A week and a half ago, Orac got to travel to San Diego to participate in a panel discussion about the antivaccine movement. Even better, he got to meet two heroes of his, California Senator Richard Pan and Dr. Peter Hotez.
There's been an outbreak of chickenpox in North Carolina. Guess where it happened? Yes, at a Waldorf school. Quelle surprise! Waldorf Schools are a danger to the children who attend them and the communities in which they are located.
The grande dame of the antivaccine movement, Barbara Loe Fisher, is ranting again. This time, she is peddling both misinformed consent about vaccines and likening her struggle to social justice movements of the past as she portrays well baby visits as "vaccine battlegrounds" instigated by the AAP.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is the committee that decides on the CDC-recommended vaccine schedule. Naturally, antivaxers don't like it—or any scientist on it. Or any vaccine advocate, for that matter. Paul Offit is a particular target of their ire, and they can be quite scary.
A group of Spanish veterinary researchers claim that aluminum adjuvants in vaccines make sheep sick. To prove it, they injected a small number of sheep with massive amounts of adjuvants and vaccines and did a whole lot of comparisons, including behavioral observations with a large subjective component. Surprise! They think they've found something. Less surprising, the antivaxers like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. are pointing to the study as evidence of how dangerous vaccines are.
In this installment of Conspiracy Theory Bingo, Kevin Barry blames the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 on an experimental vaccine. Yes, Mr. Barry lets the conspiracy mongering and antivaccine tropes flow as he "investigates" the influenza pandemic of 1918. Being the antivaccine crank that he is, he concludes that the influenza virus didn't cause the disease that killed over 50 million people a hundred years ago. No! It was—of course—an experimental meningitis vaccine that caused bacterial pneumonia in Army recruits. Let's just say that there are numerous holes in Barry's claims.
Antivaxers have become politically active and, unfortunately, quite influential in several states. As you go out to the polls today, remember that, and vote as if our children's health depends on it, particularly if you live in Texas and Oklahoma.
A week ago, The Toronto Sun published a syndicated column by a pseudonymous Canadian doctor, Dr. W. Gifford-Jones. The column was packed with antivaccine misinformation and pseudoscience. Apparently due to complaints, the article was taken down after an uproar, but is still available on the website of at least one other Canadian newspaper. How is it that a physician who writes such twaddle can be syndicated in over 70 newspapers?
in 2015, SB 277 was passed in California, eliminating personal belief exemptions (PBEs) to its school vaccine mandate beginning in 2016. Two years on, health officials express frustration with shortcomings of the law, the two most glaring of which involve their lack of authority to deny scientifically bogus medical exemptions sold by antivaccine doctors and their lack of authority and resources to track medical exemptions.
Contrary to the stereotype of antivaccinationists as hippy-dippy left wing granola crunchers, in actuality antivaccine pseudoscience is the pseudoscience is the pseudoscience that knows no political boundaries. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that both parties are equivalent. Unfortunately, thanks to the co-opting of conservative activism by antivaxers, the Republican Party in 2018 has become the antivaccine party.