Q: There’s a perception that vaccine refusal is especially common among affluent, well-educated, politically liberal parents—is there any truth to that?
S.M.: It’s dangerous to make broad generalizations about a group, but anecdotally and from the overall data that’s been collected it seems to be people who are very actively involved in every possible decision regarding their children’s lives. I think it relates to a desire to take uncertainty out of the equation. And autism represents such an unknown. We still don’t know what causes it and we still don’t have good answers for how to treat it. So I think that fear really resonates.
Also I think there’s a fair amount of entitlement. Not vaccinating your child is basically saying I deserve to rely on the herd immunity that exists in a population. At the most basic level it’s saying I believe vaccines are potentially harmful, and I want other people to vaccinate so I don’t have to. And for people to hide under this and say, “Oh, it’s just a personal decision,” it’s being dishonest. It’s a personal decision in the way drunk driving is a personal decision. It has the potential to affect everyone around you.
Q: But why liberals?
S.M.: I think it taps into the organic natural movement in a lot of ways.
I talked to a public health official and asked him what’s the best way to anticipate where there might be higher than normal rates of vaccine noncompliance, and he said take a map and put a pin wherever there’s a Whole Foods. I sort of laughed, and he said, “No, really, I’m not joking.” It’s those communities with the Prius driving, composting, organic food-eating people.
—“Why the ‘Prius Driving, Composting’ Set Fears Vaccines,” Science magazine’s 2011 interview with Seth Mnookin, the author of The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear.
Chaser (click to enlarge):
Eh, make it a double:
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Question for Josh Earnest: Does Obama believe vaccines for kids should be mandated by law? – Hot Air http://t.co/tRDd30wRSU
— Ed Driscoll (@EdDriscoll) February 4, 2015
Update: This topic is time-limited, MSNBC. Get your faux outrage in fast!
So this whole vaccine debate is about to disappear from the media. Enjoy it for a couple more hours https://t.co/q89NVwCnbR
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) February 4, 2015
And speaking of NBC…
More: The Daily Beast “senior editor” offers cool, reasoned and entirely objective nonpartisan commentary on the topic:
— Jim Treacher (@jtLOL) February 3, 2015