What are anti-vaxxers called
SB 277, America's Toughest Vaccination Act - Jim Carrey freaks out
Statistically speaking, childhood diseases like measles have been virtually eradicated in America for years. The authorities reported illnesses from time to time, but most of them were only isolated cases and spread across the whole country. So there was no reason to worry for the parents of school-age children.
The US health institutes such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta were unable to recognize the risk of an epidemic. They were more concerned about the decline in willingness to vaccinate in the population, which could lead to a return of the dreaded, highly contagious and sometimes even fatal childhood disease.
Earlier this year, doctors felt their warning had been vindicated. At this point, the health authorities suddenly reported an unusually high number of people who had been infected with measles. In January alone, the CDC reported 102 cases - as many as in any other year. A number that should rise to 173 infected people by May.
And even though the diseases were spread across a total of 21 states, the experts were able to quickly locate the source of the measles outbreak in California, and especially in Disneyland. A tourist who unknowingly infected other visitors and five Disneyland employees was considered “patient zero”.
Parents who refuse to vaccinate
The outbreak of a childhood disease that had long been believed to have been eradicated quickly led to a heated debate between proponents of protective vaccinations and the so-called anti-Vaxxers (after the English word "vaccine"), a growing group of parents who took their children out of religious, ideological, but also allegedly for medical reasons not wanting to be vaccinated. Among other things, they believe that vaccination could cause autism. A scientifically proven misconception that is based on a single study from 1998 and has long been refuted. The British researcher Andrew Wakefield, who led the investigation, was later revoked.
California Governor Jerry Brown has drawn a preliminary line under the emotional and often irrational debate this week. By law, he forces parents to have their children vaccinated. And not only against measles, but also against whooping cough and other childhood diseases. Anyone who violates the state regulation will be banned from school. Parents must then commit to homeschooling their children.
SB 277, as the decision is called, is America's toughest vaccination law. Exceptions are only accepted for purely medical reasons, such as an allergy to the vaccine. Statistically speaking, doctors reject such exceptions 99 percent of the time. In the future, however, Brown will no longer allow religious or other personal reasons to apply. Only Mississippi and West Virginia have similarly strict regulations; 32 other US states are discussing stricter laws.
"The scientific recommendations are pretty straightforward," said Governor Brown after signing the law. "These vaccinations can dramatically protect children from numerous contagious and dangerous diseases."
“No more dead. No fear anymore"
The initiative had already been approved by a clear majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate. The supporters came from the Democratic Party, but also from the Republicans. Brown admitted that "every medical procedure is not without risk". “But science is proving that immunization has great benefits and can protect the community.” The measles vaccine is 99 percent effective.
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