Much Of Public Officials’ Attention Has Focused On Jewish Community, But Vaccination Resistance Spreads Far Beyond It
The majority of the dozens of New York City schools that had less than 90 percent of their children vaccinated for measles in the last school year were not ultra-Orthodox Jewish. Meanwhile, a look into history shows that vaccination resistance is nothing new in the U.S., and it tends to be tied tumultuous times of social upheaval and distrust in our institutions.
The New York Times:
Measles Outbreak: Opposition To Vaccine Extends Well Beyond Ultra-Orthodox Jews In N.Y.
Noah Abdullah hasn’t immunized his 4-year-old son, Michael, saying that he’d read vaccines might be “no good” and that he’d “rather do natural things” to strengthen his child’s immune system. “I need to see more information before I start shooting him up with stuff,” Mr. Abdullah said. Donna Mosley said her 3-year-old grandson also did not have his vaccinations, though she wishes he did. His mother is afraid the shots could cause autism, she said, and his father’s Muslim beliefs have made him “totally against it.” (Otterman and Piccoli, 5/9)
Los Angeles Times:
Why The Measles Outbreak Has Roots In Today's Political Polarization
Vaccine resistance in America has frequently coincided with periods of great angst and resentment toward a government that seems bent on micromanaging citizens’ lives. As the country faces the largest outbreak of measles since the disease was deemed eliminated in 2000, epidemiologists and medical ethicists say they are not surprised to see an us-versus-them mentality fueling the rise of vaccine opponents once again. “This is a broader symptom of distrusting our institutions,” said Richard Carpiano, a medical sociologist at UC Riverside. Those who object to the measles vaccine aren’t just questioning the safety of the shot. They’re challenging the state’s authority to require it. (Baumgaertner, 5/9)
The Washington Post:
An Unvaccinated Teen Who Sued Over School Ban Got Chickenpox. His Dad Says That’s A Good Thing.
A Kentucky teenager banned from school earlier this year because he lacked the chickenpox vaccine contracted the disease last month, according to his father, who says it’s the “best thing to do” to become immune. Eighteen-year-old Jerome Kunkel returned to class Monday for the first time since March 14, when the Northern Kentucky Health Department barred students without proof of vaccination or immunity against the chickenpox virus from attending Assumption Academy, a Catholic school in the northern part of the state, following an outbreak that had infected 32 students. (Brice-Saddler, 5/9)