On February 22, 2022, Kensey Dishman died. She was thirteen years old. Doctors believe Kensey, a high-risk patient, died of COVID-19-related causes. Kensey had asthma, a condition for which vaccination is recommended. Yet, despite her asthma, she wasn’t vaccinated and wasn’t masked. A week before her death, her school district removed mask mandates. Her choice was to refuse vaccination; her divorced parents were conflicted. Her mother and step-dad, vaccinated themselves, urged Kensey to get vaccinated. Her biological father agreed with her choice not to vaccinate. Normally thirteen-year-olds aren’t allowed to make significant health-related decisions for themselves. So, what happened here?
Tucker Carlson had Robert Kennedy Jr. on his show, giving him five minutes of almost-uninterrupted time to spew his misinformation on vaccines. We hope the Fox News cable host got what he wanted (presuming in the form of ratings). And that it was worth a few more children getting sick with measles and dying of whooping cough.
In an effort to halt what some pediatricians are calling a rising tide in vaccine hesitancy, the American Academy of Pediatrics have released a statement urging states to crack down on parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. The recommendations go as far as stating that pediatricians reserve the right to exclude anti-vaccine families from the practice who refuse to change their minds. The news is good, and we here at the council welcome it, as a whopping 87 percent of pediatricians this year have been 'challenged' by parents who refuse to vaccinate their children, up from 75 percent in the last decade.