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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: March 13, 2019 07:36PM

"... around 20 anti-vaxxer parents at Green Meadow Waldorf School in Rockland County, New York, have filed a lawsuit against county officials for barring their children from school during a county-wide outbreak. Their children were unvaccinated and were held out for three months. This came after more than 124 confirmed cases of the measles hit the county over the last five months, prompting officials to move swiftly to curb the spread of the disease.

The number of confirmed cases in Rockland County is now at 145. Rockland County Attorney Thomas Humbach isn’t having any of this, releasing a statement that hits back hard at the complainants, saying his office plans on defending “this matter vigorously,” and more pointedly explaining that our Supreme Court does not “import an absolute right in each person to be, at all time and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint; and, the right to practice religion freely does not include liberty to expose the community or the child to communicable disease or the latter to ill health or death.”

Humbach even questions the validity of some of the religious exemptions saying "as the case progresses, we expect several of the exemptions to be challenged, as not evincing a sincere religious belief against vaccination." Humbach’s assertion is possibly linked to the fact that while some of the schools connected to the unprecedented measles outbreaks are indeed religiously affiliated, Waldorf schools are not."

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Posted by: mel ( )
Date: March 15, 2019 10:45PM

In my state kids are not even allowed to start school without completing all required vaccinations and they are filed electronically to the health department by the doctor securely so no forgeries.

When policies are in state law I think antivaxxers will have a hard time winning a lawsuit.

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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: March 16, 2019 02:11AM

Do you suppose that some kids are home-schooled so that their parents don't feel forced to have them vaccinated??

I personally feel that failure to vaccinate children against preventable diseases ought to be a crime, as it can potentially harm not only the child in question, but the community.

But maybe I'm being overly judgmental. (I'm happy to report that all of my grandchildren are properly vaccinated, so at least my kids bought into this line of thinking!)

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: March 16, 2019 08:58AM

>>Do you suppose that some kids are home-schooled so that their parents don't feel forced to have them vaccinated??

I suspect that it can be a factor.

My state allows for an exemption as well. At the end of every school year I am required to update each student's permanent folder that is kept in the school office. This folder follows a child for the rest of his or her school career, and contains a record of the child's vaccinations. I am always shocked to see unvaccinated students, where the parent has taken the exemption. The numbers are low, but I see them every year.

The CDC estimates that 1.3 percent of children in the U.S. are unvaccinated. I would say in my school, it's at least 4-5 percent. But more well-to-do school districts may have a higher vaccination rate.

I will say that the list of required vaccinations is now rather daunting. It is much longer than when I was a child.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/16/2019 08:58AM by summer.

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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: March 18, 2019 02:35PM

I had mumps, rubella (which developed into a nearly-fatal bout with pneumonia), various strains of flu, and chicken pox.

They say you can't get chicken pox more than once, but I did. I had it as a kid, and again when my toddler son came down with it.

I was taking some leave time while transferring from one office to another (husband was promoted) and using the time to visit my mother and grandmother. It never occurred to me back then that if I could get chicken pox a second time, perhaps they could, too. They didn't, fortunately.

I am very glad that none of my kids have bought into the anti-vaxxer nonsense. All of my grandbabies are up-to-date on their vaccinations. As for DH and myself, our buddy Maurice at the pharmacy lets us know when we are due for anything. They have done all of our vaccinations for years.

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Posted by: rocomop ( )
Date: March 15, 2019 10:56PM

I've heard that the laws requiring proof of vaccinations in order to attend school are often skirted by rich parents who hire poor people's kids to pose as their own, and then they take them to any handy urgent care and get those loaner kids vaccinated.

Okay, I haven't actually 'heard' this, or seen any evidence that this has happened, except that I have faith that it could have happened. After all, what won't rich parents do to get their otherwise underserving kids into a school?

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: March 16, 2019 01:12AM

Why can’t someone invent a vaccine for Mormonism?

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: March 16, 2019 02:05AM

They have.

The vaccine is critical education. A booster of internet is also required.

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Posted by: mel ( )
Date: March 16, 2019 10:38AM

Lot's Wife Wrote:
> They have.
> The vaccine is critical education. A booster of
> internet is also required.

LOL !!!!!

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: March 16, 2019 09:05AM

It will be interesting to see how the courts handle this. Any teacher can tell you that disease will spread through a school building or a day care facility like wildfire, whether it's a stomach virus, flu, colds, the Chicken Pox, or what have you.

