Saturday, November 30, 2002

NY Times has an article on parents who reject vaccination. It portrays the parents as misguided wackos without giving many of the valid reasons for not vaccinating. According to the article, the only states with exemption rates greater than 2 percent are Michigan, Washington and Wisconsin. About 1% of the population gets medical exemptions. So the number of people avoiding exemptions is very small, and not enough to affect herd immunity.

There is also an op-ed on a court that is currently considering sealing evidence about vaccine injuries, and preventing it from being used in lawsuits. The author is vice dean of NYU law school, and he sees no excuse for such secrecy.

The article on vaccine exemptions implies that parents are ignorant for thinking that vaccines cause various injuries. But then why is the govt covering up the evidence? I think that it is reasonable for people to refuse vaccine until the govt has more reasonable vaccine policies.

My reply:
Subject: Reasons for avoiding vaccines
Besides the listed reasons for parents refusing vaccination for their kids, there is also the fact that some parents have lost confidence in our vaccine authorities. Just in the past several years, the authorities have had to reverse themselves on mercury preservatives, oral polio, whole cell pertussis, rotavirus, Lyme disease, anthrax, etc. The committees are dominated by vaccine industry researchers with conflicts of interest. Crucial information is withheld from the public. Policies are heavy-handed and seem to defy common sense, such as the recent smallpox vaccine decision. It just isn't possible for some federal agency to decide what is best for everyone, and for everyone to agree with those decisions. It is amazing that those dissenting from official vaccine schedule (and getting non-medical exemptions) number less than one percent.

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