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Medicine

Low Vaccination Rates At Silicon Valley Daycare Facilities 580

Vaccination rates across the U.S. don't neatly correlate with religiosity or wealth; Wired reports that one conspicuous pocket of low vaccination rates, according to California's state database of daycare records, is a place where you might not expect it: Silicon Valley — specifically, the daycare centers at some large tech companies. A WIRED investigation shows that some children attending day care facilities affiliated with prominent Silicon Valley companies have not been completely vaccinated against preventable infectious diseases. At least, that’s according to a giant database from the California Department of Public Health, which tracks the vaccination rates at day care facilities and preschools in the state. We selected more than 20 large technology and health companies in the Bay Area and researched their day care offerings. Of 12 day care facilities affiliated with tech companies, six—that’s half—have below-average vaccination rates, according to the state’s data. ... And those six have a level of measles vaccination that does not provide the “herd immunity” critical to the spread of the disease. Now, this data has limitations—most critically, it might not be current. But it also suggests an incursion of anti-science, anti-vaccine thinking in one of the smartest regions on Earth.
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Low Vaccination Rates At Silicon Valley Daycare Facilities

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 12, 2015 @06:50PM (#49042653)

    I'm not surprised by this. There's a particularly rabid strain of libertarianism that seems to hold anything related to authority in contempt, even when it's bound on sound science.

    Since "the man" wants them to be vaccinated, libertarians automatically distrust vaccines.

    • by drnb ( 2434720 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @06:56PM (#49042735)

      I'm not surprised by this. There's a particularly rabid strain of libertarianism that seems to hold anything related to authority in contempt, even when it's bound on sound science. Since "the man" wants them to be vaccinated, libertarians automatically distrust vaccines.

      If you look at some of these enclaves of anti-vaxxers you will find that they are generally liberal enclaves, not libertarian enclaves.

      • by Galaga88 ( 148206 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @06:59PM (#49042757)

        I think it's more common among liberals (which makes me ashamed to call myself a liberal at times) but libertarians have a big problem with vaccines too for different reasons - and Silicon Valley is the kind of place to which libertarians are naturally drawn.

        Since it's California and it's filled with both populations, you just have a double-whammy. :\

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by drnb ( 2434720 )

          I think it's more common among liberals (which makes me ashamed to call myself a liberal at times) but libertarians have a big problem with vaccines too for different reasons - and Silicon Valley is the kind of place to which libertarians are naturally drawn.

          Since it's California and it's filled with both populations, you just have a double-whammy. :\

          Most libertarians I know are reasonable libertarians. They want some service and regulations, they just want such to be minimal and to be served by the lowest and most local level of government. Just enough for basic safety, a level playing field, equal opportunity and most importantly accountability to locals. Not social engineering through the tax code or regulations, not consolidation of power in Washington DC and the lack of accountability to locals that results. But I am in California in a tech hub reg

          • by the gnat ( 153162 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @07:31PM (#49043073)

            Most libertarians I know are reasonable libertarians. They want some service and regulations, they just want such to be minimal and to be served by the lowest and most local level of government. Just enough for basic safety, a level playing field, equal opportunity and most importantly accountability to locals.

            I'd argue that in California, the biggest contingent is what are sometimes called "liberaltarians" (I include myself in this group): secular, very libertarian on social issues, skeptical of interventionist foreign policy, broadly pro-capitalism, generally just want to mind their own business and make money and be left alone, but don't usually freak out over income taxes and mildly redistributionist policies and universal healthcare, and probably more environmentally conscious than average. Personally, I despise laws banning smoking in private business (e.g. bars), or requiring seat belt or bike helmet use, but on the other hand, I think California's law declaring the coastline public property was one of the wisest things the state ever did.

            Most of us are willing to put up with the large number of crazies in the Bay Area because overall, they're not nearly as powerful as you might expect (outside of Berkeley, at least), and they also like weed, gay marriage, and Mexican food, so at least we have that much in common.

          • by david_thornley ( 598059 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @07:31PM (#49043075)

            You do realize that "level playing field" and "equal opportunity" conflict with "minimal" government and "most local level", right? A lot of government programs are trying to help people in bad situations and give them opportunities, and very frequently local governments serve local prejudices.

            Nobody that I know wants more government than is necessary for government to carry out its proper functions. However, the people I know have very different ideas of proper government functions, and where the balance should be.

            • by drnb ( 2434720 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @07:48PM (#49043225)

              You do realize that "level playing field" and "equal opportunity" conflict with "minimal" government and "most local level", right?

              No, there is no such conflict. Minimal is in the sense to achieve these goals. What reasonable libertarians and liberals disagree on is what constitutes a level playing field. A libertarian may lean more towards equal opportunity, a liberal more to equal outcomes. The later requires far more gov't involvement. A libertarian would also be less nanny-state'ish. Vax for measles, compulsory, Vax an infant for a STD, optional.

