The Dangers of Vaccine Denial
IN a few backward parts of the world, extremists resist universal childhood vaccinations. The Taliban in tribal areas of Pakistan. Boko Haram militants in Northern Nigeria.
Oh, yes, one more: Some politicians in the United States.
Senator Rand Paul — a doctor! — told CNBC that he had delayed his own children’s immunizations and cited “many tragic cases of walking, talking, normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines.”
After an uproar, Paul walked back his remarks and tweeted a photo of himself getting a Hepatitis A vaccination. After that irresponsible scaremongering, I’d say he deserves to get shots daily for a decade. With really long needles.
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey weighed in as well, suggesting that vaccinations are partly a matter of family choice — before later seeming to retreat as well. Paul and Christie are Republicans, but public health illiteracy is bipartisan: Vaccination rates are particularly low in some liberal Democratic enclaves in California.www.nytimes.com/2015/02/08/opinion/sunday/nicholas-kristof-the-dangers-of-vaccine-denial.html