Vaccines

Vaccination Rates Higher In War-Torn South Sudan Than in Many Affluent Los Angeles Schools

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vaccination
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The Hollywood Reporter notes that California has seen over 8,000 cases of whooping cough so far this year, of which 267 required hospitalization, including 58 in intensive care. Three infants under two months of age of died of the disease. Why? Because rich, clueless idiots are refusing to get their kids vaccinated.

The Hollywood Reporter checked filings for personal belief exemptions in tony school districts and found:

The region stretching from Malibu south to Marina del Rey and inland as far as La Cienega Boulevard (and including Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills) averaged a 9.1 percent PBE level among preschoolers for the 2013-14 school year — a 26 percent jump from two years earlier. By comparison, L.A. County at large measured 2.2 percent in that period. Many preschools in this area spiked far higher, including Kabbalah Children's Academy in Beverly Hills (57 percent) and the Waldorf Early Childhood Center in Santa Monica (68 percent). According to World Health Organization data, such numbers are in line with immunization rates in developing countries like Chad and South Sudan.

Earlier this month the Los Angeles Times investigated the falling vaccination rates among children in various Southern California school districts. The reporters found:

California parents are deciding against vaccinating their kindergarten-age children at twice the rate they did seven years ago, a fact public health experts said is contributing to the reemergence of measles across the state and may lead to outbreaks of other serious diseases.

The percentage of kindergartens in which at least 8% of students are not fully vaccinated because of personal beliefs has more than doubled as well, according to data on file with the state. That threshold is significant because communities must be immunized at a high rate to avoid widespread disease outbreaks. It is a concept known as herd immunity, and for measles and whooping cough at least 92% of kids need to be immune, experts say. …

Exemption rates vary greatly by area and school. Los Angeles Unified kindergartens, for example, had an overall exemption rate of just 1.6%, although there are several in the district where more than 8% of students have belief exemptions. At Santa Monica-Malibu Unified, the overall exemption rate was 14.8% and at Capistrano Unified in south Orange County, it was 9.5%. At nearby Santa Ana Unified only 0.2% of kindergartners had exemptions on file.

In Los Angeles County, the rise in personal belief exemptions is most prominent in wealthy coastal and mountain communities, The Times analysis shows. The more than 150 schools with exemption rates of 8% or higher for at least one vaccine were located in census tracts where the incomes averaged $94,500 — nearly 60% higher than the county median.

The article also reports in the Montecito District in Santa Barbara that the exemption rate is 27.5 percent; Santa Cruz Montessori it's 22.6 percent.

While some might write off vaccine refusniks as voluntarily engaging in Darwinian selection, the problem is that they are putting others involuntarily at risk. As I explained elsewhere:

Vaccines do not always produce immunity, so a percentage of those who took the responsibility to be vaccinated remain vulnerable. Other defenseless people include infants who are too young to be vaccinated and individuals whose immune systems are compromised. In America today, it is estimated that about 10 million people are immuno-compromised through no fault of their own.

This brings us to the important issue of "herd immunity." Herd immunity works when most people in a community are immunized against an illness, greatly reducing the chances that an infected person can pass his microbes along to other susceptible people.

People who refuse vaccination for themselves and their children are free riding off of herd immunity. Even while receiving this benefit, the unvaccinated inflict the negative externality of being possible vectors of disease, threatening those 10 million most vulnerable to contagion.

Vaccines are like fences. Fences keep your neighbor's livestock out of your pastures and yours out of his. Similarly, vaccines separate people's microbes. Anti-vaccination folks are taking advantage of the fact that most people around them have chosen differently, thus acting as a firewall protecting them from disease. But if enough people refuse, that firewall comes down, and innocent people get hurt.

Oliver Wendell Holmes articulated a good libertarian principle when he said, "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins." Holmes' observation is particularly salient in the case of whooping cough shots.

Infants cannot be vaccinated against whooping cough (pertussis), so their protection against this dangerous disease depends upon the fact that most of the rest of us are immunized. Unfortunately, as immunization refusals have increased in recent years, so have whooping cough infections. The annual number of pertussis cases fell from 200,000 pre-vaccine to a low of 1,010 in 1976. Last year, the number of reported cases rose to 48,277, the highest since 1955. Eighteen infants died of the disease in 2012, up from just four in 1976.

For alternative opinions about vaccine refusal see Reason's debate, "Should Vaccines Be Mandatory?"

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  1. The Hollywood Reporter checked filings for personal belief exemptions in tony [sic] school districts and found

    Ha! I knew Tony had to be behind a thing like this!

    1. Why the [sic]?

        1. Looks like either is fine, non? All the regency-period romances I’ve read spelled it “tony”.

          1. I prefer the expression hoity-toity myself. By the way, the [sic] in this case is meant to make the joke more obvious.

