This is why we can’t have nice things.
Measles, a disease declared to be eliminated from the U.S. in 2000, is spreading in New York and outbreaks have been reported in Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles as well.
While much of the current outbreak is traceable to the Philippines, the resurgence in measles seems to be also directly linked to the anti-vaccine movement in the U.S. and in Britain. The movement itself is founded largely on a debunked and retracted paper published by Dr. A.J. Wakefield in the British medical journal The Lancet, which (again, falsely) linked the MMR vaccine to autism. After the retraction of the paper, 10 of the 12 authors would go on to disavow the findings and Wakefield would be stripped of his medical license for publishing false research.
Although the link between vaccines and autism has been discredited, the anti-vaccine movement continues to gain traction, in large part because of support from celebrities like Jenny McCarthy and Kristin Cavallari. While McCarthy has been a mouthpiece for the movement for some time, Cavallari only recently announced that she too was anti-vaccine and wouldn’t be vaccinating her children.
Some have viewed Cavallari’s announcement as nothing more than a cheap publicity stunt, and it very well may be. But, even if it isn’t, Cavallari is only able to offer an extremely flimsy and misinformed defense against vaccinations when pressed for her logic behind the decision. The actress (?) took to Twitter recently to cite an obscure blog as the basis for her stance on vaccinations.
Cavallari’s petulance aside, the problem with her mindset is that this is a matter that we should all agree on, because it has been proven time and again by verifiable research. Every single major public health organization has denied the vaccine-autism link. The even greater problem, however, is that McCarthy and Cavallari are using their platform to promote a precarious practice.
It’d be one thing if the anti-vaccine crusade was simply irrational, but it’s also incredibly dangerous. Through their astounding ignorance, McCarthy, Cavallari and others who think like them are not only putting their own children in danger, but are putting other children in danger as well. As more and more children go unvaccinated, diseases like measles are able to gain a foothold which enables them to spread through the population. Often, the victims of outbreaks are infants that are too young to get vaccinated.
So please, don’t buy into the hysteria.
If you have children, be responsible and get them vaccinated.
Previously from Charlie Crespo:
♦ It was the Best of Times, It was the Nelly(est) of Times
♦ Viral Video of the Week: More Local News? More Local News!
♦ Hit the Road, Jack
♦ Viral Video of the Week: Super Mario Bros. Theme Played on Ancient Chinese Instrument
♦ Yet Another Example of Why Parents Should Never Tell Their Kids Anything