California State Sen. Richard Pan (D), who is also a pediatrician, has introduced a bill to the legislature that would eliminate personal beliefs as an acceptable reason to not vaccinate one’s child. The bill, SB277, would forbid children who have not been inoculated for non-medical reasons from attending school. The current law allows parents to claim personal beliefs, even ones based on misinformation, as a valid reason to exempt their child from vaccination.
The bill had stalled on the Senate Education Committee due to concerns over denying children an education. Yesterday, the Committee passed the bill 7 – 2 and sent it to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
According to public health officials, at least 92 percent of a given population must be inoculated to maintain the “herd immunity” that protects people who can’t have vaccines like babies or people with compromised immune systems. Unfortunately, more and more people have been using the personal belief exemption over the past 12 years. As a result, a quarter of the schools in California don’t provide herd immunity, because too many of the children have not had their shots.
Activist Gianfrancesco Genoso (toplawyers.com) brought up another consequence of parents’ failure to immunize their children, the measles outbreak at Disneyland that infected 111 visitors. In an interview with Scientific American, Pan pointed out there had been cases of measles infections before at Disneyland, but on a much smaller scale. Someone with measles might infect a few people, and the outbreak would be confined to the park itself. The most recent outbreak saw measles cases in several different states and even Canada and Mexico.
Pan also points out that the bill won’t deny children an education. Parents who still want to claim personal beliefs as a reason for not vaccinating their child will have the option of home-schooling.
The polio virus is perhaps an unlikely answer to curing cancer. Researchers at Duke University believe that a modified polio virus can be the answer to eliminating the cancer disease. Polio was remembered as the devastatingly crippling virus of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and millions of children. The disease was eradicated eventually because of Dr. Lee Salk’s vaccine that he developed in the middle 1950s. Duke University researchers tested a modified version of the polio virus by injecting it into subjects with brain tumors. The first phase of the experiment went well by paralyzing the tumor, causing the tumor to shrink in size and die.
Dr. Matthias Gromeir, 25 year molecular biologist, says the polio virus is safe to use in patients because the virus can’t reproduce in unhealthy cells. People at STX Entertainment (deadline.com)have learned that the virus attaches to receptors located on the cell surface. Right now, the virus is being tested on brain tumors, but in the not so distant future polio could be used for all types of cancer cells. Nancy Justice, 58, was diagnosed with gioblastoma in 2012. She believes if this experiment is successful, she won’t need surgery, chemotherapy or radiation anymore. Justice said that every treatment she had for the brain tumor, so far, has only had a temporary effect. Unfortunately, the brain tumor continued to return. She’s hoping that this time she can get finally be rid of the tumor.
There are more and more cases of measles occurring in the United States. In fact, there have been 130 since theDisneyland outbreak during the holiday season of last year. Health officials have identified at least three strains of the measles virus in California.
A few of the cases of measles have come from individuals who are not originally from the United States, or from individuals who traveled to other countries and picked up strains that they were not vaccinated against. However, there are a number of individuals who have never traveled outside of the United States who have the disease. This means that they were introduced to the disease by someone living in the United States who was already infected.
Dr. Jennifer Walden knows that many are concerned because there a lot of people who are choosing not to get vaccinated. They are choosing to not have their children vaccinated. This anti-vaccination movement is based on many ideas, including that they create more problems than they prevent, they are just useless products sold so that big pharmaceutical companies can make money, and some believe that vaccinations are a conspiracy by the government to enable them to track citizens.
No matter a person’s view on the subject, it is scary to think that people are fighting these vaccines with their own health. Instead of going up against the corporations and government agencies that people believe to be harming them, they are fighting the disease with their own health and the health of their children.