          2. What’s wrong with the tried-and-true “high falutin'”?

  2. Vaccines are like fences. Fences keep your neighbor’s livestock out of your pastures and yours out of his. Similarly, vaccines separate people’s microbes.

    Uh… No, they don’t. You can compare vaccines to guns, but not to fences.

  3. Evolution in action.

    1. it’s not the kids fault their parents are retards.

      1. They carry the stupidity genes.

        It isn’t just about reproducing. Natural selection acts against individuals who cannot get their offspring to maturity.

        1. Their our children, the communities, it’s high time you acknowledged.

          1. Well, they’re Hillary’s children, really. Or they will be in 2016.

            1. Sure, but ask her to babysit and all of sudden she’s on a book tour or something.

              1. “Sure, but ask her to babysit and all of sudden she’s on a book tour or something.”
                Revealed preference…

  4. Oliver Wendell Holmes articulated a good libertarian principle when he said, “The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.”

    With all due respect, you’re conflating action and inaction like our esteemed government loves to do.

    1. There are both overt lies and lies of omission. Same principle.

      1. Using your example, declining to incriminate yourself is a protected activity while committing perjury is not.

    2. SN: I don’t think that’s a correct interpretation of the actual situation: As I argued here:

      That perspective is pretty well summarized by an Oliver Wendell Holmes quote I cited in my original article: “The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.” Just as an individual is responsible for where his fist is located vis a vis another’s face, so too is he responsible for his microbes with regard another’s health.

      Some people object that aggression can only occur when someone intends to hit someone else; microbes just happen. Well, in medieval times, when diseases were blamed on demons and miasmas, people could not be expected to be responsible for their microbes. In the post-Pasteur era, people no longer have the excuse of ignorance. Being intentionally unvaccinated against highly contagious diseases is, to carry Holmes’ analogy a bit further, like walking down a street randomly swinging your fists without warning. You may not hit an innocent bystander, but you’ve substantially increased the chances that you will.

      One might usefully analogize the risk of disease to a crapshoot. A person’s chance of being infected is, as Dr. Singer acknowledges, a matter of luck. But is it really OK for the unvaccinated to load the dice to increase the odds against other people? If so, by how much?

      1. But is it really OK for the unvaccinated to load the dice to increase the odds against other people? If so, by how much?

        I assume you’re arguing a moral standpoint and not a legal one. The tendency of society has been to increasingly make those activities which increase risk illegal (drunk driving, drugs, prostitution, gambling, etc…). While I find it acceptable to argue that it is morally wrong to put others at unnecessary risk, it is a wholly different thing to advocate force to minimize that risk.

        As an aside, based on my own personal experience with my children, I can attest the genetics plays a critical role on how a person reacts to a vaccine. And while there is ample research on specific vaccines, there is limited research on the net result of stressing the immune system an increasing number of times during a child’s early years. I think it is reasonable to question whether by adding more and more vaccines to the schedule if we are causing more problems than we prevent.

        1. I think it is reasonable to question whether by adding more and more vaccines to the schedule if we are causing more problems than we prevent.

          It is reasonable to question, but until we know for sure we should continue to pile on the vaccines because we know for a fact that vaccination works.

          This whole argument is just another argument for privitizing all property. In this less perfect world I guess we would have to settle for having government bar the deliberately unvaccinated from entering publicly owned property.

          1. Vaccination does work in general, I don’t argue that point. However, the last few years of working with my son have proven that do have a cost to them.

            Specifically, he carries the MHTFR genetic deficiency (two copies). It’s not a particularly uncommon defect. This deficiency prevents him from processing metals from his system properly. As such, he had toxic aluminum poisoning, primarily caused by vaccines. (Aluminum was used as a replacement for thimerosal in children’s vaccines.) His immune system was compromised and a there was a whole host of other symptoms, including autism spectrum traits.

            Fast forward to a year later after intensive treatment which includes methyl-folate replacement and glutathione (a form of chelation treatment) and he is much better. However, we are posed with a dilemma going forward. How do we handle vaccinations? Certainly, meningococcal vaccines are important as the disease can kill with 48 hours, but chickenpox? We know that further exposure to the metals in the vaccines will cause regression that will require treatment.

            My point is that in this day and age of genetic testing, it is unreasonable to expect to treat everyone the same and administer the same medicines in the same way.

            1. According to Ronald Bailey you’re committing an immoral act by not vaccinating. Your unique circumstances be damned. He’s gone to great lengths to make strenuous analogies of non-vaccination amounting to transgression against others’ property rights.

            2. I had a car accident in which NOT wearing a seat belt saved my life. The drivers seat was caved completely in and my feet were trapped under the steering wheel, while my torso ended up in the passenger seat. T-boned in the drivers door.

              My outlawry saved my life. One size doesn’t fit all.

