The Disneyland measles outbreak began over the Christmas holidays of 2014 and continued for several months into 2015, ultimately spanning eight states and two additional countries (Canada and Mexico). It also represented a seismic shift in the battle to contain the malign influence of the antivaccine movement in that the outbreak centered the Magic Kingdom made it possible for California legislators to do something that would definitely not have been possible before the outbreak: Pass a law outlawing “personal belief exemptions” (a.k.a. nonmedical exemptions) to school vaccine requirements. Indeed, given that, prior to the outbreak, only two states (Mississippi and West Virginia) allowed only medical exemptions and the other 48 states allowed some combination of religious or personal belief exemptions (PBEs, or, as I like to call them, “I don’t wanna” exemptions), California was the last state I would have imagined passing a law to become like Mississippi or West Virginia. Happily, I was in error. Co-sponsored by Senators Richard Pan and Ben Allen, SB 277 was approved by the California legislature in June 2015 and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on June 30, 2015. The new law took full effect in the 2016-2017 school year; i.e., this school year.

The bill (and later law) itself mobilized the antivaccine movement in a way I don’t recall ever having seen it mobilized before. Indeed, there’s a reason why Andrew Wakefield and Del Bigtree bookended their antivaccine propaganda film VAXXED with reports of the Disneyland measles outbreak. It was such a major event in their world view and, given that California is the most populous state in the union, looked to be a profound threat to what they call “freedom” and “parental choice” (conveniently leaving out the rights of the child). Indeed, one could argue that, without SB 277, there very well might not have been a VAXXED, which has been unfortunately influential.

Not suprisingly, SB 277 was a topic of extensive blogging here all through the battle to pass it in 2015 and beyond, when I described how antivaccine-sympathetic pediatricians and other quacks were advertising medical exemptions to school vaccine requirements (which are, of course, still allowed—have to be allowed) as basically being for sale.

When last I looked at the topic a little more than a year ago, preliminary data were suggesting that SB 277 was beginning to have its intended effect. PBEs were declining and vaccine uptake was increasing, both good things. Yesterday, it was pointed out to me that the California Department of Public Health has published the most recent vaccine uptake rates for kindergarten for 2016-2017. The news is good. Vaccinate California provided the “money shot” graph:

Notice the trends. PBEs had been increasing inexorably beginning around 1996, with few blips in the upward trend, increasing to nearly four-fold over the course of approximately 18 years. Those of you who haven’t been following vaccine issues (or this blog) for very long might ask: What was AB 2109? Basically, it was the precursor to SB 277. A few years ago, alarmed at the steady upward march of PBE rates, the California legislature passed AB 2109, a law that required parents seeking PBEs to undergo counseling by a pediatrician, advanced practice nurse, or other enumerated health care provider over the risks of foregoing vaccines. The resistance to AB 2109 was almost as fierce as the resistance to SB 277, even though it was a much less stringent law. Indeed, AB 2109 first showed me that Rob Schneider was antivaccine, because that’s when he came out in a big way. Unfortunately, Governor Brown eliminated most of the bill’s impact by adding a signing statement instructing the California Department of Public Health to make an exception for religious exemptions and waive the requirement that parents seeking them undergo counseling. It was almost certainly an illegal instruction, given that it directly contradicted the language of the law as passed.

Even so, as you can see from the graph, for the first time in nearly 20 years, there was a significant dip in the rate of PBEs. This observation is consistent with what we’ve seen here in Michigan after the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services imposed a regulation that was very much like AB 2109, only more stringent in that it isn’t just any doctor in Michigan who can provide the required counseling to parents seeking PBEs. No, here in Michigan, the MDHHS requires that parents actually visit a state or county health department office for standardized counseling. And it works, even better than AB 2109 did in California. Unfortunately, antivaxers in my state have successfully lobbied the legislature to have a bill introduced that would not only overturn the rule requiring counseling but would prevent health officers in our state from barring unvaccinated children from school in the event of an outbreak. Truly, the stupidity of our legislature astounds even me sometimes.

That dip after AB 2109, though, is nothing compared to the dramatic decline in PBEs among kindergarteners. Basically, in a bit more than one year, PBEs fell to levels not seen since the early 1990s. Yes, there was an uptick in medical exemptions, no doubt due to the machinations of Dr. Bob Sears and all the other antivaccine and antivaccine-sympathetic pediatricians and practitioners who saw a chance to profit in a way that aligns with their antivaccine ideology, but that increase is overwhelmed by the rapid decline in PBEs. This is a very good thing indeed. It’s hard not to conclude from these data that eliminating PBEs works—and works very well.

