In The Politics of Autism, I look at the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism. Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms have helped spread this dangerous myth.
California is one of only three states that does not allow parents to opt out of vaccines due to their beliefs.
Public health advocates have lauded the law’s success. In the first year the law was in place, the state’s kindergarten vaccination rate shot up above 95% for the first time in a decade.
But the law’s implementation has also coincided with an increase in parents choosing to home-school their kids — and not vaccinating them.
In the school year that ended in June, there were 6,741 home-schooled kindergartners without their shots in California, compared with 1,880 in the 2016-17 school year, according to state data. Overall, 1.2% of the state’s kindergartners were home-schooled and unvaccinated in the last school year, according to state data. (The state health department collects vaccination data only on kindergartners and seventh graders.)
And then the antivaxxers went after the reporter:
Dr. Bob Sears, a prominent critic of vaccine laws, asked his followers to contact me because of my latest article on immunization. thank you for the intelligent feedback, will keep it in mind pic.twitter.com/gJ8J1rCzy9— Soumya (@skarlamangla) July 26, 2019
this was Sears‘ post, which marshaled an army that landed in my inbox pic.twitter.com/e6MDYI6oF6— Soumya (@skarlamangla) July 26, 2019
a sampling of my inbox pic.twitter.com/E4YH6byl1y— Soumya (@skarlamangla) July 26, 2019