Anti-vaxxers are MORE educated

The news that anti-vaxxers are whiter, wealthier, and better-educated than those who place blind faith in vaccines won’t surprise anyone who has actually engaged a vaccine enthusiast on the subject. None of them know anything about history, few of them know anything about science, and all of them are prone to simply repeating the usual vaccine scare rhetoric:

The people most likely to refuse to have their children vaccinated tend to be white, well-educated and affluent, researchers report.

A study published in the January issue of the American Journal of Public Health used California state government data on “personal belief exemptions,” or opting out of vaccinations for nonmedical reasons. From 2007 to 2013, the rate of vaccine refusal for personal belief doubled, to 3.06 percent.

The researchers reviewed data among all kindergarten children in the state during that time. More than 17,000 children, attending 6,911 schools, were exempted.

Exemption percentages were generally higher in regions with higher income, higher levels of education, and predominantly white populations. In private schools, 5.43 percent of children were exempt, compared with 2.88 percent in public schools.

In some suburban areas, rates of exemption were near 50 percent, and more than a quarter of California’s schools have measles immunization rates below the 92 to 94 percent required for herd immunity, the level of vaccination necessary to protect people who are not immune.

The very simple fact of the matter is that vaccines are far, far less important in halting the spread of infectious disease than controlling entry and immigration from non-first world countries. This is obvious, since vaccine rates are still very high in the USA and Western Europe, and yet there is a massive rise in various diseases that is the direct result of global travel and large-scale immigration.

The idea that the current vaccine schedule is responsible for the huge decline in deaths from infectious diseases in the 19th century is not merely ahistorical, it requires a combination of ignorance and stupidity. This will become readily apparent before long as most children will continue to be vaccinated but disease rates will continue to rise thanks to the behavior and lifestyles of the New Americans.

You can be reliably certain that a position is wrong if it is inordinately held by magical thinkers or cargo cult scientists. Vaccines aren’t magic, they are merely a medical tool that is useful in some circumstances and useless in others. The simple and science-based fact is that most children don’t need most vaccines.