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Posted by: mel ( )
Date: March 16, 2019 10:46AM

summer Wrote:
> It will be interesting to see how the courts
> handle this. Any teacher can tell you that disease
> will spread through a school building or a day
> care facility like wildfire...

Yes. That’s because there has to be herd immunity to prevent spread. I forget the actual percentage but has to be very high.

The home schoolers still take their kid to shops and parks and libraries thus contributing to the danger of epidemics.

Saw an article about a kid who almost died of tetanus just from plying in some weeds. The hospital cost to save him was over $800,000 probably paid by government Medicaid, and after saving the kid the doctor said the parents still refused all vaccines for him.

So we all pay the price money or risk of illness, apparently.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: March 16, 2019 10:34AM

back when they were 6 or 7 (1st grade or kindergarten, you'd think I'd remember), I'd never not vaccinate them. There wasn't a chicken pox vaccine readily available then. I think kids with low immune systems were given it (just from recollection about a kid with leukemia).

It was HORRIBLE what my kids went through. They both still have scars from it and they are 33. They were so sick and had so many chicken pox.

After it was all over, a lady told me that her doctor told her to give them an adult dose of some medication that would make them sleep. I spent days and nights on end trying to keep them halfway comfortable or sitting in the rocker holding them while they slept. I got sick myself, just not with chicken pox.

I did have shingles for a year 4 years ago. That was NOT FUN.

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Posted by: idleswell ( )
Date: March 19, 2019 11:19AM

cl2 Wrote:
> back when they were 6 or 7 (1st grade or
> kindergarten, you'd think I'd remember), I'd never
> not vaccinate them. There wasn't a chicken pox
> vaccine readily available then. I think kids with
> low immune systems were given it (just from
> recollection about a kid with leukemia).

Often people with low immune systems can't receive vaccines. A vaccine is designed to train our immune systems to combat a weakened virus to prepare for a better response to a more aggressive form of the pathogen. Patients without a proper immune system wouldn't benefit from the vaccine and could be vulnerable to the vaccination agent. Since these individuals can't be vaccinated, they can still benefit from herd immunity if immunity in the general population prevents their exposure to the disease.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: March 16, 2019 10:45AM

I missed the part in the Bible where it talks about immunology. It must be near that part about the environment and overpopulation.

Isn't it great when God agrees with your view and you can use it as an excuse to not only do what you want, but impact others too!

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Posted by: mel ( )
Date: March 16, 2019 10:47AM

Well said, Dags!

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Posted by: Recovered Molly Mo ( )
Date: March 16, 2019 06:00PM

I work in healthcare and I Administering vaccinations to patients of all ages. I am often asked for my opinion about vaccinations from some obvious anti-vaxers.
I love the look on their faces when I tell them I am vaccinated and my children are vaccinated to protect us against those who are not vaccinated. I tell them to re-educate themselves and reevaluate. When it comes to vaccination you are not just making a choice for your child but everyone else’s child too.

That outbreaks of the whooping cough and MMR ( measles, mumps, rubella )are very serious and highly contagious. Unvaccinated individuals can be carriers and show no symptoms but pass these diseases on to others. Denying vaccinations to your child is your parental rights, but be responsible and accountable To others that may lack immunity.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: March 16, 2019 06:04PM

Good for you for telling them like it is!

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: March 16, 2019 06:21PM

RMM, I read on one website that measles is a leading cause of viral meningitis. Is that so?

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Posted by: [|] ( )
Date: March 16, 2019 07:31PM

Measles is a possible cause of viral meningitis, but far from the leading cause (in large part because measles is still an uncommon disease thanks to vaccination).
The most common cause are enteroviruses.

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Posted by: 6 iron ( )
Date: March 19, 2019 06:29PM

“I did not see a role for aluminum in autism. And I didn’t see a role for aluminum in vaccines in autism. I have to change my mind now on both of these. I have to change my mind that aluminum has a role in autism. I believe it now does.”
–Dr Chris Exley, 2017, on the impact of the Mold 2017 study results.

Accumulating evidence implicates aluminum adjuvants as a cause of autism. Autism is caused by inflammation in the brain during early development (gestation and first few years of life). The specific inflammation signals (i.e. cytokines) that cause autism are interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-17a (IL-17a). Aluminum adjuvants stimulate this specific type of inflammation in the brain.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: March 21, 2019 12:01AM

Being a new parent is super scary, but the genetic science is pointing to autism as a prenatal problem. If there is an epidemic of autism, prenatal exposure to environmental causes is one of the last remaining suspects because vaccines have been ruled out. Health nuts who don’t vaccinate are also very careful about prenatal care, so their lower autism rate has an explanation.

