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posted by martyb on Thursday February 05 2015, @06:52AM   Printer-friendly
from the sticking-it-to-diseases dept.

The New York Times reports that Mississippi — which ranks as one of the worst states for smoking, obesity and physical inactivity — seldom is viewed as a leader on health issues. But it is one of two states that permit neither religious nor philosophical exemptions to its vaccination program. Only children with medical conditions that would be exacerbated by vaccines may enroll in Mississippi schools without completing the immunization schedule, which calls for five vaccines. With a vaccination rate of greater than 99.7%, Mississippi leads the national median by five percentage points and has the country’s highest immunization rate among kindergarten students.

However, in recent weeks, the nearly unbending nature of Mississippi’s law requiring students to be vaccinated has been in jeopardy, with two dozen lawmakers publicly supporting an exemption for “conscientious beliefs” turning Mississippi into one more battleground between medical experts who champion vaccinations and parents who fear the government’s role in medical decision-making. “We have been a victim of our success, and people don’t realize how bad these diseases are,” said Mississippi state epidemiologist, Dr. Thomas E. Dobbs III, before lawmakers met to consider a bill that would have expanded exceptions to the vaccine requirement. Members of the education committee for the House of Representatives, in effect, endorsed the state’s current approach. By a voice vote, they advanced a heavily amended version of the bill that now calls for only technical changes to Mississippi’s law, which has been largely untouched since the late 1970s. The amended version of House Bill 130 puts into law the state's existing practice of granting medical waivers to children whose physicians request them, and in doing so, removes the Mississippi Department of Health's ability to deny such requests. "If a medical professional thinks it's wise not to vaccinate, then that will be the gospel," said House Education Committee Chairman John Moore, R-Brandon.

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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05 2015, @07:03AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05 2015, @07:03AM (#141432)

    So Mississippi is the number one vaccination state and they're also the least healthy state. So there seems to be a correlation between vaccinations and bad health ;)

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05 2015, @07:07AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05 2015, @07:07AM (#141434)


      Sick people take medicines. Why don't people see the correlation? We have to stop this madness!

      • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Thursday February 05 2015, @07:52AM

        by aristarchus (2645) on Thursday February 05 2015, @07:52AM (#141438) Journal

        Just because you "see" a correlation, that doesn't mean it is there, especially if it is one no one else sees. It is kind of like a Pooka, like Harvey the six-foot tall rabbit, Jimmy Stewart's friend (look it up). Remember, causation does not imply correlation, so this stuff could just be happening because. I, for one, am glad we got this all straightened out. Vaccinate your kids, especially if you are Republican.

        • (Score: 1, Troll) by Hairyfeet on Thursday February 05 2015, @01:54PM

          by Hairyfeet (75) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {}> on Thursday February 05 2015, @01:54PM (#141490) Journal

          I'll just leave this here [].

            And before somebody spews the standard government sanctioned "you are just a tinfoil hatter" line answer me a few questions....WTF are we doing giving Hep-B vaccines to fricking babies for? Do we think newborns are gonna start shooting IV drugs when they leave the hospital? Why are we allowing the government to push Gardasil for girls as young as 11 when not only is the mortality rate for the particular cancer HPV causes in women less than 1% annually but more importantly the ONLY tests done on it was done by the company making it and then on only 1200 girls and only for 6 months with ZERO independent or long term studies? Why do we allow most of the vaccines released in the last 20 years to also be given with ZERO long term studies and ZERO studies done by anybody but the company pushing the drug? And speaking of drug pushing why should we trust the board that approve these drugs when several doctors on the board are on the payroll of the drug companies they are supposed to be reviewing? BTW the same goes for the review committee at the CDC, with several members on the payroll of the very companies they are supposed to be impartial to. Why have vaccines for attending school gone from less than a dozen shots in the 1970s to over 75 today? Where are the long term independent studies showing what this many doses does to a child's immune system?

          You start looking at what is actually happening instead of the propaganda and you soon realize what we have today is a classic case of regulatory capture [] mixed with good old fashioned bribery and corruption. You get to looking at who is cashing the checks and it makes the DoD revolving doors look like a bastion of honesty, and most importantly nobody in charge seems to give a rat's ass if they are safe, if they are harming kids, if they could be made safer, its all about giving big pharma a big fat blank check from the American taxpayer with ZERO risk or accountability!

          ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by urza9814 on Thursday February 05 2015, @02:24PM

            by urza9814 (3954) on Thursday February 05 2015, @02:24PM (#141495) Journal

            You're quite right that a lot of vaccines are useless. My personal favorite example there is the flu vaccine. Especially this year. Freakin' pointless. And there *are* risks to *any* vaccine -- incredibly rare, but if you're in decent health so are the complications from the flu. But of course that doesn't mean *all* vaccines are problematic. You've got the same risk from a polio or measles vaccine; but the risks from the disease itself are far greater, so those vaccines are certainly worthwhile.

            So it's a risk/reward calculation. It's perfectly fine for the government to deny services if the risk of providing them is too great -- ie, if your kid isn't vaccinated and might transmit a potentially lethal disease to other kids, it's fine to keep that kid out. They can choose to take that risk if they want, but we don't have to let them force it onto the rest of us.

            For things like vaccinating babies, it's risk/reward for the hospital. Risk is still pretty small. But they have to also weigh against the risk of NOT vaccinating -- ie, the risk of lawsuits if the baby gets sick from something they could have vaccinated against. Also unlike the schools, they have a reward. The school doesn't get paid if you get vaccinated (not directly anyway -- you could argue they may get campaign contributions for it), but the hospital does (very directly). You can probably trust the school when they tell you that you *must* have a certain vaccine, but I'd be a little more hesitant to trust a hospital.

            Ultimately though the question is *not* if you should vaccinate or not vaccinate. The question is who is telling you to vaccinate and why. Some of them are better than sliced bread, others are worse than useless. Just like anything else. Sure I'll take a free computer from my buddy John if he's throwing it out, but if Jimmy Blackhat offers me a *super* cheap brand new system I'll probably pass on that one.

          • (Score: 5, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Thursday February 05 2015, @04:37PM

            by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday February 05 2015, @04:37PM (#141554) Journal

            WTF are we doing giving Hep-B vaccines to fricking babies for?

            A few reasons... []
              More than 240 million people have chronic (long-term) liver infections. More than
            780 000 people die every year due to the acute or chronic consequences of hepatitis B.
            A vaccine against hepatitis B has been available since 1982. Hepatitis B vaccine is 95% effective in preventing infection and its chronic consequences, and was the first vaccine against a major human cancer.
            Perinatal or early childhood transmission may also account for more than one third of chronic infections in areas of low endemicity
            The hepatitis B virus can survive outside the body for at least 7 days. During this time, the virus can still cause infection if it enters the body of a person who is not protected by the vaccine.
            The likelihood that infection with the hepatitis B virus becomes chronic depends upon the age at which a person becomes infected. Children less than 6 years of age who become infected with the hepatitis B virus are the most likely to develop chronic infections:
            80–90% of infants infected during the first year of life develop chronic infections;
            30–50%% of children infected before the age of 6 years develop chronic infections.

            There is no specific treatment for acute hepatitis B. Care is aimed at maintaining comfort and adequate nutritional balance, including replacement of fluids that are lost from vomiting and diarrhoea.
            Liver cancer is almost always fatal and often develops in people at an age when they are most productive and have family responsibilities.
            The hepatitis B vaccine is the mainstay of hepatitis B prevention. WHO recommends that all infants receive the hepatitis B vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours
            The vaccine has an excellent record of safety and effectiveness. Since 1982, over one billion doses of hepatitis B vaccine have been used worldwide. In many countries, where 8–15% of children used to become chronically infected with the hepatitis B virus, vaccination has reduced the rate of chronic infection to less than 1% among immunized children.

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05 2015, @10:26AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05 2015, @10:26AM (#141450)

    For a good ass time, cruise for a piece of ass meat in Buttfuck, Mississippi.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday February 05 2015, @11:57AM

    Hrm, Table 1 linked from TFA doesn't show to a casual glance that political leanings play much of a role in vaccination rates. I wonder if proper number crunching would.

    I mean I know the MSM are trying to paint it as a Red thing but until they started that it was always my understanding that it was "natural good, man-made bad," damned fool hippies, who are generally solidly in the Blue camp. Myself, I'd be interested in finding out if there were any political-leanings correlation at all.