If that doesn’t convince you, check out this graph from the report itself. It shows that the percentage of kindergarteners with all their required vaccines climbed from 90.2% in the 2013-2014 school year to 95.6% in the 2016-2017 school year:

PBECA1

Perusing the data in the report a bit more, I see that the good news just keeps on coming. For instance, here’s another way of showing that the percentage of children with all their required vaccines is increasing not just overall, but for individual vaccines:

PBECA3a

And:

PBECA2

Of course, overall statewide vaccine uptake is important, but arguably what is even more important are the areas with the lowest vaccine uptake. The reason, of course, is that these areas provide the raw material for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases through degradation of herd immunity to the point where outbreaks become possible. That’s why these maps of county-wide vaccine uptake should be music to the ears of pro-science, pro-vaccine advocates. For instance, here are maps indicating total vaccine uptake (i.e., the percentage of kindergarteners who had all the required vaccines), with dramatic increases in the percentage who’ve had all vaccines and decreases in the numbers of students with PBEs. Basically, this graph, as the first one does, suggests that both AB 2109 and now SB 277 worked:

PBECA4

And here’s a map indicating the percentage of kindergarteners with two or more doses of MMR:

PBECA5

Notice how, in both maps, multiple counties have increased their vaccine uptake out of the “red zone,” which represents levels of vaccine uptake where herd immunity is likely to be degraded.

Per the report:

Of 562,924 kindergarteners whose schools reported their status, 537,991 (95.6%) had received all required immunizations, an increase from the previous school year of 2.8 percentage points (Table 1) and an increase over two school years of 5.2 percentage points (Figures 1, 6). Compared to the 2015-2016 school year, the percentage of students with all required immunizations increased in 50 (86%) of 58 counties (Table 5). For counties reporting at least 25 students, the highest rates were reported in Tulare (98.5%) and San Benito (98.1%) Counties (Tables 3-5). In 2016-2017, 9 (16%) of 58 counties in California have rates of kindergarteners with all required vaccines that are below 90%, compared to 20 (34%) counties in 2015-2016 (Tables 4 and 5, Figure 9).

As in past years, a higher proportion of students in public compared to private schools were reported as having had all required immunizations (95.9% vs. 91.6%; difference of 4.3 percentage points) (Table 1, Figures 7and 8). However, this gap is smaller in 2016-2017 than it was in 2015-2016 (93.2% vs. 88.2%; difference of 5.0 percentage points), as the one-year increase by 2.7 percentage points in public schools was not as large as the increase by 3.4 percentage points in private schools.

And:

When comparing the 2016-2017 school year to 2015-2016, the proportion of students reported to enter kindergarten in California after receiving all required immunizations increased by 2.8 percentage points to 95.6%, following an increase by 2.4 percentage points between the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years. The 2016-2017 rate of 95.6% is the highest reported to CDPH since varicella vaccine became the most recent addition to the immunizations required for kindergarteners, which began in the 2001-2002 school year.

The CDPH report contains a wealth of information on vaccine uptake, PBEs, and permanent medical exemptions (PMEs). As I documented in 2015 and 2016, antivaccine activists are doing their damnedest to abuse PMEs. For instance, I note an interesting observation in Marin County, PMEs increased from 0.2% in 2015-2016 school year to 2.1% in the 2016-2017 school year, whopping ten-fold increase. In Orange County, another hotbed of antivaccine activity, PMEs increased from 0.2% to 0.8%, a four-fold increase. Interestingly, by comparison, in San Francisco County, during the PME rate only increased from 0.2% to 0.5%. By way of comparison, in Los Angeles County, PMEs increased from 0.1% to 0.4%.

In an ideal world, there would be no PBEs, no exemptions to school vaccine mandates based on anything other than medical indications. Of course, this is not an ideal world. Fortunately, measures that make PBEs difficult to obtain, such as AB 2109 in California and my state’s policy to require that parents who wish to obtain a PBE must go to a state or county health office for counseling on the risks of not vaccinating, also work to increase vaccine uptake. They don’t work as well as eliminating all nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine requirements, but they work and thus are reasonable alternatives to banning nonmedical exemptions in states where it is just politically impossible to do something as radical as SB 277.

Unfortunately, as my own state of Michigan and the state of Texas show, there will be pushback against such efforts. Even worse, somehow over the last several years antivaccine beliefs have been embraced by a segment of the right that lumps antivaccine beliefs as part of “freedom” and “parental rights,” resulting in a dangerous politicization of what was once a bipartisan issue. I fear that California might be the last state to take a step like SB 277 for the foreseeable future. However, all is not lost. Many states are looking into tightening up the requirements for nonmedical exemptions, which is almost as good. From a scientific viewpoint, both work, but eliminating nonmedical exemptions work the best. However, given the current political situation, the best that can likely be expected is for some states to tighten up their PBE requirements.

Comments

  1. #1 Panacea
    April 13, 2017

    It disgusts me to see how our politicians put the public at risk to pander to loons for their votes.

  2. #2 Dangerous Bacon
    April 13, 2017

    Those maps look like California drought maps.

