Daily Clips

To receive Daily Clips please send an email request to info@ecbt.org.
Trump energizes the anti-vaccine movement in Texas
The Washington Post
February 20, 2017
"The group of 40 people gathered at a popular burger and fish taco restaurant in San Antonio listened eagerly to the latest news about the anti-vaccine fight taking place in the Texas legislature. Some mothers in the group had stopped immunizing their young children because of doubts about vaccine safety. Heads nodded as the woman giving the statehouse update warned that vaccine advocates wanted to 'chip away' at parents' right to choose. But she also had encouraging news. 'We have 30 champions in that statehouse,' boasted Jackie Schlegel, executive director of Texans for Vaccine Choice. 'Last session, we had two.' Now they also have one in the White House. President Trump's embrace of discredited theories linking vaccines to autism has energized the anti-vaccine movement. Once fringe, the movement is becoming more popular, raising doubts about basic childhood health care among politically and geographically diverse groups."
Robert De Niro on vaccine safety: ‘Something’s wrong’
Fox News
February 19, 2017
"Robert De Niro still can't fully support vaccination. 'Where is the science?' he asked in an interview on 'Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson.' 'Here's what we have from all these studies and here's what they have so it seems like something is not right,' the 73-year-old actor said. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention declared that there is no connection between and vaccines and autism, however according to the interview clip, De Niro - who is the father of an autistic child - has his doubts. 'Who settled it, how is it settled?' he said in regards to the CDC's claim. A year after he nixed a documentary that accused the CDC of covering up the link between vaccines and rising autism rates from the Tribeca Film Festival, the actor joined forces with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in questioning the safety of vaccinating children and pregnant women. Kennedy claimed that he had been selected to chair a new vaccine safety commission in the Trump administration when he spoke at The National Press Club in Washington about the issue."
An Unexpected Takeaway From The Early Autism Diagnosis Study
Forbes
February 19, 2017
"Findings from a new autism study suggest that changes in the brain in early infancy may predict diagnosis at age 2 in children who have higher odds of autism because an older sibling is autistic. The study, published in Nature, doesn't tell us anything about causation, but it does incidentally confirm that the MMR vaccine has nothing to do with autism. The researchers imaged the brains of children at 'high risk' for autism because of an older sibling's diagnosis and the brains of children who had no family history of autism. They performed MRIs when the children were ages 6, 12 and 24 months and administered a test at age 24 months that is diagnostic of autism and another that assesses social skills...The results suggest that rapid cortical surface growth from ages 6 to 12 months was a predecessor of a 'dramatic' increase in brain volume at age 12 to 24 months in high-risk children diagnosed with autism at age 24 months. The machine-learning algorithm predicted this diagnosis in 81% of the high-risk children who were ultimately diagnosed with autism. The machine also gave false-positive result for 4 children."
Bill would require college freshmen to document vaccinations
Associated Press
February 21, 2017
"A House panel has advanced a bill that would require incoming college freshmen to document they have been vaccinated. The bill would require students to show they have been vaccinated against measles, rubella, mumps, meningitis and any other diseases as required by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The bill would exempt students who object for religious reasons. But it does give the state authority to require vaccinations in the event of an epidemic. Patty Swiney, past president of the Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians, said the bill would prevent disease outbreaks. She noted a 2015 measles outbreak in California linked to unvaccinated children. No one on the House panel spoke against the bill. It now heads to the full House of Representatives for a vote."
Lawmakers endorse compromise on student vaccination bills
KSL-TV (UT)
February 19, 2017
"A Provo lawmaker says his three-bill package to lessen restrictions on parents who choose not to vaccinate their children couldn't have been drafted without a massive compromise. 'This is about parent choice,' Rep. Norm Thurston, R-Provo, said Friday, adding that the legislation is meant to balance parents' freedom to choose whether to vaccinate their children and the concerns of other parents. 'I would be really surprised if there is anybody in this room (who) gets everything they want,' Thurston said. 'That's how difficult this compromise has been.' The House Health and Human Services Committee voted to advance all three bills - HB308, HB309 and HB310 - to the House floor for further discussion. The bills deal with situations when parents opt against immunizing their children and the steps that need to be taken to then enroll their children in school."
Which schools in Duval, St. Johns counties have the most unvaccinated children?
WJAX-TV (FL)
February 20, 2017
"An Action News Jax investigation is revealing how many unvaccinated children are enrolled in local schools. In Florida, parents are legally allowed to opt their children out of required immunizations for religious or medical reasons. That's despite overwhelming scientific evidence that vaccines prevent outbreaks. Medical experts repeatedly advise that benefits or protection far outweigh the risks from vaccines. Action News Jax spoke to St. Johns County parent Javonna Peng. She said she made the decision not to immunize her 3-month-old baby. Her five other children have had vaccines in the past but she's decided to forego any future immunizations for them...She says it was her Christian faith that helped her make the decision, along with conversations with her chiropractor. Action News Jax requested information from local health departments that show how many children have been opted out of immunizations by their parents. Of 114,265 students enrolled in Duval County Public Schools, 992 opted out. That's less than one percent, or .86 percent. It was a much higher percent in St. Johns County. Of the 37,726 children enrolled, 806 opted out. That's more than two percent, or 2.13 percent."