            3. I don’t know enough about your case, however I do know that doctors often offer chelation therapy as a placebo. I cringe where I hear chelation was used to treat autism caused by vaccines, because we know vaccines do not cause autism, and we know that chelation does not cure autism, and back about 10 years ago tons of people were scammed on chelation. I fear you may have been scammed by a doctor. I’d guess your insurance didn’t cover the therapy did it?

              Assuming what you say is true, and your son has an aluminum sensitivity, I do wonder if thimerosal would have been better.

              But also, if what you say is true, your son is the reason why everyone who can get vaccinated, needs to get vaccinated. If he really can’t handle the vaccines, he needs to rely on herd immunity, and that won’t exist so long as these hippies keep ignoring medical science. Keep your son way away from California.

              1. Using force to create that immunized herd is purpose defeating to the cause of human freedom.

              2. You’re misunderstanding the diagnosis and the treatment.

                He can’t expel metals due to a broken biochemical pathway involving methyl folate. Thimerosal would have been worse for his neurological system. He also showed high levels of tin (stannous fluoride most likely) and uranium (dirt).

                We spent thousands on blood, urine, and stool tests in order to discern the exact cause of his issues prior to treatment. The aluminum levels were well above toxicity standards.

                The chelation treatment is not of the Tijuana variety. Itxs designed to assist the bodies natural system for excreting toxins through the usage of glutathione.

                1. I was not concerned with insurance coverage, only results. I had a son that had stopped growing (10 years old and not losing any baby teeth), had incredible headaches, no attention span whatsoever, was occasionally psychotic, and had an IQ of 150.

                  One year later, the treatment justified itself. He’s better on all accounts though not perfect. All of our standard medical resources were of no help in this matter.

                  1. On autism and vaccines

                    My belief at this point is that autism is primarily a result of neurological inflammation with multiple cause factors. Insofar as vaccines aggravate immune responses they contribute to the problem but do not cause it.

                    I recommend Dr Amy Yasko for further information.

      2. Anyone who quotes OWH, Jr with anything other than disdain deserves whatever they receive.

        WORST. JUSTICE. EVER.

  5. Vaccination thread, sweet! Makes a nice break from the abortion and gay marriage slap-fights.

    1. But when are we getting threads about stoner, Mexican butsects?

      1. just wait.

        1. Butt sects are the best sects.

  6. Those poor kids. They have to suffer because their parents are animist assholes.

    1. Yes, their kids, and other people’s kids will suffer.

      1. Not the kids who are vaccinated.

        1. Vaccines are not 100% effective. If there is a measles outbreak, a small percentage of kids who are vaccinated against measles will still contract the disease.

          1. Im going to go extreme asshole here, but Im repeating Drake above.

            Think of it as evolution in action.

    2. Look at the geographical area – the moneyed cracker enclaves of LA which almost perfectly corresponds to Waxman’s district (my district, ugh) – being bandied about here. These people live in a world of contradictions where such bumps are smoothed by obscene money.

      Think about it…

      These morons have thermonuclear weapons from lovelies like Russia and the PRC aimed at them this very second, yet they’re worried about dying from cow farts (literally) making too much heat.

      The fools claim to be ‘all-natural’ and hate GMO-anything, even as they order up test-tube surrogate children from a fertility clinic.

      These idiots obsess over the minimum wage as Pedro cuts their lawn for pennies on the dollar under the table.

      Any wonder such an incisive intellectual culture could find vaccines somehow evil? Would be a surprise if these types didn’t, frankly.

  7. Those stupid teabaggers and their anti-science ways.

  8. People who refuse vaccination for themselves and their children are free riding off of herd immunity.

    Ah… the “Free Rider” fallacy, an offshoot of the “externality” fallacy. I can show myriads of instances where people “free ride” from other supposed benefits created by other people, like for instance all those people free riding from the air conditioning system inside a mall, buying nothing. Or all those anti-gun nuts who free ride from the gun-owning communities which help keep robbers away. Should we make everybody BUY something when entering a mall or make them get guns regardless of their wishes?

    1. Sure, you *could* require everyone entering a mall to buy something, if you didn’t mind the fact that pretty soon no one would come into your mall or buy anything.

      The idea that there are such things as free riders is not a fallacy, even if sometimes the costs of eliminating free ridership exceed the costs of subsidizing the free riders. (And yes, those anti-gun nuts *are* free-riding off their gun-owning neighbors.)

      1. Re: Seamus,

        The idea that there are such things as free riders is not a fallacy,

        It is a fallacy, S. The concept is based on the assumption that there are economics goods that exist outside of the market. That’s impossible, it’s a fantasy. Only those things that are exchanged are economic goods.