    Vaccines are greening the state, and antivax influence is starting to dry up. 🙂

  3. #3 Dorit Reiss
    April 13, 2017

    Note that some of the increase in PMEs is likely for people with legitimate medical reasons that in the past got a PBE because it was easier.

    Most is likely abuse, I agree.

    It will take a few years, but this is an improvement.

    Also note that the law has so far been challenged four times in the courts, and upheld.

  4. #4 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    April 13, 2017

    Although some “red zones” still exist, the elimination of large blocks of them will serve as a firewall for outbreaks. In other words, there is less clustering. California also provides a natural crossover study which other states should take note of before passing foolish loosening of vaccine requirements.

  5. #5 JH
    United States
    April 13, 2017

    Orac, I just came across your blog just now when I searched for information about Ty Bollinger. My search led me to your story from April 2016 about a young woman with cancer and how she was influenced by Bollinger’s video series “The Truth About Cancer.” In that post, you said, “In retrospect, I’m now regretting that I didn’t expose myself to the series when it was available for free, the better to write a series of blog posts taking it down….”

    Well, he has a new video series that is available free starting this month, and it’s highly relevant to this post: “The Truth About Vaccines.” I hope you will consider taking this new series down while it’s free, maybe as each new “episode” is released. A dear friend has already shared this new nonsense on social media.

  6. #6 Chris Hickie
    April 13, 2017

    That Vaccinate California graph of PBE’s has one glaring time point omitted–the publication of Bob Sears’s “Vaccine Book” in 2007 which is right when the rate of PBE’s really started to climb.

    It’s no surprise that Orange County (where Sears practices) had not one, but two measles outbreaks within 9 months of each other in 2014-2015, the first being a 21-case outbreak in March of 2014 and then the “Disneyland” outbreak in late 2014-2015. If you look at the CADPH for Orange County vaccination rates in grade K, you will see that PBEs accelerated dramatically in OC starting in 2007 through 2013. I assert Sears is directly causative for those two outbreaks and the shame is that he will never pay any price for it.

    • #7 Orac
      April 13, 2017

      You could always Tweet that suggestion to Vaccinate California… 🙂

  7. #8 Lawrence
    April 13, 2017

    Since I’ve been on a Facebook hiatus for the last few months, what is the latest with the lawsuits?

    It was a complete boondoggle last year, has anything of any substance happened since?

  8. #9 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    April 13, 2017

    Let’s be truthful, America has the greatest system of education in the known universe.

    Give your child the recommended vaccines, and they are granted a public education (e.g., SB-277).

    Thank goodness for special education programs if a child gets vaccine injured, everyone deserves a chance.

    My son told me the other day that special education was great for him and that he enjoyed learning but the bullying was terrible (i.e., students and classmates).

    Is there legislation in America to STOP the bullying?

    Q. What’s the difference between respectful insolence and bullying.

  9. #10 Eric Lund
    April 13, 2017

    Eyeballing the maps, I see a couple of counties that have backslid: one on the NV border just south of the elbow went from green to red, and one in (I think) the northern Central Valley went from yellow to red. Small number statistics is likely in play in the former case; I’m less sure about the latter. Could somebody more knowledgeable about California than I give details?

    OTOH, it’s a good thing that several counties flipped all the way from red to green, and several of the woo hotbeds along the coast have shown improvement.

  10. #11 Heidi_storage
    April 13, 2017

    Excellent, but not quite the whole story; my antivaccine friend is homeschooling her kids to avoid the mandate, and she is not alone. I am sure that, as a whole, more kids are being vaccinated, but unfortunately people like my friend will still contribute to pockets of VPD vulnerability.

  11. #12 Narad
    April 13, 2017

    CA DPH released analysis just now. pic.twitter.com/OFigphuhIG

    Somebody should’ve proofread those y-axis labels.

  12. #13 NumberWang
    April 13, 2017

    Thinking about it. Isn’t the increasing vaccine uptake a perfect time for antivaxxers to prove their contention that vaccines cause autism? Surely the diagnoses of ASD will go up now in perfect sync…..or will they? Please imagine suspenseful music at this point.

  13. #14 rs
    April 13, 2017

    Although the absolute numbers are small, PME sharply increased in one year. Interesting that.

  14. #15 Eric Lund
    April 13, 2017

    Isn’t the increasing vaccine uptake a perfect time for antivaxxers to prove their contention that vaccines cause autism? Surely the diagnoses of ASD will go up now in perfect sync…..or will they?

    Diagnosis of autism has been increasing for a number of years now, so that trend need only continue for the anti-vax crowd to say, “Look! Autism cases increased with increasing vaccine uptake!” That this is a classic post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy is of no importance, because the anti-vax crowd are not arguing logically. They will simply alter their arguments as needed, the way they changed their claim from mercury to generic “toxins” after thimerosal was eliminated from childhood vaccines.

