Sunday, June 12, 2016

DO something

Hemant Mehta has a list of things you can do. I'll add two:
  1. Reach out to someone in the LGBT community, listen to them, get to know them.
  2. Reach out to someone in the Muslim community, listen to them, get to know them.
Be Someone's Candle in the Dark
"The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge."
 - Bertrand Russell 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Information about the medical vaccine exemption in North Carolina

As Paul Offit explains there are generally three ways to exempt someone from required vaccines: for medical, religious, or philosophical reasons. And while North Carolina doesn't allow a philosophical exemption based on the "personal belief or philosophy of a parent or guardian not founded upon a religious belief," the religious exemption is easy enough to (ab)use in the case of "philosophical" objections as I've written about already. But what about the medical exemption?

North Carolina law provides for a medical vaccine exemption under G.S. 130A-156 "[i]f a physician licensed to practice medicine in this State certifies that a required immunization is or may be detrimental to a person's health due to the presence of one of the contraindications adopted by the Commission" or the physician requests that the State Health Director grant an exemption "for a contraindication not on the list adopted by the Commission." In the latter case, the physician must also provide "documentation to support the request (clinic notes, labs, etc)." For more details and links to the related general statutes and administrative code, check out the NC DHS web site. 

Polio vaccination in Sweden 1957.jpg
By Ingemar Berling/Pressens Bild.
Press Photo. Public Domain

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Why Are Non-Medical Vaccine Exemptions Still Legal?

Marco Arturo is a twelve-year old who wants to share the scientific evidence linking vaccines to autism - spoiler alert: it doesn't exist. Meanwhile Kate Lunau, at Motherboard, asks why non-medical vaccine exemptions are still legal - concluding that philosophical exemptions are something we'll just have to live with. We might also add whooping cough to that list...

But there's no mystery why personal belief exemptions are still a thing. I've already mentioned the ugly backlash last year to SB346 in NC. But just look at this "ugly disruption" of a public seminar on immunizations in Perth, Australia on Monday.

"In the antivaccine movement, the Dunning-Kruger effect tends to take the form of parents who think that their University of Google knowledge trumps the knowledge of physicians and scientists who have dedicated large swaths of their lives to the rigorous study of conditions such as autism and the question of how vaccines work." - Orac
Put Kids First
TAKE ACTION: Help put kids first and eliminate non-medical exemptions in North Carolina!

Note: This post is part of a series on vaccines.