Middle-class and upper-class parents typically have better access to health care than low-income mommies and daddies. Yet more affluent parents are skipping vaccines for their little ones.
A new report shows a sharp drop in the vaccination rate among privately insured kids, while those on Medicaid continue to get their shots at a gradually improving rate.
What’s causing the drop? It’s not lack of access or education, the usual barricades to good medical care.
Instead, doctors worry that parents are being taken in by anti-vaccine activists like Jenny McCarthy. They fear more and more people are deliberately going vaccines because of needless safety fears.
Doctors involved in the report said the star-power of the anti-vaccine movement may be taking a real toll. Per Yahoo:
“I would argue that parents are doing what they think is the best for their children; they’re just misinformed,” said Dr. Robert W. Frenck, Jr, professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
The view that vaccinations cause autism — which is not supported by scientific research — is also being publicly touted by a host of attractive celebrities. Part of that misinformation may come from “very articulate, very good-looking movie stars or personalities that are giving information about how bad vaccines are,” Frenck said. “Frumpy, middle-aged doctors” are extolling the value of immunization and may not be heard above the fray.
They’re getting through to Medicaid recipients, through outreach programs at schools and community centers as well as free vaccination at doctor’s offices.
It’s middle class parents who’ve drunk the vaccines-cause-autism Kool-Aid who are putting their kids at risk for contagious illnesses like whooping cough. A recent whooping cough outbreak in California killed 10 babies and made over 2500 people seriously ill.
Have you vaccinated your kids?
Photo: US Army