Tag Archives: Vaccinations

Threat of Measles Outbreak on Martha’s Vineyard After Unvaccinated Child Tests Positive

Public health officials are worried about a possible Measles outbreak on Martha’s Vineyard after an unvaccinated child was diagnosed with the disease last week:

“While the child was immediately identified and subsequently isolated from the community, we know that individuals on the island were exposed to the virus during a phase of the illness in which the patient is infectious but has no symptoms,” the hospital said in a statement.

Measles can be very contagious to children and adults who are not vaccinated against it. Symptoms are similar to a cold at first, but a red blotchy rash soon appears.

Anyone who thinks they might have measles should call their doctor first instead of going directly to a doctor’s office or a hospital.

Although the child was visiting Martha’s Vineyard from abroad, this case is likely in keeping with findings from earlier this month, that anti-vaccine parents tend to cluster in rich, white areas.

AMA: End Personal, Religious Vaccination Exemptions

Bruce Japsen of Forbes reports on a significant development at the American Medical Association:

The American Medical Association endorsed an end to non-medical exemptions for immunization, saying the nation’s largest doctor group would throw its considerable lobbying clout behind state and national efforts to halt personal and religious exemptions from vaccinations for children entering schools.

The vote today by the AMA’s policy-making House of Delegates to seek more stringent state and federal immunization requirements comes at a critical time opponents of vaccination exemptions are successfully lobbying lawmakers in California and elsewhere for legislation to end non-medical exemptions from vaccination. Last December, a highly publicized outbreak of measles at Disneyland sickened more than 130 Californians.

You can read the full report here.

It’s Time to Eliminate Religious Exemptions From Medical Care

Inspired by the California Senate’s recent efforts to repeal the state’s exemption from vaccine requirements, Jerry Coyne argues on Slate that lawmakers across the United States should repeal religious exemptions from medical care:

As preventable diseases like measles and whooping cough are reappearing in the United States, many anti-vaxxers are re-evaluating their opposition to immunization, and others are questioning nonmedical exemptions from vaccine requirements. The California state Senate, for instance, just overruled a long-standing law that permitted parents with religious and philosophical reservations to send their children to public and private schools without their shots.

This is a sound decision: Vaccinations are safe and essential for the health of our society. We cannot allow philosophy or faith to trump public health. But denying children potentially life-saving vaccines is just one part of the problem; I’d like to eliminate even more exemptions: those now enshrined in many laws permitting religious parents to withhold scientific medical care from their children in favor of faith healing.

Keep reading here.

Urgent! California: Tell Your State Senator to End “Personal Belief” Vaccine Exemptions

From the Center for Inquiry’s Office of Public Policy:

California Senate Bill 277 — a bill that would end vaccination exemptions for children based on their parents’ beliefs — passed all 3 of its Senate committee votes. It now sits before the Senate awaiting a full and final vote, as early as this week! The Center for Inquiry urges you to support SB 277 and take action below to contact your state senator now!

Take action here.


Despite Anti-Vaxxer Deluge, CA Senate Health Committee Forwards Bill to End “Personal Belief” Vaccine Exemptions

SB277, the proposed California bill that would end “personal belief” exemptions from vaccination in the state, moved closer toward a full Senate vote after the Senate Health Committee voted 6-2 to approve it.

The bill next faces votes in the Senate Education, Judiciary, and Appropriations committees. California residents can send a message to their senators in seconds using our pre-made action alert here.

The Senate Health Committee’s approval of the bill is all the more heartening because it came, apparently, in the face of the usual horde of anti-vaccine protestors:

For more than 11/2 hours, an extraordinary wave of parents and children from across the state crept one by one to a microphone to implore the Senate Health Committee to kill the legislation they insist violates parents’ rights and puts their children at risk.


Chanting “My Child, My Choice” and carrying signs that read “Force my veggies, not vaccines,” and “Protect the Children, Not Big Pharma — No on SB277,” the crowd listened as one speaker after another addressed both the harm they said vaccines have caused their children and the threat of an arrogant state government that is seeking to make health care decisions on their behalf.

Although the bill’s supporters were few in number at the demonstrations, aside from the clear science proving vaccines safe and effective, they had the recent history of measles and whooping cough outbreaks in California on their side.

Poll: Majority of Americans Want Vaccines to Be Required as Measles Outbreak Grows

Nearly 8 of 10 Americans believe parents should be required to vaccinate their healthy children against preventable diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella and polio, according to a new CNN/ORC poll shows. Furthermore, if the children are not vaccinated, most agree the child should not be allowed to attend public school or day care.