  15. #16 brian
    April 13, 2017

    @10 (Eric Lund)

    You’re correct that “small number statistics” may explain the green-to-red shift in liberal Alpine County: There are only about 1,100 people in the county–and so few children affected by SB277. The more modest change that you mentioned occurred in conservative Sutter County, which has about as many children in kindergarten as there are people in Alpine County.

    FWIW, Alpine County voted for Kerry and Obama–and rejected the same-sex marriage ban (Proposition 8) that was supported by most California counties except those on the coast. (The only other similarly-liberal interior California counties were Yolo (which is adjacent to conservative Sutter County–but which is dominated by a University of California campus) and Mono County, which–like Alpine, its neighbor to the north–is home to ski resorts and relies on tourism. Sutter County is pretty much the opposite: the last Democratic presidential candidate to carry Sutter County was FDR, county voters overwhelmingly supported Proposition 8, etc. Make of that liberal vs. conservative split and vaccine hesitancy what you will.

  16. #17 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    April 13, 2017

    @Eric Lund #15:

    Diagnosis of autism has been increasing for a number of years now, so that trend need only continue for the anti-vax crowd to say, “Look! Autism cases increased with increasing vaccine uptake!”

    True, but is also went up when vaccine rates were falling and PBE rates were rising, so if they try that argument we can shoot it down.

  17. #18 Denice Walter
    April 13, 2017

    I notice that our hippie-ish/ yuppie-ish friends in NW coastal ( Humboldt, Mendocino, Sonoma, Marin) are sticking to their (metaphorical) guns and staying off the vax, altho’ there is some improvement in the last map. I am pleasantly surprised.

    What’s next? Buying GMOs? Will wonders ever cease?

  18. #19 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    April 13, 2017

    @ Julian Frost (#17)

    CDC estimates 1 in 68 school-aged children have autism; no change from previous estimate. However, it is too soon to know whether ASD prevalence in the United States might be starting to stabilize. CDC will continue tracking ASD prevalence to better understand changes over time.

    https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0331-children-autism.html

    I believe my hypothesis is meaningful and Orac will be eating crow in the next decade. 🙂

  19. #20 Denice Walter
    April 13, 2017

    In other news…

    Since I mentioned hippies….

    Mercola ( today) touts the medical effects of patchouli and – silly me- I thought that it was only useful in order to repel conservatives in bars.

  20. #21 Bob G
    Los Angeles
    April 13, 2017

    The California map is a little misleading in terms of the actual populations of the counties that are in red. Most of those red counties are in the least populated northeast and far north.

    The extreme case is Alpine County with a population of 1110 in an area of 739 square miles, meaning it has a population density of just over 1 person per square mile. That’s because a lot of it is in the high Sierras. At the other end of the red county scale, Humboldt County has 135,727 people in 3573 square miles (about 40 people per square mile).

    In other words, those red counties do not represent a whole lot of people. If you total the populations of all the red counties, you get 545,737 out of a state population of about 39,000,000, which means that 98.6 percent of California’s population lives in counties that are greens and yellows.

    By the way, supporters of Donald Trump presented maps showing counties won by Trump vs Clinton. Trump took a large fraction of the land area and a large fraction of the total counties. More careful analysts pointed out that there are lots of rural counties with small populations. The vaccination maps are analogous. For example, Alameda County has a population that is three times the level of all the red counties combined, and it is just one county.

    Last fall, a few weeks after the start of the school year, I spoke to a public health staffer from the Los Angeles Unified School District. I was told that they were getting good compliance with the new law and hadn’t heard a lot of complaints. At the time, I guessed that the truly loony parents had either bought their kids a medical exemption or opted for home schooling. The graphs suggest that it may be some of both, with the paid medical exemptions the largest part. After all, if you can get the exemption by making one visit to a friendly doctor, you save yourself a huge amount of work for the coming years.

    What’s interesting is the relatively low level of protest and publicity over the new law. Sure we had a couple of public protests, but they were comparatively small in size (perhaps a few hundred people in the Los Angeles area) and few in number. The late night television news dutifully covered the largest protest but that pretty much ended the discussion. If you looked carefully at the news coverage, it became obvious that the numbers of the protestors were swelled by the presence of large numbers of children — in other words, the number of voting adults was comparatively small for all of the protests combined.

    You had to look hard (or read this blog) to get any news about the lawsuits and their inevitable failures.

  21. #22 Bob G
    Los Angeles
    April 13, 2017

    Thanks to Brian @16 who mentions much of what I said in my (slightly) later post. I was typing my comment when yours went up.

    We might also consider a longer perspective. Before the measles vaccine, an estimated four million children got measles each year (averaging cyclic variations etc) resulting in thousands of severe cases, hospitalizations, and numerous deaths. At this point, if a few dozen children in Mendocino get measles, the outbreak won’t spread to tens of thousands in the more populated regions.

  22. #23 Jake Crosby
    www.autisminvestigated.com
    April 13, 2017

    Yep, more children needlessly poisoned to protect an iatrogenic federal program.

