Good News: A vaccine has finally been found for the McCarthy Stupidity Virus!
Yeah, I know, this story is already a week or so old, and in the meantime, the Measles outbreak continues to spread (at least 95 cases linked to the Disneyland case now).
Still, the good news is that it looks as though a certain segment of people have finally started to smarten up; perhaps it was last fall's Ebola panic, because this shift happened before the measles outbreak:
The number of California parents who cite personal beliefs in refusing to vaccinate their kindergartners dropped in 2014 for the first time in a dozen years, according to a Times data analysis.
...Statewide, the rate of vaccine waivers for kindergartners entering school in the fall declined to 2.5% in 2014 from 3.1% in 2013. Bigger declines were seen in districts with some of the larger vaccine exemption rates.
In the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, the rate fell from 14.8% to 11.5%; Capistrano Unified in south Orange County declined from 9.5% to 8.6%; Beverly Hills Unified declined from 11.9% to 5%; and Laguna Beach Unified declined from 15.1% to 2%, according to The Times' analysis.
Health experts say that conditions for an outbreak worsen when 8% or more of the population is not immunized.
"I think we're going in the right direction," said Dr. Eric Handler, the Orange County public health officer whose agency has been grappling for the last few weeks with a measles outbreak that has sickened at least 71 people. "If people realize how safe the vaccine is and how serious measles can be, we can see even more of an increase in individuals getting immunized."
Of course, the fact that the non-immunized percentage was that high to begin with is downright frightening, but as Dr. Handler says, it's still a positive sign.
In addition, if there's a silver lining to the Disneyland outbreak, it's that it may finally knock the stuffing out of some more people's heads:
With California gripped by a measles outbreak, Dr. Charles Goodman posted a clear notice in his waiting room and on Facebook: His practice will no longer see children whose parents won't get them vaccinated.
"Parents who choose not to give measles shots, they're not just putting their kids at risk, but they're also putting other kids at risk — especially kids in my waiting room," the Los Angeles pediatrician said.
It's a sentiment echoed by a small number of doctors who in recent years have "fired" patients who continue to believe debunked research linking vaccines to autism. They hope the strategy will lead parents to change their minds; if that fails, they hope it will at least reduce the risk to other children in the office.
Seventy-nine of the at least 95 known cases in the United States are in California. Some parents are rushing to get their kids vaccinated, while others refuse.
Now one family wants schools to ban kids who haven't been vaccinated, and for good reason, reports CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy.
Six-year-old Rhett Krawitt has already beaten the odds. He fought leukemia for the past four-and-a-half years and the disease is now in remission. Carl and Jodi are Rhett's parents.
"There were times we weren't sure he was going to pull through," Jodi said. "So it's been very much, what I call a roller coaster."
But now the Krawitts are worried about measles. Rhett cannot get vaccinated because his immune system is still too weak from chemotherapy. Exposure to measles could be deadly. His school has made sure the kids in his classroom are vaccinated, but other kids in the school are not.
"So let's say if you are not vaccinated with a medical exemption you can't come to school," Carl said. "Let's get ahead of it and ensure we don't have an outbreak."
THIS is the key to understanding how insane this "debate" has become:
"They can mandate behaviors like no nuts, why can't they say you must be vaccinated to come on campus?" Jodi added.