              A lot of government programs are trying to help people in bad situations and give them opportunities, and very frequently local governments serve local prejudices.

              Not really. The far more common situations is that Washington DC applies a one size fits all solution to problems that contain a high degree of local circumstances. Besides dollars sent to DC to address the situation coming back missing a large chunk of change, the DC money is also ineffectively used since it doesn't consider the local circumstances. Local dollars under local control could be far more effective at addressing the problem.

              • A libertarian may lean more towards equal opportunity, a liberal more to equal outcomes.

                That's a (deliberate, I frequently think) misunderstanding of the liberal position. The reason that there's a lot of talk about outcomes is because it is the single clearest and simplest metric we have about success. If a group is represented at 5% in a field where we suppose that equal opportunities should lead to something more like 50%, the conclusion is that the initial assumption of equal opportunities is wrong. Measuring opportunity is incredibly hard, consists of hundreds, if not thousands of factors

        • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr@mac.cOPENBSDom minus bsd> on Thursday February 12, 2015 @08:03PM (#49043341) Journal

          libertarians have a big problem with vaccines

          Watch it with the broad brush there, sparky. In the words of Frederic Bastiat:

          "every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”

          I have no issue with vaccines. I have an issue with government usurping the power to decide what medical treatment I will undergo.

          -jcr

          • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @08:19PM (#49043447) Journal

            So if there is an outbreak of measles, you think the state should be rendered impotent, that the lives of others who, for a number of reasons, do not have the luxury of choice over vaccinations (the very young and immuno-compromised people) should be sacrificed on your altar of absolute liberties?

            This is the problem. There is a certain level of libertarianism that is rationale, even positive and beneficial. And then there are is a kind of libertarianism that views society as a sort of dangerous fiction whose only purpose is to steal the absolute and unconstrained liberties that this kind of libertarian believes exists.

            The worst part is that if your type of Libertarian causes the death of a person who cannot be vaccinated for a number of medically legitimate reasons, it could never be reasonably proven in court, so that the basic judicial action that your kind of Libertarian always proclaims as the legitimate way for citizens who have been harmed could not be used.

            Or, to put things more simply, you should be allowed to be a carrier of harmful diseases, and anyone that objects can go get fucked, and if any of them are harmed via your decision, well, too fucking bad.

            • by sg_oneill ( 159032 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @08:34PM (#49043575)

              I'm not even sure if it needs to be about liberties. Just common sense. I can't *force* someone to get vaccinated, but I sure as hell can mock them as harmful teeth grinding retards and lobby my childrens school to exclude their virii infested spawn until their parents wake the fuck up.

              • Unfortunately, if your school is run by the state, then the admittance requirements, including vaccination requirements (or lack thereof) are liable to be determined by the state as well. Require vaccinations for state-funded education and the anti-vaxxers will be all over your ass for discriminating against their children, and no single school is going to want to deal with that headache. Private schooling offers an alternative, maybe (lots of caveats there), but unless you have some sort of education vo

            • by spooje ( 582773 ) <spooje.hotmail@com> on Thursday February 12, 2015 @09:40PM (#49044047) Homepage

              So if there is an outbreak of measles, you think the state should be rendered impotent, that the lives of others who, for a number of reasons, do not have the luxury of choice over vaccinations (the very young and immuno-compromised people) should be sacrificed on your altar of absolute liberties?

              Nope. As a libertarian and a physician I have absolutely no problems with government quarantining people who are infected or may be infected. I have no problem with the government offering free vaccines for epidemic diseases (not STDs) for people who can't afford it, and it's one of the few areas I don't mind the government spending taxes to help foreign nations.

              I do have a problem with the government telling me what kind of medicine I have to take and by extension what kinds I have to give my kids. I get a vaccine for pretty much everything I can just because I can, but I will be the one to decide what I do and don't put into my body. From a moral and ethical stand point I have no problems with people opting out.

              In addition anything the government mandates runs the risk of abuse. Who chooses what immunizations make the cut? MMR? Smallpox? Chicken Pox? What about HPV? How much rigging the system will the pharmaceutical companies do to get the new canker sore vaccine included or include something that's not nearly as effective as they claim?

              Or, to put things more simply, you should be allowed to be a carrier of harmful diseases, and anyone that objects can go get fucked, and if any of them are harmed via your decision, well, too fucking bad.

              If by your actions you knowingly put others at risk you should be criminally and civilly liable. It's the same a people who know they have AIDS then go have bare back sex with others without telling them. Those people go to jail for attempted murder. You take your kid who you know has to Disney? I have no problem with arresting them for that. I also don't have a problem with them facing other consequences like if you don't vaccinate your kid he/she can't go to a public school.

              Your characterizations of Libertarians is way off base. You might want to try to speak with a few before you claim us all as heretics.