  23. #24 Liz Ditz
    Great State of California
    April 13, 2017

    What this post is discussing is the “Kindergarten Summary Report”; the finest level of detail is at the county level. At some point in the future, the state will release an xls file for kinder at the individual school level, and the child care and 7th grade xls files.

    The child care file is interesting but excludes all facilities with fewer than 10 enrollees. It also only gives a snapshot of the immunization status at one point in time (typically, September) and since babies’ immunization status changes so much in the first 18 months, it’s a bit confusing. It reports on vaccination status for DTAP, Polio, MMR, HIB, HepB, and Varicella.

    The 7th grade xls file probably will only record Up to Date, PME, and Overdue (the only thing that is due is the Tdap booster).

    So the really interesting one will be the kinder entry xls file by school. It will be interesting to see the change both in enrollment and vaccine coverage in the schools that last year had low vaccine uptake. (BTW last year, the reporting was on number of students who were up to date on DTAP, Polio, MMR, HepB, and Varicella. HIB is not required for kindergarten entry, as it is for child care.)

    There were a lot of schools that had a high number of “conditional entrants” — students who were not up to date for age, but had a plan to become up to date. In the summer of 2015, there was an administrative ruling that put more pressure on schools to follow up on conditional entrants.

  24. #25 Panacea
    April 13, 2017

    @MJD: even if in the highly unlikely event your claims were proven to be “right”, Orac would not be eating crow. Since he actually understands science, he would simply accept it.

    And you would not actually be right. You’d be lucky, as in a lucky guess. Because that’s what your claims amount to.

  25. #26 JustaTech
    April 13, 2017

    I thought MJD’s latest theory is that everything is a conspiracy from the patent office.

  26. #27 shay simmons
    April 13, 2017

    No,his latest theory is that any one who disagrees with him online is a bully.

  27. #28 Kelly M Bray
    Over here
    April 13, 2017

    After MJD has eaten his share will there be any crows left?

  28. #29 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    April 13, 2017

    Can I use a personal belief exemption to not pay taxes? I’m asking for a friend.

  29. #30 Panacea
    April 14, 2017

    @#28: No. The IRS has put the banhammer on that a multitude of times.

  30. #31 MarkN
    April 14, 2017

    Awaiting the “massive outbreak” of autism in California………Surely, it’s coming soon…. surely it is… any day now

  31. #32 NWO Reporter
    April 14, 2017

    Duh. Of course SB 277 works to some degree–it’s coercion. Parents must either home school, or allow their children to be injected with every vaccine the State tells them to.

    It used to be a few…now it’s dozens…and some day it could be hundreds. If the pace of coercive legislation and vaccine propaganda keeps up with product development…and if passivity and blind obedience rises with it…we can all look forward to the utopia Ira Levin described in This Perfect Day. That last “if” is the only one that’s not a given. 🙂

  32. #33 Narad
    April 14, 2017

    Duh. Of course SB 277 works to some degree–it’s coercion. Parents must either home school, or allow their children to be injected with every vaccine the State tells them to.

    Oh, dear, Ginny, isn’t mandatory indoctrination public schooling part of the New World Order agenda?

    Go back to the trite, dour, unremittingly repetitive “fine art.”

  33. #34 The Smith of Lie
    April 14, 2017

    That’s why these maps of county-wide vaccine uptake should be music to the ears of pro-science, pro-vaccine advocates.

    And now I wish someone with an actual synesthesia described how they sound like…

  34. #35 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    April 14, 2017

    Duh. Of course SB 277 works to some degree–it’s coercion.

    By that logic, jail for failing to pay taxes and fines for traffic violations are also coercion.

    It used to be a few…now it’s dozens…and some day it could be hundreds.

    Yes, in the same way that a meteor large enough to wipe out humanity could hit the Earth in the next decade.

  35. #36 Reality
    April 14, 2017

    #33 TSoL –
    Maybe Mike “The DeRanger” Adams can use his maths and science skillz, honed to delusional perfection with his “Elemonics” breakthrough, to transform the county data to musical chords which will undoubtedly be discordant from those counties with high vaccine uptake and soothing and angelic from those counties with low vaccine uptake rates.

    It’s amazing what you can produce when you are certifiably insane…

  36. #37 NWO Reporter
    April 14, 2017

    Saying SB 277 ‘works’ is like saying armed robbery ‘works,’ or extortion ‘works.’

    “Turn over your children for 58 injections, or we’ll take their education.” Or,

    “That’s a nice public education your children have there…sure would be a shame if they lost it. The price to keep it is only 58 injections–paid in advance.”

    Parent: “Once my children take the 58 injections, that’ll be all, right? We’ll be paid in full?”

    State: “Hehehe. Sure…until the price goes up. And it will. We’ll be back for more.”