    My rights don't end where your fear begins.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by schad on Thursday February 05 2015, @01:03PM

      by schad (2398) on Thursday February 05 2015, @01:03PM (#141476)

      Well, probably the most common reason that people don't vaccinate their kids properly is that the parents have been relentlessly hammered with the idea that vaccines cause autism. Fear, in other words, and fear knows no political boundaries.

      On the left you've got the modern-day hippies, who describe themselves as "crunchy moms." It's a little perverse that they're on the left, because they're basically reactionary conservatives: they want to do things the way they've been done for hundreds or thousands of years. Sort of like Luddites for health. Anyway, when you read a saw about how you can find high concentrations of anti-vaxxers just by looking for Whole Foods locations, this is the group being referenced.

      On the right are libertarians because they reflexively oppose everything that the government wants them to do. My experience is that libertarians almost always vaccinate their kids, but they oppose making it a requirement. They believe that it should be up to the parents.

      I'm sympathetic to all three groups, but they're all wrong. On this subject, at least.

    • (Score: 1) by Arik on Thursday February 05 2015, @05:03PM

      by Arik (4543) on Thursday February 05 2015, @05:03PM (#141562) Journal

      Both Red and Blue groups contain significant numbers of people who see a problem with the state asserting ownership of our bodies.

      If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05 2015, @07:24PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05 2015, @07:24PM (#141616)

      I mean I know the MSM are trying to paint it as a Red thing but

      The reason for that might be that the only national elected officials who have come out as "vaccine skeptics" (in other words, anti-vaxxers) have been Republicans. Ron and Rand Paul, Chris Christie, etc.

      Hell, we've got a Republican senator who has come out against regulations requiring restaurant employees to wash their hands after going to the bathroom, so it's little wonder that whenever there are publicly held positions that seem to go against sound science, it's the Republicans that get blamed.

      You get that, right?

      Here's the story about the anti-handwashing Republican Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC): []

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by ikanreed on Thursday February 05 2015, @03:29PM

    by ikanreed (3164) on Thursday February 05 2015, @03:29PM (#141527) Journal

    The united trend of the modern science denial movements isn't political. It's people who think they're smart doing "research" by Google. The wealth of false information available on the internet makes people who imagine they know what they're talking about also feel justified in their rectitude.

    It's why the talking points are always the same, even when the lack of evidence surrounding them suggests any objection could cause conspiratorial people to imagine they have the unique right answer.

    Mississippi has one of the worst education rates in the country, and that helps quell false confidence.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Translation Error on Thursday February 05 2015, @04:32PM

    by Translation Error (718) on Thursday February 05 2015, @04:32PM (#141550)

    "If a medical professional thinks it's wise not to vaccinate, then that will be the gospel," said House Education Committee Chairman John Moore, R-Brandon.

    I have to wonder just what they mean by 'medical professional'... Is this limited to a doctor who has the child as a patient, or can anyone in the industry, doctor or not, can just send in a note saying little Johnny Doe doesn't need to get vaccinated.

  • (Score: 2) by The Archon V2.0 on Thursday February 05 2015, @07:39PM

    by The Archon V2.0 (3887) on Thursday February 05 2015, @07:39PM (#141620)

    "conscientious: wishing to do what is right, especially to do one's work or duty well and thoroughly."

    A willingness to expose anyone under your care to unnecessary risks due to adherence to an unsupportable personal dogma is the exact opposite of what's right AND what the duties of a parent are.

    So yeah, I'm OK with a conscientious belief exemption as long as everyone first stops calling this child-abusing delusional lunacy conscientious.

    (Next week, we'll be introducing laws to keep "reasonable and intelligent" people safe from others by arresting anyone who is not reasonable and intelligent. And it goes without saying that it's perfectly reasonable and intelligent to believe that eternal torture is the correct punishment for anyone who refuses to accept Blond Caucasian Washboard-Abs Jesus as their personal lord and savior.)

  • (Score: 2) by gidds on Friday February 06 2015, @02:01PM

    by gidds (589) on Friday February 06 2015, @02:01PM (#141812)

    Coincidentally, I came across this article [] the other day: a heart-breaking letter from children's author Roald Dahl, vividly describing how his young daughter died from complications of measles.

    Perhaps, if stories like this get publicised more, it might help to show some of the real cost of avoiding vaccinations?

    [sig redacted]