More news on the harm that vaccine safety misinformation does. Thanks Jenny McCarthy!
An organized campaign by anti-vaccination groups to sow doubt about the effectiveness and safety of vaccines has helped push some vaccination rates among kindergarten-aged children in B.C. to their lowest levels in a decade.
And that campaign – which health officials say is riddled with misinformation, bad science and paranoia – is likely going to result in more outbreaks of the kind that made more than 200 unvaccinated people sick with the measles in the Fraser Valley this month.
Another group, the Vancouver-based Vaccine Resistance Network, is run by Joel Lord, who operates their website from his East Vancouver home.
Lord is a prolific writer, having published scores of articles on the VRM’s website. His organization held an anti-vaccine summit in Vancouver last year. He promotes what he calls a vaccine-free natural approach, because he believes the chemicals in vaccines are behind severe damage to children’s developing brains.
Lord says the movement is getting help from high-profile celebrities such as Jenny McCarthy, who has said publicly that vaccines caused autism in her son.
Thanks to groups like this, who do not understand how vaccines work and the risk to the population in general to low rates of vaccinations, in 2005, 81.4 per cent of kindergarten-age children in B.C. had received the important DaPTP vaccine, which provides protection against whooping cough, tetanus, polio, diphtheria, and haemophilus influenzae. By 2012, that had dropped to 75.5 per cent. Such a low coverage can perpetuate outbreaks. Outbreaks can cause needless sufferring, injury and DEATH.
The BC Centre for Disease Control notes:
If we stop immunizing, the diseases will come back. In some cases, like measles or polio, these diseases are just a plane ride away.
Then goes on to cite recent situations where diseases came roaring back. Honestly, anti-vax groups like this should be cited and fined for endangering public health. They are a menace to society.
Don’t be ignorant: Immunize BC.
Addition: Ignorance also featured today in Australia press.