Read more about the results here.

Show Your Support for Vaccinations with a FREE “Vaccinate” Sticker

Measles is back. The virus was considered eradicated from the United States in the year 2000, but now that disproven theories of a link between vaccines and autism, and baseless fears about “toxins” have run rampant—spread by celebrity conspiracy theorists and irresponsible media—we now see the highest number of measles cases in two decades, with 644 cases in 2014 and over 100 new cases since the start of 2015 alone. Even diseases like whooping cough are at their highest level in over 50 years.

It’s not even safe to take your kids to Disneyland anymore!

Here’s your chance to show your support for science-based medicine, and to help stop the spread of preventable diseases by spreading the truth about vaccines. As part of our Keep Health Care Safe and Secular campaign we’re offering free campaign stickers  that say, simply and proudly:

Protect Yourself. Protect Others. Vaccinate.

And we want to send you two of them. One for you, and one you can give to a friend.

Vaccinating isn’t merely about a “personal choice” as some politicians have recently suggested. It’s about confronting the reality of being a human being living among other humans. Getting yourself and your children vaccinated against preventable diseases means that others who can’t get vaccinated—because they’re too young, pregnant, sick, or elderly—are also protected.

When we vaccinate we’re not only doing something good for our own health, but for our familys, our children’s, and our neighbor’s health too.

So help make the case! Let’s get the word out that all of us who can be vaccinated should be vaccinated. And let’s see if we can make this crucial fact…contagious.

Sign up now: you’ll get updates and advocacy emails from CFI’s Office of Public Policy—and get both of your free stickers too!(Maybe it will go viral! Okay, sorry.)

Due to your overwhelming support for this cause we have run out of stickers! Please check back soon for more information about how to acquire a “VACCINATE” sticker.

Sign up for email from CFI >

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Keep Health Care Safe and Secular is a campaign by the Center for Inquiry in support of health policies that are based on evidence and scientific principles, rather than superstition, magical thinking, religious beliefs, or conspiracy theories. The campaign aims to educate the public, the media, and policy makers about the threat to our health care posed by misinformation, dogma, and quackery, whether it comes in the form of science-rejecting “faith healing” or dubious alternative and “natural” medicine. Learn more at SafeandSecular.org.

California’s Democratic Senators Want to End Most Vaccine Exemptions

Dave Weigel of Bloomberg Politics reports that U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, both of California, today released a letter that they sent to the state’s secretary for health and human services, calling for a change in personal exemptions to vaccines:

“California’s current law allows two options for parents to opt out of vaccine requirements for school and daycare. … They must either make this decision with the aid of a health professional, or they can simply check a box claiming that they have religious objections to medical care. We think both options are flawed, and oppose even the notion of a medical professional assisting to waive a vaccine requirement unless there is a medical reason, such as an immune deficiency.”

Read the full article here.

Measles Outbreak Spreads in US After Unvaccinated Woman Visits Disneyland

After 2014 set a record for measles cases in the United States since the disease was eliminated in 2000, The Guardian examines a new outbreak centered on Disneyland in California:

What started as a measles outbreak among seven people who visited Disneyland in December has spread to more than 26, as an unvaccinated California woman apparently transmitted the virus through airports and the theme park, health officials said.

State health departments in California, Colorado, Utah and Washington and have confirmed cases of the extremely contagious virus, the Los Angeles Timesreported on Wednesday. Taken together, the cases would account for almost 12% of the expected measles cases for the entire year (there are 220 cases per year on average, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).


The California department of public health said on 7 January that officials believe the woman who started the outbreak was staying in the Disneyland theme park in December. According to the LA Times, the woman is believed to be an unvaccinated traveler in her 20s.

Read the full article here.

U.S. Court Upholds NY State Vaccination Requirement for Students

Public health and medical science have won a significant victory in New York:

New York state’s requirement that children be vaccinated in order to attend public school does not violate parents’ religious rights under the U.S. Constitution, a federal appeals court said Wednesday.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan also ruled that students who receive religious exemptions from the vaccination law may be kept out of school during disease outbreaks, affirming a lower court decision.

The 2nd Circuit rejected claims by three New York City parents who said the individual right to religious liberty granted by the First Amendment trumped the state’s goal of preventing the spread of diseases in schools.

Read the full article here.