Shunned by the vaxxers

Was it something I said? Yes, I’m sure it was.

Sometime today, the Twitter voice of Vermont Coalition for Vaccine Choice cut me off. They blocked me from reading their Tweets.

Let me mark the occasion by reproducing the last Tweet I ever got from them.

Stay classy, folks. As your lobbyist Keith (my mistake, his name is Kevin, I know that, I’ve spoken with him often and have a lot of respect for him) Ellis is probably trying to tell you, you’ll attract more flies with honey than vinegar. Or as I Tweeted in response to the above:

And that’s when they cut me off.

Methinks the vaxxers are feeling the heat. The last rounds of the vaccine saga are playing out at the Statehouse this week and next. There’s one more day of testimony before the House Health Care Committee — including a long-awaited appearance by Dr. Harry Chen, Vermont’s Health Commissioner. After that, it remains to be seen whether H.98, a bill that would remove the philosophical exemption, will be heard on the House floor.

From what I hear, the votes could be had; but House leadership might decide to put it on ice for the year. They have the always-plausible “out of time” excuse in their back pockets, and Governor Shumlin has reportedly said he doesn’t expect the bill to reach his desk.

In which case, we’d wait till next year. Between now and then, either of two events would absolutely tip the balance against the philosophical exemption: a breakout of a vaccine-preventable illness, or a continuing decline in childhood vaccination rates. We’ll hope it’s the latter, not the former.

5 thoughts on “Shunned by the vaxxers

  1. newzjunqie

    Wouldn’t that be antivaxers Mr jvwalt, you who tar the antis w/the shame of typos which you make yourself as we all do — how small. You and the rest of your bullying buds have spoken of those of us who haven’t drank the fool-ade in terms which border on hatespeak and a neverending beatdown of trashtalk not only knifing us but then twisting it. Hope the bloodlust has been sufficiently satisfied, urp. I have lost all respect for you and the rest of your small and narrowminded claque. When you become an idealogue before a person you become nothing but a water-carrier for your overlords whoever they may be.

    I applaud the antivaxers for shutting you out what do you have to add but more fodder for the cannon of making us all out to be fools which I might add is what we think of those who fail to employ critical thinking but operate in an autopilot mode which serves only to further an agenda which has now a life of its own. There are few who would continue to be shit upon by you and your ilk. Plz go ahead and censor me again for this comment as you did when I showed a source opposing your vaunted pseudoscience – or better yet pick out the typos and grammatical errors and then declare me too dumb to be right or even have an opposing opinion. Hope you carry your pocket copy of Hoyl at all times and for fwiw, Bobby Kennedy Jr is a hero and genius on many levels. Your crapping on this progeny of RFK his compassionate to the poor dad also was an affront.

    According to my daughter who lives in NH:
    – “It is baffling to me that some parents who have children that can’t take vaccines want the government in control of that.
    The NH religious exemption form, for now anyway, is vague and broad. You don’t have to write specifics about your religion or anything. I’ve read about parents in some states being interrogated by officials but as far as I know that hasn’t happened here.”

    So, they have smartly combined philos & relig.

    As always keep it classy sir.

  2. kevin ellis

    I can’t resist commenting, especially now that Mssr. Walters has corrected the spelling of my name!!!

    Aside from the histrionics, the tweets and politics, I suggest it is important to treat this issue seriously. There is a disagreement here about the value of herd immunity and the tension between individual liberty and the good of the whole. With that, some questions:

    1. What is the health crisis that this state is facing. Measles outbreak? No.

    2. Why is the legislature doing this? Unclear.

    3. What drove Sens. Mullin and Campbell to drive this issue – without legitimate hearings? Unclear.

    4. Why did the governor and Commissioner Chen alter and change their positions on the repeal of the exemption in the last 48 hours? Also unclear.

    5. Has the House Health Care Committee taken ANY testimony on the educational impact of this bill, which amounts to forced vaccination of kids or throwing them out of school and child care? NO.

    6. Has the Committee heard ANY testimony from ANYONE about the federal vaccine court in Washington DC that has paid billions in damages to vaccine damaged families? Apparently Commissioner Chen could not answer that question today. Really?

    7. Has their been ANY scrutiny of the lobbying activity of the medical establishment, PHARMA and others? Why would the American Academy of Pediatrics, PHARMA, the hospitals and the Medical Society work this hard to repeal an exemption used by 3,400 people? It is easy to crack wise and run down a group of parents who are standing up for their belief and their kids. Why does the AAP get a pass?

    There has been plenty of eye rolling and criticism of the so-called anti-vaxers for being crazy hippies etc. that we should believe the “science.” As a card-carrying believer in climate science, I submit the two issues are not linked at all. I believe climate change is real. I also believe that unvaccinated kids pose little threat and the lack of any outbreak bears that out.

    It was science and doctors that wrapped my mother’s breasts in a rubber band to stop her from breast-feeding in the 50s.

    It was science and doctors who wanted to put me in leg braces as a child.

    It was science that said DDT was OK; that gave my mother the morning sickness drug.

    And now science says GMO foods are just fine. But Vermont passed and signed a law forcing their labeling.

    And lastly, is their ANY mercury in the flu vaccine purchased by the Health Department? Just asking because I would like to know why the science and the doctors say mercury is dangerous – except in vaccines?

    And please stop telling us that PHARMA doesn’t make money on vaccines. PHARMA doesn’t go to the men’s room without making money. And now Democrats in Vermont think PHARMA is fine and that Robert Kennedy Jr., who was right about climate change, corporate pollution and renewable energy before the rest of us, is now a crank?

    These are serious questions about a serious issue. They deserve answers.

    1. John S. Walters Post author

      Kerwin: Thanks for writing. I won’t try to address all your points, but here’s a couple.

      There are different kinds of mercury. The kind in Thimerosal is ethylmercury, which doesn’t have the same neurotoxic effects as methylmercury. As one state official said today, it’s like alcohol: methyl alcohol is antifreeze, ethyl alcohol is Bud Light.

      As for science and medicine making mistakes, of course they have. But they’ve also gotten a whole lot of things right, and done great things for humankind. As I wrote previously, vaccination is almost certainly the most common medical procedure of all. It’s been done bazillions of times for decades. This ain’t some random radical experiment; it’s one of the most well-established procedures of all.

      And yes, RFK has done some good environmental work. And yes, on vaccines he’s a crank. We’ve all got our weak points.

      1. kevin ellis

        Repealing the PE will inflame people, drive down vax rates and throw kids of out school. If the APP and Harry Chen want to increase vax rates, they should educate the public, not take a away a right they gave people in 1979. Perhaps the AAP could give a $500,000 grant to the Health Department for such a campaign. Again – what’s the problem?

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