As a parent, I can understand the visceral fear of possibly placing your child in harm's way. But the reality is, you can potentially cause them more harm by not vaccinating. There are many who still see a link between vaccines and autism, but for me and most public health scientists, the jury is out: vaccines are innocent in this matter.
If people are afraid -- and it is fear that underlies the refusal to vaccinate -- they don't need to be badgered or sneered at, they need to be reassured. And that reassurance comes best from someone they trust. If not Roald Dahl, perhaps an older person who might remember what it was like before vaccines.
Hopefully one of the outcomes of this recent Disneyland measles outbreak will be more research to confirm the underlying psychological drivers of Vax-O-Noia. Unless we understand the root cause of this persistent threat to public health and apply that understanding to the task of addressing people's fears, episodes like the current outbreak will continue to occur
The chief justice of Alabama's supreme court is making a stand in the courthouse door. This is not literally happening, the way it did in 1963 when Alabama Gov. George Wallace made a similar stand in the schoolhouse door. But in both cases, high Alabama officials are trying to preserve the state's ability to discriminate against a segment of its population.