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Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Exemption Industry

In The Politics of Autism, I look at the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism.

Previous posts described efforts to get around vaccine requirements through medical exemptions.  Joanna Nix reports at Mother Jones:
Fueling this spike in medical exemptions is an industry of doctors willing—and sometimes eager—to flout the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the name of “parent choice.” Led by Orange County pediatrician Bob Sears, author of the influential The Vaccine Book and son of pediatrician and attachment parenting guru Bill Sears, many physicians are wary of the CDC’s vaccination schedule, believing that giving kids too many vaccines at once may be dangerous. (In 2013, the Institute of Medicine found no evidence that the schedule was unsafe.) The doctors are supported by a movement of anti-vaccine parents, many of whom believe the MMR vaccine causes autism. That view is rooted in a 1998 paper that was later retracted by The Lancet and declared “an elaborate fraud” by the British Medical Journal.
But the damage has been done. In 2015, soon after SB 277 was passed, a California-based nonprofit popped up called Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC). A coalition of about 200 doctors, scientists, and attorneys who vehemently oppose mandatory vaccine laws, it boasts Sears as a founding member.