministry of Health and the Media about what she considers the dangers of vaccines and how the media mistakenly report this last outbreak of measles.
"These cases of measles, most of which are already fully recovered, are used to scare the public into thinking that they and their children are in serious danger of being exposed to an infection that for the most part Americans are benign, He writes the letter. As evidence, she cites doctors for informed consent, an advocacy organization that Katie Hennessy, the parent of the Autism Spectrum Child and Washington Vaccine Manager, says she has "deep ties to pseudoscience." Being benign is annoying, "says Hennessy. And medical experts support this: While it is true that most people who make measles will have no complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of every 20 children who undergo measles will gets serious complications like pneumonia and one in 1,000 children will develop encephalitis, swelling of the brain that can lead to permanent brain damage. Two out of 1,000 children who make measles will die from it.
Pajer, however, does not trust the CDC. In her letter she cites "CDC whistleblower" William Thompson, a scientist who is featured in a light-motion film for 2016. Vaxxed: From Cloaking to Crash . The film shows happy, healthy children who, according to their parents, get ill or are disabled after having received vaccines – sometimes at night.
During the creation of the movie, the alleged informant did not realize the spirit. On the contrary, Thompson was unconsciously enrolled by lawyer Brian Hooker while discussing the data missed in a 2004 CDC study on vaccines and autism. It seems like a smoking gun, but Thompson himself has denied the film and its conclusions.
"I want to be absolutely clear that I believe the vaccines have saved and continue to save countless lives," he said. "I would never suggest to every parent to avoid the vaccination of children from each race. Vaccines prevent serious illness and the risks associated with their administration are significantly greater than individual and social benefits. "Still, anti-ward defenders regularly cite Thompson as proof of some kind of conspiracy with the CDC. Pair also claims that some children are "susceptible to injury by vaccines." This, she told me, "is well established as a fact."
No, however, according to Douglas Dickma, a professor of pediatrics and bioethics at the University of Medicine at Washington and a doctor in the emergency room at Seattle Kindergarten. "We know that if you had an allergic reaction to the first vaccine, you should not get the second one," he told me. But there is still no credible evidence that the allergic reaction to any vaccine causes autism despite the hundreds of studies that are looking for a link. One paper allegedly related to a cause-and-effect relationship by Andrew Wakefield was so overwhelmed with methodological mistakes that it was later withdrawn and no one was able to repeat it.
"Researchers from several countries have published surveys containing tens of thousands. if not hundreds of thousands of children, and there is nothing there, "says Dichema. "And these are not people paid by pharmaceutical companies. As a pediatrician I am excited by the idea that I and my colleagues will be dealing with this conspiracy. "
Dickem sees the skeptics of the vaccine often working in Seattle Kids. Parents will bring a child with a dirty cut and are afraid the tetanus shot will lead to autism or other "vaccine injuries". When this happens, Dickma describes what their teenage children can do – a still incurable disease that can lead to death. This, he says, is usually, but not always, an effective way of communicating with parents. And research supports it: According to a 2015 study, just telling people what experts say about communicable diseases rarely changes their minds. But if you describe what the disease is and show pictures of children with measles, it is more likely that people will be moved. The truth is that knowing that vaccines do not cause autism, we do not know exactly what they are doing. Diekema says there is evidence that there is a genetic component, but the studies are not final. We do not even know if the percentage of autism has risen. There may be more children than autistic spectrum than decades ago, as many skeptics of the vaccine say, but it is also possible for doctors to simply diagnose it.
Concerning the legislator's proposal to end all vaccinations, Dichema says there are mixed feelings. When it comes to measles, he says yes, no doubt. The illness is so contagious that all personal exceptions must end. "When a child goes to a class with measles, you will suddenly see a dozen cases. But, he adds, terminating personal release also has the potential to create a response.
"I worry that if you eliminate this release for parents who are strongly opposed, you can fuel society and then find yourself in an even worse situation," he says. "But at least we have to make it harder to get these exceptions." At the moment, everything you need to get an exception is a visit to a doctor who will inform you of the risks and give you a note. Diekema believes this should be an annual requirement. "It should not be easier to give up vaccines to get vaccinated."
If the legislator adopts this bill, the vaccination rate is likely to increase, as in California, since the state has ended the personal exemptions. This, however, will hardly convince Bernadette Péyer or her allies. As we have seen again and again, from the battles of climate change to GMOs to vaccines, data rarely, if at all, are enough to master the mindset already drawn.