    • #38 Dorit Reiss
      April 14, 2017

      I expect most people do realize the difference between regulation by the state and crime. A better example here would be the laws requiring that people take epilepsy medicine before they can have a driver’s license. Like those drivers, parents here have a choice. They can choose not to protect their children. In that case, the state limits their ability to send the children to school.

      Like the driver, it’s not an easy price to pay, but like the driver, they can choose. If they choose not to protect their child, they are imposing a risk on others. The state limits that risk.

      Is it a constrained choice? Of course. As most choices are; as the choice of a parent with an immune compromised child and a school with low rates of vaccinating would be.

      But there’s still a big difference between restrictions created according to the legal procedures for passing laws and regulations, and aimed to protect others, and armed robbery – unless you believe the state has no authority to regulate to protect.

      • #39 NWO Reporter
        April 14, 2017

        No, that’s not a better example. The most common requirement of the State for people with epilepsy is that they be seizure free for a specific period of time and submit a physician’s evaluation of their ability to drive safely. With SB 277, healthy children are being required to submit to ongoing medical treatment that may not be appropriate or necessary for them at all, and is known to have the potential to cause grievous harm, including lifelong disability and death.

        • #40 Dorit Reiss
          April 14, 2017

          The only reason a vaccine would not be appropriate is if a child had a medical condition that goes against it – and medical exemptions were left unchanged. So no.

          As to risk – to remind you, the children are at much higher risk if they contract a disease they could be vaccinated against. The risk of vaccinating is an order of magnitude smaller. And, like the seizing driver, they risk others.

          • #41 NWO Reporter
            April 14, 2017

            There is considerable dispute within the medical and scientific community about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, and there has been since vaccines were first used. Trying to create the impression that all such disputes are not credible, and suppressing them in the media and in academia, are deceptive propaganda techniques that are becoming increasingly transparent.

            Our bodies do not belong to the community, nor to the government. All medical treatments carry risks. The right to informed and voluntary consent to medical treatment has been recognized as a fundamental human right for decades.

            “Trust us, we’re the government” and “trust us, we’re doctors” are steadily losing their persuasive appeal–for good reason.

  37. #42 Lawrence
    April 14, 2017

    @NWOR – so, how many injections spread over how many years?

    0 – 6 years is quite a long time for to get the required vaccinations…it isn’t like kids get them all at once.

    And then there are the vaccines that aren’t required – like the Flu or HPV (which isn’t even given until early teens).

    And parents always have a choice. They can choose not the vaccinate their children, and every choice has consequences – anti-vaxers just don’t like the fact that they are being held accountable for those choices.

  38. #43 Panacea
    April 14, 2017

    NWOR Troll: I’m confused. First anti vaxxers complain about combined vaccines and demand single vaccines. But we combine them to reduce the number of shots. Then you complaint about the number of shots, when what you complain about in combined vaccines reduces the shots.

    So which is it? Combined vaccines or the number of shots you object to?

    You can drop the whine about “coercion.” A society with rights is also a society with responsibilities.

    We’re responsible to pay taxes to support our government and our communities.

    We’re responsible to obey laws that provide for the safety and welfare not only of the community as a whole, but of ourselves.

    That’s includes obeying traffic laws. It also includes getting vaccinated if you want to attend a public school. Your rights stop at my nose. You do not get to put my children at risk because you’re a colossally selfish, self centered moron.

    If you refuse to vaccinate your children, it is YOU who is depriving your children of a public education, not the government, not society as a whole. YOU. You make your bed, you lie in it.

    Of course, you probably don’t mind that your children will grow up to be as ignorant as yourself. Heaven forbid they should actually be exposed to real science and learn how to think.

  39. #44 Lawrence
    April 14, 2017

    Also, public school systems have to take into account the safety and health of all of their students….which is why vaccine mandates have existed for decades or longer.

    The first mandate for inoculation was passed in 1792 by the Commonwealth of Virginia – which included steep fines for anyone who was not inoculated against Smallpox.

    The US Supreme Court has consistently ruled for more than 110 years that vaccine mandates are Constitutional.

    Keep tilting at windmills (and unbuckle that seat belt while you’re at it -show the man!)

  40. #45 Rich Bly
    Ocean Shores
    April 14, 2017

    For all you AVers out there, I have a simple analogy that you may be able to stretch your minds to understand.

    You decide that you want to go bungee jumping but are scared off because the bungee cord might break once in a million jumps. One in a million is pretty good odds that nothing will happen. Vaccines have even better odds of no major adverse event happening.

    I just had (for travel reasons) a booster flu shot and I had an adverse reaction, there was a blood spot on the band aide. I am so afraid now of the flu vaccine that I will get again in September or October.

  41. #46 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    April 14, 2017

    There is considerable dispute within the medical and scientific community about the safety and efficacy of vaccines.

    No there isn’t, and this claim is tedious.

