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 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.
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?
The Vaccine Choice Empowerment Symposium is coming, full of antivaccine misinformation and dishonest conflation, and it's coming to Orac's neck of the woods. Should Orac attend, given that the misinformation will be black hole density?
"One Conversation" was originally planned to be a panel discussion between pro- and anti-vaccine advocates. However, as pro-vaccine scientists learned just how disreputable the antivaccine cranks on the panel are, they've canceled, leaving an antivaccine crankfest. Yesterday, I learned that this antivaccine confab has added two more cranks, one of whom is a real blast from the past.
Barbara Loe Fisher, Joe Mercola, and other antivaxers frequently deny that the flu is dangerous and that all the promotion of flu vaccines every year is a plot by big pharma to make money based on fear. The CDC argues otherwise, reporting that influenza mortality last season was higher than iit's been in decades. Roughly 80,000 people are estimated to have died last season from influenza or complications from the flu.
An 11-month old boy suffered a stroke after chickenpox, an underappreciated risk of varicella zoster infection. This catastrophe could have been avoided if his parents had just vaccinated his two older siblings.
In Houston, a toddler was admitted to the pediatric ICU at Texas Children's Hospital with a serious case of the measles. Unfortunately, one of the nurses there is antivaccine and blabbed about him on social media. The hospital quite appropriately fired her, but I would go further and say that antivaccine nurses should not be caring for children. Ditto antivaccine doctors.