The school has an “unusually high number of children” who have not been vaccinated against whooping cough, which is also known as pertussis, health officials said. California law allows parents not to have their children immunized against the sickness.
I’ve been watching with some curiosity the trend to not have children vaccinated against diseases that are now rare but still serious (and potentially deadly). Just a few days ago I posted about the irrational paradoxes that people often demonstrate through their behaviors, this is just yet another example of this.
The people most likely to not have their children vaccinated are well educated and affluent, the same people who rail against the anti-science sentiments in Washington. The school is El Sobrante that I referenced in the above clip regarding whooping cough is a Waldorf school, not exactly a bastion of poor and uneducated parents.
The aspect of this that should be shocking is the ability of smart people to allow their children to be exposed to serious diseases just because a false sense of security is created from the rarity of such diseases. Nonetheless, these are contagious diseases that can spread rapidly through a population of unvaccinated children, who along with the elderly are always the most at-risk group.
I suspect that if parents actually witnessed the trauma of a child with the measles, whooping cough, or polio, that they might not be so cavalier as to suggest that their children don’t need immunization. I also suspect that in years to come we will see more outbreaks serious diseases among populations of unvaccinated children and that’s really heartbreaking because it is so unnecessary and diseases that were once close to eradication will rebound as a consequence.
The Centers for Disease Control reports a surge in measles outbreaks; almost all the cases are in children who never received the routine shots for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). Vanquished diseases are rebounding thanks to growing–but groundless–fears over the safety of traditional vaccines.
[From AEI - Short Publications - Measles Madness]