As the measles epidemic continues to spread in New York, five anti-vaxxer moms have filed a lawsuit to prevent authorities from stopping it, apparently having no problem with children dying from a disease that had been wiped out 19 years ago.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that there have been 555 cases of measles across the country this year, approaching the previous record set in 2014 when 667 cases were reported.
Rockland County authorities tried to get ahead of the outbreak by requiring vaccinations and banning unvaccinated children from public places. But a state judge blocked the effort after anti-vaxxers filed a lawsuit.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio recently declared an emergency and some of the same measures are being enacted.
But now more anti-vaxxer parents are challenging the orders in court, referring to them as “arbitrary and capricious” because “there is insufficient evidence of a measles epidemic or dangerous outbreak” and the orders are supposedly “inappropriate because the MMR vaccine indisputably carries the risk of severe injury and death to some individuals.”
In other words, anti-vaxxers want the measles epidemic to continue with zero regard for public health and the fact that measles is a highly contagious virus that can result in death.
According to Gizmodo:
CDC estimated in 2014 [measles] would have caused an additional 21 million hospital visits and 732,000 deaths among children born in the past 20 years were it not for the success of the Vaccines for Children program launched in 1994.
As for the safety of vaccines, the science is clear that vaccines are safe and do not cause autism. They save lives and prevent diseases that once ran rampant from taking hold in our society. But that is changing because of anti-vaxxers, who have chosen to make communities across the nation unsafe because they refuse to vaccinate their damn kids, weakening the herd immunity that once protected the public health.
“It is unacceptable to sit back and do nothing as more of our residents fall ill to this deadly disease and court decisions aside, we will never do that,” Rockland County Executive Ed Day said in a statement this week. “In 2017, measles killed 110,000 people worldwide, mostly children under the age of 5. And while we have thankfully not seen a death here in Rockland, we have seen multiple hospitalizations, including an infant and even a premature birth caused by measles.”
This epidemic must be stopped at all costs and it is long past time we stopped tolerating the ignorance and irresponsibility of anti-vaxxers. The time has come for vaccinations to be mandatory whether these parents like it or not. The public health is more important than their feelings and misguided beliefs.
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