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by JD Wright
Tuesday, Jun. 30, 2015 at 6:54 PM
Despite loud protest by discredited anti-science circuit riders and right wing conspiracy theorists, California's Governor has signed into law Senate Bill 277 (SB 277 Pan D-Scaramento). Exploiting the legitimate need for strict regulation of vaccine development, demogoguery dominated much of the debate. Racist personal attacks upon the Asian-American sponsor combined to discredit the antivax view and the bill did pass after twitterstorms galore.
VICTORY for SCIENCE
DEFEAT for FLAT EARTHERS
Governor Brown Signs SB 277 Into Law.
They said it couldn't be done. They said we would fail in the Senate. We won. They said we would fail in the House. We won. They said the Governor would entertain antivax fringe lunatics and refuse to sign. He signed, and we won. Despite incredible odds. Despite hundreds of angry protesters with bullhorns and adornments like the fable Kennedy name and support from such unlikely quarters as the Nation of Islam.
Ultimately, the antivaccine movement may have been its' own worse enemy.
In earlier incarnations, it was led by an Oprah-sponsored ex-Playboy bunny and a third rate has-been comedian. More recently, it has been illuminated by the eerie afterglow of a discredited British medical doc who, stripped of his license to practice medicine, spoke to a plate crowds in California.
Recycling the discredited MMR-causes-autism hoax, they embellished it with an entirely manufactured controversy about a so-called "CDC Whistleblower". More likely than not that case was more about burn out and midlife crisis on the part of a CDC employee, factual deconstruction of the data indicated that, rather than showing an autism link impacting African American youth, the data actually CONFIRMED that the original quack paper retracted by Lancet never did show the slightest reason to suspect an autism vaccine link.
The jury is in.
The California public overwhelmingly understands that vaccines do not cause neurodegenerative disorders, which appear to be yielding to genetics research more than even environmental factors of any kind.
Vaccines are the most thoroughly researched documented and analyzed pharmaceutical product of all, and the evidence is clear that the risks from the established pediatric vaccine schedule are far lower than the risks of commuting to and from school.
Indeed, traffic injuries far outnumber even those few fevers which might be conceivably linked to vaccines. Traffic injuries and infectious diseases continue to kill children around the country and around the world, and there have been zero credible studies which indicate that any class of vaccines constitute any kind of systematic and signifigant risk profile to normal patients, pediatric or otherwise.
Going forward it will be important to keep a close eye on the quackery industry.
Governor Brown's signing statement emphasized the persistence of the medical exemption and it seems that there will likely be a surge in spurious medical exemptions based upon primarily psychosomatic issues. Moreover, other states are likely to follow California's example if and only if we who have helped to pass SB 277 remain vigilant to assure that its' implementation goes smoothly with due respect to all concerned parties including those for whom medical exemption seems to be indicated.
Stay tuned - the microbes will continue to mutate and figure out new ways to kill humans.
There is a severe MERS outbreak right this minute which has jumped from the Middle East to South Korea, with dozens already dead. Ebola has made itself clear that it has NOT gone away and continues to claim victims. Polio has made a resurgence and appears to be cropping up in places we never thought to be at risk possibly also including Syrian refugees.
Infectious disease will be around for a long time, and there is always the risk that it will again threaten us in the manner it did during the years of the Black Death or 1918, when influenza in one year killed more people than all of the battles of WWI combined. Antibiotic drug resistance is on the rise, and, in the age of jet travel and densely populated super cities, the risks are not abating.
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