Autism manifests between 1 and 2 years of age. If the rate of autism is 1 in 50 and it manifests the same week baby gets vaccinated, that’s a 1/2500 chance of detection where the parents blame the vaccines. Pissed off parents have a powerful platform, but they are dogging an unlikely suspect. That’s a problem because the actual suspects in the autism epidemic aren’t scrutinized.

If you or your kids are newly preggers, it’s very important to err on the safe side. Use only safe chemical products on your body, don’t heat food in plastic (chemicals leach out), avoid GMOs, neutralize or avoid pesticides, avoid processed foods, keep WiFi away from belly, etc.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: March 16, 2019 08:02PM

A modest proposal:
Anyone who chooses not to vaccinate their children for any reason other than immunological deficiency (the child's immune system can't cope with the vaccine) can do so provided they post a $200,000 bond. If the child comes down with, say, measles and was not vaccinated, half the bond is defaulted. If anyone who contacted the child comes down with measles, the other half is defaulted.

That way, the companies that sell policies to fund such bonds can decide how much they are going to charge to assume the risk of Dear Child coming down with measles. Free markets pricing risk, and all that capitalist stuff.

Of course, there would have to be some way to determine whether the child had measles that was never reported to a medical facility, because Dear Parents didn't want to lose half the bond. Perhaps an antibody test of the child at age 18, and if the child chooses to continue unvaccinated after age 18, the child has to purchase their own bond to indemnify anyone who gets measles because of them.

That would be a difficult problem, but hey, we have smart people in the financial industry. As the system stands right now, unvaccinated children are essentially social parasites protected by the herd immunity provided by all the other people who are vaccinated. That costs them essentially zero. If a disease outbreak occurs, the bulk of the cost is born by medical insurers of the children who get sick. Requiring that unvaccinated kids be bonded (and bond payout used to cover medical costs) moves the cost where it belongs, on the shoulders of the parents who refused the vaccinations.

It's a thought. Just lecturing people seems to have little effect. Handing them a fat bill for a bond might get their attention.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/16/2019 08:04PM by Brother Of Jerry.

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Posted by: exminion ( )
Date: March 16, 2019 09:01PM

I like Jerry's idea. Hit these parents where it hurts--their wallet--because obviously they don't hurt for other people's children.

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Posted by: You Too? ( )
Date: March 19, 2019 02:58PM

Most of them are ultra orthodox Jews although there is nothing in Judaism, ultra orthodox or otherwise, against vaccinations. And most ultra orthodox kids are vaccinated.

The health department banned unvaccinated children from attending yeshiva but not all yeshivas are complying.

Politicians rely heavy on the Jewish vote and are reluctant to say too much.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: March 19, 2019 06:44PM

You Too? Wrote:
> A rather thorough article.
> s-out-in-new-york-s-ultra-orthodox-community-over-
> measles-outbreak-1.6675883

This is the first I have heard of this, but the source is HaAretz, and HaAretz is a highly credible source for this kind of news.

I want to emphasize that the Satmars, and the numerous other groups on the far, far right of the Jewish spectrum, are Jewish cults. They are the ultra-ultra Orthodox within the Jewish people who have affiliated themselves with what are, in actuality, "cults," organized sub-groups of Jews who exhibit the accepted identifying characteristics of cults: a cult leader whose word is absolute, etc.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/19/2019 06:51PM by Tevai.

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Posted by: You Too? ( )
Date: March 19, 2019 03:17PM

It is probably this group although it is a little hard to track down.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: March 19, 2019 04:41PM

Evaluating the anti-vax movement is an exercise in critical thinking. The government is hyper vigilant about vaccine safety. Vaccine injuries happen, but rarely. The numbers don’t support the non-vaxers. I had to go through all this stuff for a new baby. The science is (even in non-US studies) panning out against a correlation with autism. All of this controversy could have been avoided with proper post-market surveillance on the part of vaccine companies. In capitalism, that means don’t ask, don’t tell. Just like the cigarette companies. Fortunately, socialist countries have come through on this one.

