On Tuesday, ABC News published a piece filled with interviews with immunology experts that affirms and reminds us of what has periodically been reported on over the last few years: rich people still tend to be less likely to vaccinate their kids.
Daniel Salmon, the director of the Institute of Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins University, told ABC news that existing research suggests parents who tend vaccinate their kids, “tend to be better educated. They tend to be white, and they tend to be higher income. They tend to have larger families and they tend to use complementary and alternative medicine like chiropractors and naturopaths.”
Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine told ABC that, while we could always use more data on the specific characteristics of those who decide against vaccination, these individuals “tend to be affluent and educated.”
Not included in the ABC report, but still maybe relevant, is the staggering scope of studies that suggest being rich can inoculate one against feeling responsible for others.
Hotez told ABC News that disinformation campaigns are a major contributing factor as well, as are, I suppose, a specific demographic tending to fall for it:
“Compounding this is the fact that there’s not been a commensurate pro-vaccine advocacy response. We’re not hearing from the federal agencies, we’re not hearing from all the usual pro-health advocates to counter the anti-vaccine lobby, so what’s happened is the defense of vaccines have fallen to a handful of academics, including myself.”
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ABC has it that: “The decision to fly in the face of near universal scientific opinion doesn’t come as a result of a lack of intellect...as expert who have studied vaccines and immunology acknowledge that many parent who don’t vaccinate their children are well-educated.” Perhaps we could expand the good educations these charlatans receive to allow for the contingency that just showing up to those reputable classrooms is not commensurate with acquiring an intellect.