Extreme message to anti-vaccine parents from Alex Berezow of RealClearScience

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1156821_34132110As the measles outbreak continues to spread, anti-vaxers cling to their beliefs that children should not receive the life-saving vaccine. Alex Berezow, founding editor of RealClearScience has a message for these people. It s not enough to conduct outreach on the benefits and safety of vaccines or try to change their minds, parents who do not vaccinate their children should go to jail.

As he says, your right to be sick ends where my right to be healthy begins ¦Put simply, no person has the right to threaten the safety of his community. Like drunken drivers, the unvaccinated pose an imminent danger to others. They pose a lethal threat to the most vulnerable: the immunocompromised, such as HIV or cancer patients, and infants who have yet to receive their vaccines.

The father of a six-year old boy with leukemia living in the Marin County, California school district is among those parents who know the dangers of exposing an immunocompromised child to this highly contagious disease. He is urging the superintendent of his son s school to keep unvaccinated children home. He says, I respect people s choices about what to do with their kids, but if someone s kid gets sick and gets my kid sick, too, that's a problem.

However, county health officer Dr. Matthew Willis, responds that this measure is not appropriate thus far given that measles cases have not been seen in this district for years.

To which Berezow might respond, It s time to end this insanity. Though jail sounds drastic, it could be the only way to send a strong message about the deadly consequences of failing to vaccinate children.