In the ongoing skirmishes between public health officials and vaccine skeptics, I’m scoring this one for the pro-immunization forces. A Canadian woman who had declined to have her children immunized against pertussis, better known as whooping cough, has changed her position now that all seven of her children have come down with the disease.
Yes, Tara Hills was stuck in isolation at her Ottawa home for more than a week with her sick children and her regrets about refusing to vaccinate them against the highly contagious respiratory disease. Whooping cough, a bacterial infection, causes violent, uncontrollable coughing and is best known for the telltale sound victims make as they try to draw breath. Occasionally, it can be fatal, especially in infants less than a year old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Hills kids completed a course of antibiotics and were released from isolation Tuesday.
“I set out to prove that we were right,” Hills said in an interview with the Washington Post, “and in the process found out how wrong we were.”
And she risked her children’s lives in the process, which of course, is appalling beyond belief. The scary thing is that even this will not show other members of the anti-vaccine movement how wrong they are.
In related news, California has decided to be less insane:
California lawmakers approved a bill this week that would prevent most parents from opting out of vaccinations for their children enrolled in school, just months after the state was hit with the largest U.S. measles outbreak in decades.
Legislators endured an intense, nearly four-hour hearing ahead of the vote on Wednesday, with many people rising out of their seats and shouting over the lawmakers, The Sacramento Bee reported. The measure, which passed by 6-2, must go through several additional hearings before a potential vote on the state Senate floor.
The bill, which was drafted in response to recent outbreaks of preventable diseases like measles and whooping cough, eliminates the “personal beliefs” exemption that currently allows parents in California not to vaccinate their children before enrolling in public or private school.
Amazingly enough, some people actually tried to defeat this bill. I’m glad it passed, but obviously, the pro-vaccine movement still has a long way to go before it prevails over the forces of lunacy.