    Trying to create the impression that all such disputes are not credible, and suppressing them in the media and in academia, are deceptive propaganda techniques that are becoming increasingly transparent.

    Very well. Show us your evidence.
    Show us good quality evidence that vaccines are less effective than commonly claimed. Show us your proof that they cause more negative side effects than are commonly claimed. Show us that the diseases are less dangerous and that vaccinating for them is unnecessary.
    If you can, that is.

  42. #47 Narad
    April 14, 2017

    There is considerable dispute within the medical and scientific community about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, and there has been since vaccines were first used.

    Quoth the fan of Jon Rappoport, “Investigative Reporter.”

  43. #48 Lawrence
    April 14, 2017

    A few crazy people shouting through megaphones don’t constitute a “dispute.”

    Neither does a few crazy people typing on ALL CAPS on the Internet.

  44. #49 Narad
    April 14, 2017

    The misuse of “efficacy” was a nice touch, though.

  45. #50 JustaTech
    April 14, 2017

    Isn’t nice how NWO also completely fails to note that the reason that we don’t have to vaccinate against smallpox anymore is because vaccination eliminated the disease?
    We could stop vaccinating against polio soon too, if not for a lot of religious and geo-political BS.

  46. #51 Narad
    April 14, 2017

    No, it died out of its own accord or something. SRSLY: just search the pseudonym and “smallpox.”

  47. #52 Chris
    April 14, 2017

    Also, NWA Troll seems to be geographically confused. She does not live in California.

  48. #53 Narad
    April 14, 2017
  49. #54 JustaTech
    April 14, 2017

    Narad: WHAT? Dude, what in the what?
    Oh for fox sake.
    There are books about it. Lots of books, by lots of different people. Heck, some of the people in charge are still alive to ask!
    That’s like the guy who told Buzz Aldrin he didn’t land on the moon.

    It does help estimate NWO’s age, though.

    Man, and the pox viruses are so interesting. All big and species specific. There’s even one for caterpillars that makes them go nuts and then liquefies their insides.

  50. #55 herr doktor bimler
    April 14, 2017

    It’s amazing what you can produce when you are certifiably insane…

    Hey now, don’t go blaming the differently-rational for the existence of Mike Adams. You sane ones must take ownership of him and his con-jobs.

  51. #56 Politicalguineapig
    April 14, 2017

    Robster: So, are you another sock, or just brain damaged? I thought the whole moon landing thing was settled. The only people who think it was a hoax think the Sun orbits the Earth.

  52. #57 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    April 14, 2017

    One side effect of posting this link
    http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2017/02/the-fendlesworth-mystery-or-travis-j-schwochert-we-see-you.html
    is that not only does that link climb in the Google rankings when people search for Travis J. Schwochert of 239 S Church St Endeavor, WI, but comments, such as this, that have the link also rate higher in the Google rankings.

    It would be a good way to let anyone searching for Captain Sock Puppet to know that he’s so brain dead (possibly from drinking, but other reasons are possible) that he’s also a moon landing denier and a JFK conspiracy loon, as well as an anti-vac idiot.

  53. #58 Panacea
    April 14, 2017

    F off Travis.

  54. #59 Rich Bly
    Ocean Shores
    April 14, 2017

    Robster FCD, lets sock your anal cavity on the tip of a Nike X and see how far we can send you puppet.

    The mooning landing happened, I’ve met a number of people who were of the launch teams.

  55. #60 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    April 14, 2017

    TRACERT my IP, you might find I’m closer than you think. I’m in your computer, touching your stuff.

  56. #61 Gilbert
    April 14, 2017

    I thought the whole moon landing thing was settled.

    Mehh.

  57. #62 Rich Bly
    Ocean Shores
    April 14, 2017

    Such a poorly faked video

  58. #63 Narad
    April 14, 2017

    Is Bertrand Russell braindead too?

    Logical atomism wasn’t the brightest idea. Oh, and I’ve already mentioned the ultimate failure of the Principia. Maybe you should get a vintage Farrah Fawcett poster instead, Travis.

  59. #64 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    April 14, 2017

    Hey Johnny, Is Bertrand Russell braindead too?

    I think it’s safe to say that his brain works just as well as yours these days, Travis.

  60. #65 Chris
    April 14, 2017

    Robster, FCD has not posted since 2008. It is another sock puppet.

    So Travis Schwochert from Endeavor, Wisconsin how is that job hunting going? Kind of troublesome that your annoying sock puppets are so easy to find. Go away.

  61. #66 Robster, FCD
    April 14, 2017

    I won’t go away until Orac removes all of your psychopathic doxxing.

  62. #67 Chris
    April 14, 2017

    You brought all upon yourself. The blame is all yours. All you have to do is to stop posting with stolen credentials. Just stop. Go away.

    Get professional help.

    • #68 Orac
      April 14, 2017

      I tell ya. I spend just one evening away from the computer, and this happens…

  63. #69 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    April 14, 2017

    I won’t go away until Orac removes all of your psychopathic doxxing.

