It's ba-ack. In response to efforts to make personal belief exemptions harder to obtain, an old and particularly vile antivax trope is back: Vaccine mandates as rape, with a new #metoo-inspired twist, namely "vaccine injured" children as victims of sexual assault whose assaulters are trying to silence them.
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.
It may be two days after the 4th of July, but it's never too late to deconstruct a holiday-inspired antivaccine rant about "zero tolerance vaccine laws" by the grand dame of the antivaccine movement.
Last week, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla approved a ballot initiative to collect signatures that would, if passed, reverse school vaccine mandates, ban GMOs, and demonize chemicals. It sounds like something Mike Adams would have written. Fortunately, 365,880 signatures of registered voters are needed, which makes it unlikely that this will pass.
California's new law that eliminates personal belief exemptions has been a success, increasing vaccine uptake after just one year. That isn't to say that there aren't problems. One potential problem is the increasing number of medical exemptions, likely fueled by doctors willing to write letters of support for them based on reasons that are not science-based.
The numbers are in. SB 277, the new California law banning nonmedical exemptions, works. Vaccine uptake is up, and personal belief exemptions are down dramatically.
Whenever we discuss vaccines and vaccine hesitancy, thanks to Andrew Wakefield the one vaccine that almost always comes up is the MMR, which is the combined measles-mumps-rubella vaccine. In 1998, Wakefield published a case series of cherry-picked patients in which he strongly inferred that the MMR vaccine was associated with autism and “autistic enterocolitis.” Of course, even the way Wakefield spun it, this wasn’t enough evidence to link the MMR vaccine to autism, which is no doubt why Wakefield never explicitly said that it did in the paper describing his case series. My guess has always been that the peer …
It’s been nearly three weeks since we learned that the Medical Board of California had initiated disciplinary proceedings against the most famous antivaccine physician not named Andrew Wakefield. I’m referring, of course, to “Dr. Bob” Sears, author of The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child and creator of an “alternate” vaccine schedule that “spreads out the vaccines.” Unfortunately, it’s a book that’s been very influential, in particular promoting the idea of “too many too soon” and claiming that delaying vaccines will reduce a child’s risk of autism. Basically, the medical board accused Sears of failing to live …
After all the bad news that I’ve been blogging about, it’s a pleasure for me to end the week with a bit of very good news, very good news indeed. That news came in the form of an article published in the Orange County Register with the glorious title Dr. Bob Sears faces medical board discipline in recommendation not to vaccinate. Behold:
After writing about the failure of state medical boards to discipline physicians who practice quackery and an apparent notable exception in Tennessee just yesterday, my attention was brought back to California and the topic of SB 277, the law enacted last year that, as of July 1 this year, eliminated non-medical exemptions to school vaccine mandates. As anyone who’s read this blog for more than a year knows (or anyone who’s just paid attention to the political battle to pass SB 277 lsat year in the wake of the Disneyland measles outbreak), once the battle was over and antivaccine activists …