Mumps cases surge despite vaccine
Associated Press
February 18, 2017
"Fifty years ago, mumps was once a childhood rite of passage of puffy cheeks and swollen jaws. That all changed with the arrival of a vaccine in the late 1960s, and mumps nearly disappeared. But now the United States is in the midst of one of the largest surges in decades. Arkansas has been hardest hit, but schools and college campuses in many states have been contending with outbreaks. In Columbia, between Aug. 22 and Thursday, 379 cases of mumps were reported to the local health department, 341 of which were University of Missouri students."
Mumps case confirmed in North Idaho adult
Outbreak News Today
February 18, 2017
"The Panhandle Health District has confirmed one case of mumps in a North Idaho adult over 50 years old. This is not considered an outbreak. No local spread of mumps from this case has been identified and the individual is no longer contagious. This has prompted the Coeur d'Alene Public Schools to issue a mumps alert on Friday."
Tacoma parents heed the call, vaccinate their kids against mumps
The News Tribune (WA)
February 18, 2017
"Tacoma parents have been vaccinating their kids in high numbers following the outbreaks of mumps in three Tacoma schools. There are few students left at Stadium High School, Jason Lee Middle School and McCarver Elementary School who haven't been vaccinated, according to the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. All three schools had students who came down with the highly contagious illness. Of the previously unvaccinated and under-vaccinated students, 71 percent at Jason Lee Middle School and 85 percent at Stadium High School are now vaccinated, according to the Tacoma School District."
The MMR vaccine: why it’s sensible to worry about the way it has been regulated.
Huffington Post
February 21, 2017
"I have a confession. I am one of those people who has been radicalised by a preacher of hate; someone in the same league as the cleric with a hook Abu Hamza. At least that is how the Times described those who attended the first UK screening of the documentary Vaxxed (about the dangers of the MMR vaccine) last week. A large proportion of those present were parents who either believed that a vaccine had damaged a child of theirs or were agonising over whether to vaccinate or not. The preacher of hate was of course Andrew Wakefield, a doctor, who proposed a link between the vaccine and autism via the guts nearly 20 years ago. Since then Wakefield has had his license to practise withdrawn and the link declared disproved; raising the issue of safety has become a sure way to invite abuse as a believer in pseudoscience."
Sorry Kennedy, Being Anti-Vaccine Does Not Mean You’re Pro-Safe Vaccine
Shot of Prevention
February 21, 2017
"Last week, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., of the World Mercury Project, orchestrated a major publicity stunt designed to question the safety of vaccines. Since he had no real evidence to present, and the same accusations which have been repeatedly refuted for years, he attempted to garner attention by offering journalists a glimpse at a new anti-vaccine celebrity and the promise of a $100,000 challenge. During an hour-long press event on Wednesday, Kennedy was joined by other vaccine critics such as 'Vaxxed' movie producer Del BigTree, San Antonio District Attorney Nico LaHood, Tony Muhammed of the Nation of Islam and celebrity actor, filmmaker and father of an autistic child, Robert DeNiro. While each had their turn to suggest there was a worldwide scientific conspiracy to lie about vaccine safety, Kennedy concluded by announcing that he would give a $100,000 award to any American journalist who could produce a study that proved that the level of thimerosal used in vaccines was deemed to be safe. (Of course, since he failed to mention the fee required to participate in the challenge, made no reference to a scientific expert(s) who would assist in evaluating the science, and refused to accept the mountains of studies that already exist on the subject, his promise of a payout was seen by many as an elaborate publicity scam.)"
How antivaxers deceptively don the mantle of ‘vaccine safety activists’
Respectful Insolence
February 21, 2017
"One of the most frequent talking points used by the antivaccine movement is that its members are 'not anti-vaccine,' but rather 'pro-safe vaccine' or 'vaccine safety activists.' I first encountered that talking point over ten years ago, when I first heard Jenny McCarthy say it. Since then, I've heard any number of antivaccine activists use variations on the talking point over many years and in many circumstances. It's understandable in a way. Antivaxers know that society frowns on antivaccine views-and quite rightly so, given the danger such views pose to public health; so they have to convince themselves that they aren't really antivaccine. Also, there is a wide variation in how far down the antivaccine crazy trail various antivaxers have gone. In a way, I grudgingly respect antivaxers who say it loud and say it proud that they're antivaccine, because at least they're honest and not deluding themselves."
The Anti-Vaccine Movement Is Gaining Traction, Largely Thanks To Trump And His Supporters
Uproxx
February 21, 2017
"It's been a few weeks since President Trump met with vaccine skeptic Robert Kennedy Jr. and offered to team up in order to create a commission on vaccine safety. Trump is not part of the traditional anti-vaccine movement and Kennedy was adamant that he and the president were both pro-vaccine following their January meeting... But despite these statements and past claims by Trump that he is a 'slow vaxxer' who believes children are given too many vaccines at an early age, many are using the new president to bolster their anti-vaccine agendas. According to The Washington Post, the president has connections to some with deep ties to the anti-vaccine push we've seen over the past twenty years and his support of Kennedy and his support of now disproven vaccine theories are adding fuel to their movement in places like Texas where it is called one of the 'most organized and politically active.'"