        Besides, RB makes an assumption that has no logical sense. Saying that people “free ride” from herd immunity comes from perception, but in reality there is NO free ride – those people are simply gambling on a probability game: that the random person exposed to whooping cough will be already immunized and thus not spread it. It is the same with my example of gun ownership: the people with NO guns are gambling that robbers will consider robbing some random house too risky for the potential reward, but that does not mean they’re being shielded from robbers for free. It may SEEM like it is but it is not the case. That is why the concept of “externality” is just pure claptrap.

        1. OldMexican, you’ve just probably set a new record of begging the question per post.

          1. Re: Grizzly,

            OldMexican, you’ve just probably set a new record of begging the question per post.

            Tell me why, not just assert it.

            1. How did you achieve your conclusions?

        2. The “freerider” is not a fallacy in the context of “public” property. Taking the mall example. If the mall willingly allows people to loiter, then there is no free ride. If, however, the mall is forced by government to allow people to loiter, then we have freeriders and they are a problem (though not the root problem).

          As long as government lets people access public property with “personal belief waivers” there is a free-rider problem regarding vaccination.

          1. Re: some guy,

            The “freerider” is not a fallacy in the context of “public” property.

            There’s no such thing as “public property.” Only individuals can own property.

            If the mall willingly allows people to loiter,

            And the mall allows this because it is NOT public property, otherwise your statement makes no sense.

            As long as government lets people access public property with “personal belief waivers” there is a free-rider problem regarding vaccination.

            You’re looking at this backwards. People are MANDATED to have their children vaccinated. Those waivers are not letters of marque. If people vaccinated their children in a completely voluntarily way, government would not be issuing waivers. Is that simple.

            1. completely voluntary way

        3. Out of curiosity, OldMex, do you believe we should be punishing people for increasing the risk of harm to others? I’m thinking about crimes like attempted murder and reckless endangerment. If so, what’s the threshold we should apply? How much do you have to increase someone else’s risk of harm before you can be forced to cease and desist?

          1. There is a mens rea ascpect, in my opinion.

            Attempted murder involved an intentional attempt to do harm that isnt there with the unvaccinated.

          2. Re: some guy,

            Out of curiosity, OldMex, do you believe we should be punishing people for increasing the risk of harm to others?

            Whenever you can prove actual harm, not when you assume it.

      2. Yeah it’s not so much that there are no free riders, it’s just that in most instances free riding is not necessarily bad. A cost of doing business.

  9. Mommy looks pretty good.

    1. And she vaccinates. Sign me up.

  10. Absolute school choice and privatization would make it easier to avoid these unfortunate children and their retarded parents.

    Just send your kids to schools that mandate vaccinations.

    1. Just don’t send your kids to school.

  11. If we can contain polio and whooping cough to the affluent suburbs, I’m good… I’m good.

  12. I’m with Ron! We need to round up everyone’s kids, shuttle them to government propaganda facilities and forcibly inject them state sanctioned medicine.

    1. This right here is the key point.

      Regardless of the morality or not vaccinating, what is the proposed solution?

      Like with many other things (war on drugs, global warming, etc) the solution is far, far worse than the “problem”.

      1. The solution is progressive. Just look at Bailey’s headline;

        Vaccination Rates Higher In War-Torn South Sudan Than in Many Affluent Los Angeles Schools

        There’s really not much difference between this headline and this one;

        In Fascist Italy Trains Are More Punctual Than Capitalist New York

        I for one, remain unconvinced that forcbile vaccination is the solution just like I remain unconvinced that punctual trains are worth the cost of living under fascism.

        1. I don’t think the implication is that we should turn into South Sudan.

          The comparaison is meant to be a “WTF? Why do we suck so hard”.

          The answer of course, is California Hippies.

          1. I don’t think the implication is that we should turn into South Sudan.

            No it’s that we need to adopt authoritarian vaccination policies as they have done in South Sudan ‘because look at those results!’

  13. Without a clear way to quantify the amount of risk that your actions can place on other people, or a clear level of significance or harm from those risks, the forced-vaccination argument is philosophically very broad. You could argue that certain vehicles are more dangerous, or that night driving is more dangerous, and therefore we need far more restrictions to avoid the risks to other people.

    Anti-vaccination people are incredibly mistaken and self-indulgent. But I don’t think we can make those risks illegal.

  14. The main reason for all of this is the bogus information about autism and poor math skills by the parents. Something like 1 in 70 children now have some form of autism. Because of a bogus research from the 1990s that linked a certain type of autism that showed up around 3 years of age, Jenny McCarthy and her crew have been propagating that crap for years now. The likelihood someone in LA will die from whooping cough (or whatever) is much lower than 1 in 70. What the morons in West LA figure is that 1 in 70 is worse than 1 in x thousand. Of course because there in no actual link it makes the comparison irrelevant.

  15. Vaccination Rates Higher In War-Torn South Sudan Than in Many Affluent Los Angeles Schools

    but, does this mean the 8000 cases of WC are in affluent areas?
    i’d like to see the stats on these cases…income, neighborhoods etc

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