Vaccinations in the news - England and East Bay, California

Good news and stupid news. First, from the BBC:
No jabs, no school says Labour MP
Children who have not received all their vaccinations should not be allowed to start school, a Labour MP has suggested.

Speaking in the left-wing Fabian Society magazine, Mary Creagh said the move would increase the uptake of the controversial MMR vaccine.

In the same article, public health expert Sir Sandy Macara suggests linking child benefits to vaccinations.
And a bit more:
Public confidence in vaccination, and in MMR particularly, fell after research raised the possibility that the jab may be linked to an increased risk of autism.

The research has since been debunked, and a string of studies have concluded that the triple vaccine - which protects against rubella and mumps as well as measles - is perfectly safe.

But immunisation rates are still well below the 95% needed for so-called "herd immunity" and are particularly low in London.

As a result there have been several outbreaks of measles.
For more on Herd Immunity read here: Herd Immunity This article at Wikipedia states that for some diseases, you only need as few as 80% of the population to be immunized for protection of the entire population (Polio and Rubella in this case -- the percent rises to 92% for Pertussis (Whooping Cough)). What happens when you have a population with 50% immunization. This stupidity from El Sobrante, CA, a suburb of the San Francisco/Berkeley area... From ABC News:
East Bay Waldorf School closed Friday -- school closed after Whooping Cough outbreak.
The Contra Costa County Health Department is closing East Bay Waldorf School in El Sobrante until Monday because of a whooping cough outbreak. More than a dozen cases have been reported.

In the East Bay, a contagious disease has shut down an entire school.
And a bit more:
Students attending California schools are required to get immunizations for whooping cough but parents can opt out.

The state averages a 99 percent immunization rate. But at East Bay Waldorf School, health officials say less than 50 percent are protected from the disease and say that's why it was able to spread so easily.
Talk about blindness and willful stupidity. But that's to be expected at a Waldorf School -- from the same article:
The Waldorf School System was founded by Rudolph Steiner in 1919. He believed children were made stronger through illness and believed in a holistic approach to medicine.
How these places have credentials (and students) is beyond me. Hat tip to the Glen, the Puppy Blender at Instapundit

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on May 11, 2008 10:27 PM.

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