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    “Psychopathic” would be screen capping this thread, with your flat-out admissions of guilt, and sending them off to
    James.Schwochert@somestate.somewhere

    Nobody has done that as far as we know.

  64. #70 Robster, FCD
    April 14, 2017

    You brought all upon yourself. The blame is all yours. All you have to do is to stop posting with stolen credentials.

    Do you speak for Orac Chris?

  65. #71 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    April 14, 2017

    You’re a fμcking psychopath Johnny. You sit on your perch all day until waiting for comments critical of vaccines. They you pounce with your psychopathic ridicule.

    Heh, says the boy who won’t stop stalking and makes pathetic attempts at doxxing me.

  66. #72 Rich Bly
    Ocean Shores
    April 14, 2017

    Travis, since you suffer from multiple nyms, I would suggest check in at the nearest mental health facility. I sure they would give some meds that would make you feel a lot better. They could add some aluminum to the meds. I am not sure but I bet WI has remedial training for people like you.

  67. #73 Orac loves gerbils (real name: Travis J. Schwochert)
    April 14, 2017

    This is bullshit Orac. I am the only Travis J. Schwochert on the planet.

    All of my comments were transient and have been removed. This falls into the prank category. I intentionally give myself away. What Johnny does is intentionally and permanently linking my name with the most psychopathic slurs that he can imagine.

    • #74 Orac
      April 15, 2017

      Since you identified yourself, I thought I’d tack an addendum to your ‘nym identifying you.

      And, boo-hoo. For close to six months now (I checked), your “pranks” have annoyed my regular commenters, a few of whom have been following my blog for over a decade. You’ve even impersonated them and even forced a few of them to start posting under a different e-mail address so that they could still comment after I blocked the old one you had co-opted for sock puppets. You’ve wasted untold hours of my time dealing with your sock puppets over that time. I know you’ve done this at one other blog (at least) that I know of. Consequently, I have zero sympathy for you whatsoever. You made your bed. Lie in it.

      To be honest, I’ve been too nice. Over the last month or so I’ve been deleting everything you post as soon as I realize it’s you, either on my own or from one of my readers. That’s been doing you a favor, because in essence I’ve been erasing the evidence, and since I started doing that there remain nothing other than posts by frustrated readers saying things like, “Fuck off, Travis” (which you really, really should do, by the way). In the future, I think I’ll leave a few of your “pranks” up, so that anyone who happens upon the thread understands what a childish annoyance you are.

  68. #75 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    April 14, 2017

    Heh, says the boy who won’t stop stalking and makes pathetic attempts at doxxing me.

    Well, all he has to do is ask Jake who you are, “Emily”. I think Travis and Jake would make one heck of a team.

  69. #76 Narad
    April 14, 2017

    I really don’t get the fixation on Russell, unless it’s some sort of mental truck stop that was never departed. Travis J. Schwochert seems to consider invocations to be insignia of SMURT, and teh NWOR does as well, just upside-down.

  70. #77 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    April 14, 2017

    I know right? We all must be Emily or Dorit.

  71. #78 Alain
    April 15, 2017

    testing, 1, 2 (a comment of mine seem lost in the ether)…

    Al

  72. #79 brian
    April 15, 2017

    We must all be Emily or Dorit.

    Wait, I thought that you were Bonnie Offit–unless that was Matt.

  73. #80 Narad
    April 15, 2017

    “Psychopathic” would be screen capping this thread, with your flat-out admissions of guilt, and sending them off to
    James.Schwochert@somestate.somewhere

    Even without a history of starting fires and general petty crimes?

  74. #81 NumberWang
    April 15, 2017

    I’m Spartacus!

  75. #82 Rich Woods
    Fell off my chair laughing
    April 15, 2017

    @Johnny #59:

    Brilliant!

  76. #83 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    April 15, 2017

    Wait, I thought that you were Bonnie Offit–unless that was Matt.

    That’s Matt. I seem to be any other number of bloggers/commentors who provoke the ire of numpties like Travis and Jake.

  77. #84 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    April 15, 2017

    In the future, I think I’ll leave a few of your “pranks” up, so that anyone who happens upon the thread understands what a childish annoyance you are.

    Please do and I’ll add some of his “pranks” that he’s left on my blog, with his name of course.

  78. #85 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    April 15, 2017

    What Johnny does is intentionally and permanently linking my name with the most psychopathic slurs that he can imagine.

    Again, you keep using that word.

    I maintain that I’ve not posted anything about you that isn’t, in fact, true. However, I am human, and could have made a mistake. If you can point to a factual error I’ve made, I’ll correct it.

    Also, yes, I do ridicule stupid anti-vax statements from stupid anti-vax idiots such as yourself. Others are better at slapping them down with science, but I like to help when and where I can. It’s nice to see that my modest efforts have had some small effect.