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Posted by: NeverMo in CA ( )
Date: March 19, 2019 04:41PM

I realize it is only religious people who are anti-vaccines, but by far the stupidest anti-vaccine comment I've ever heard, hands-down, came from a TBM friend of mine some years ago.

Somehow, she brought up the subject of vaccines. I knew she did not vaccinate her kids (all of whom attend public school). This is the SF Bay Area. I usually will not criticize another parent's choices , as I feel there is already more than enough judgement of parents to go around, but I said to her, politely, "You know, maybe if you spoke with a doctor or aid worker who's worked with people in poor countries, they'd tell you just how many children still suffer and die from these easily-preventable diseases."

Her response: "But we don't get those diseases in this country anymore."

I really wish I were making that up.

Since that conversation, she has had two more kids, for a total of 5, all under 12. They are still in public school. I wonder sometimes if since the law allowing vaccine exemptions for personal belief reasons was changed in CA a few years ago whether she has had to vaccinate the kids or if she somehow has managed to get an exemption anyway.

Btw, like Catnip, I too got chicken pox again as an adult after having had it as a kid, before the vaccine was available. I was HORRIBLY sick. I am so glad that vaccine exists for my kids!

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: March 19, 2019 06:54PM

The reason isn't always religious. Some parents are anti-vaccine. Those parents will claim a religious exemption if that is their only option.

My mom and dad were members of the "Greatest Generation" -- WWII era. President Roosevelt had polio, and used a wheelchair, although he was almost never portrayed that way to the public (if you visit his memorial in Washington, D.C., you will see him portrayed in a wheelchair.) My mom met Eleanor Roosevelt, who was one of our hardest working first ladies. Mrs. Roosevelt said that she was her husband's "legs." She would go down into the mines and to many other places that her husband could not go.

I always tell my students about my brother. My parents agonized about whether to give him one of the earliest versions of the polio vaccine. My mom told me that polio had struck hard the previous summer. People were in iron lung machines. My parents were frightened for my brother's sake. They jointly decided the risk was worth it, and my brother was vaccinated. Later, in the early 60s, I remember getting the oral Sabin vaccine at school. They put drops of the vaccine on sugar cubes, and each child took a cube. I seem to recall that the cubes were pink. Pink sugar cubes to save a life. To give you "legs" so that you can see the world and go wherever you wish to go.

Vaccines are only scary if you haven't seen the alternative.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: March 20, 2019 11:01AM

"But we don't get those diseases in this country anymore."

But your unvaccinated kids will be exposed to them. The vaccinated kids shed them.

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: March 19, 2019 09:46PM

How much of an intersection between home-school families & anti-vaxers?

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Posted by: mel ( )
Date: March 19, 2019 10:24PM

I agree with Summer. It isn’t just religion that makes people against vaccines.

Some are anti-government and against anything that the government wants them to do. Some fear autism. Some are just deluded like the lady who thinks that these diseases don’t happen “here”. Some may just be overwhelmed or busy or don’t want to bother.

I am just glad I live in a state which requires them for school.

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Posted by: logged off this time ( )
Date: March 20, 2019 12:40AM

And on top of everything else, anti-vaxxers are assholes.

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Posted by: an exmo ( )
Date: March 21, 2019 04:07AM

I don't have minor children right now so I am certainly poorly informed on this issue right now. But when I did have minor children then here were my thoughts.

1. I never saw any evidence that any serious research had ever been done about the long term effects of the number of injections performed per visit on babies and small children. Thus I was inclined to limit the doctors to just ONE injection per visit and did so.

2. Where available I insisted on titre tests being done instead of injections. Then when the titre tests came back showing that enough of the substance was present then they'd waive the need for my child to get the vaccination.

3. I always said that if some outbreak were occurring that I'd be much less strict about my "one injection per visit" restriction. Yes there are risks that the substances (including preservatives like thimersol) in the vaccines could be causing side effects. But diseases like measles are dangerous. So if some epidemic is happening then sensible vaccinations make sense to me.

4. I never experienced any outbreaks like we see now when I had young children. But if I had then I'd be contacting my local health department for specific info & almost certainly would've had my kids get the vaccinations. However, instead of doing 4 injections in one visit, I probably would've scheduled 2 separate appointments at least a week apart to have them do the first 2 injections the first time and the next 2 injections the next time.

5. My heart goes out to anyone who is cautious about vaccinations. Its healthy and important for parents to question everything. But I'm suspicious that most of these anti-Vaxxer parents aren't doing their homework.

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