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What Happens If Anti-Vaxxers Just Face the Consequences?

Froma Harrop on

"Medical Freedom" crusaders are trying to end vaccination requirements for schoolchildren. Places where they succeed, epidemiologists warn, will, for starters, become overrun with measles, a disease that was virtually eliminated thanks to vaccines.

Measles used to kill up to 500 people a year, while polio left more than 15,000 paralyzed. Parts of America that stop requiring vaccinations will be turning their clocks back to an unhappy past. And as it happens, those parts tend to be right-wing Republican.

No major religion objects to vaccines, but anti-vax activists summon religious objections to them nonetheless. Or they jump on a useful anecdote here or there.

One letter writer to The Wall Street Journal complained that months after getting a Covid booster, "I contracted Covid."

You don't say. So did I. But neither of us ended up in a hospital or the morgue. The shots make the disease less deadly.

A study by top epidemiologists estimates that nearly a quarter-million Americans who died of Covid would have survived had they received the Covid vaccine.

 

The letter writer was giving a thumbs up to Journal columnist Allysia Finley, who has turned casting aspersions on the Covid vaccines into a second career.

One of her columns, titled "Why Vaccine Skepticism is Growing on the Right" blames the medical establishment for many conservatives' refusal to get shots.

Perhaps ignorance, stupidity and laziness are to blame. Just a suggestion.

Anyhow, Finley writes, "Authorities no doubt worry that alerting the public to potential safety risks could discourage vaccination, but their lack of transparency and dismissal of critics fuels the distrust in vaccines."

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