              • Don't want to vaccinate your kids. No problem, but we should keep them out of public schools to at least minimize the risk of damage this particular liberty can cause to other peoples children who might not have the option to vaccinate theirs. Liberty does not free you of the consequences of your choices.
          • libertarians have a big problem with vaccines

            Watch it with the broad brush there, sparky. In the words of Frederic Bastiat:

            "every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. ...

            Touche, broad brush indeed.

          • The problem is that your personal choice affects the health and welfare of other people. People do not live alone on their private planets. If you dump toxic waste in your back yard that may be your own personal decision but it is absolutely catastrophic to the neighbors. Failing to vaccinate is similar though with a lesser chance of tragedy.

      • by dywolf ( 2673597 )

        Much as you try to frame it as a "liberal" thing, it actually a pretty bipartisan thing.

        On the one libertarians, cause they don't like being told what to do.
        On the other, its basically the descendants of hippies and their homeopathy nonsense.

        SV is a libertarian enclave.

        But here's the amusing part: all the conservatives who want to rush to paint it as a liberal thing.
        Why?
        Why are they in such a hurry to point this out?
        Is it because they're keeping score?
        Is it because they're tired of being painted anti-scienc

    • I'd add that there's a possibility of people in this demographic being actively against reporting anything to "the man" than they have to -- they are all likely to be acutely aware of the power of data mining. In this case, that wouldn't indicate actual vaccination levels, but *reported* vaccination levels. After all, the data is retrieved from a form that the parents might refuse to fill in with anything but the bare minimum information.

      It doesn't make it smart, but it does present another hypothesis.

    • I'm not surprised by this.

      A half-assed article that doesn't say anything appearing in Wired? Me neither.

    • by Namarrgon ( 105036 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @07:16PM (#49042941) Homepage

      From the Wired article:

      But Google has a simple explanation—a representative chalked it up to old data. “In 2013-2014, these two childcare facilities had immunization rates of 98 percent and 81 percent,” says a Google spokesperson, emphasizing that immunization is important to the company. “The reported numbers for the current year are lower simply because many parents have not yet provided updated immunization records. We’ve asked them all to do this, so we can update the figures.”

      So it looks low right now only because the parents who have not yet updated their records are being counted as "unvaccinated".

    • by jcr ( 53032 )

      Speaking as a Libertarian, you're full of shit. There are more of us here in the Silicon Valley than many other places in the USA, but we're still tremendously outnumbered by the Ruling Party believers.

      -jcr

    • by sg_oneill ( 159032 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @08:31PM (#49043555)

      I'm actually astounded by how often computer guys can be so bad at the science they claim to be upholders of. In no other industry have I come across so many guys with actual degrees who are convinced climate change is some sort of vast left wing conspiracy, that vaccines are some sort of evil big-pharma plot, and so on.

      I mean fine, believe what you want, but don't call yourself an engineer when you hold so much science in contempt guys.

  • by drnb ( 2434720 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @06:52PM (#49042669)
    Science denial is probably more strongly correlated with politics/emotions not intelligence level. The left and the right merely have different things they are in denial about, different things that touch on their politics and their emotions. And emotions lead people to stand by their beliefs regardless of rational thought and evidence, both on the left and the right.
    • I think it's a bit of a different issue here. Notice these are pretty much all computer related firms. As we all know, many people in this field think anything can be fixed in the software.

    • by grimmjeeper ( 2301232 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @07:49PM (#49043233) Homepage

      Science denial is probably more strongly correlated with politics/emotions not intelligence level. The left and the right merely have different things they are in denial about, different things that touch on their politics and their emotions. And emotions lead people to stand by their beliefs regardless of rational thought and evidence, both on the left and the right.

      I disagree. Having spent a lifetime around pig headed engineers (including myself), this is my reasoning:

      I think it has everything to do with intelligence, or, at least self perceived intelligence. The smarter someone thinks they are, the less likely they are to listen to others who they think are somehow less intelligent. They consider it a personal affront that someone else would tell them they're wrong about vaccines. They consider only the superiority of their own intellect when deciding that they will either accept or reject the established science. That kind of hubris is concentrated in certain professions, many of which are concentrated in Silicon Valley. Politics doesn't enter into it at all. This kind of self righteous thinking permeates the self declared intellectual elite in every party, including the independents who tend to be the most effete among them ("anyone who is dumb enough to let a party tell them how to think is inferior"). They have considered whatever they consider to be important in their own mind and have come to a conclusion that you dare not question.

      • by plover ( 150551 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @08:29PM (#49043541) Homepage Journal

        Being a self-perceived-intelligent pig-headed engineer myself, I think you're missing a critical component in that description. I'm right, until proven otherwise. Show me a trustworthy test, show me trustworthy data, show me trustworthy studies, show me proof from a respectable authority that I'm wrong and I will happily change my mind and apologize to you for wasting your time in having to convince me.

        One thing I've noticed about software engineers is that too many of them are lacking the critical statistics skills they need to function effectively. Perhaps it's because we tend to think in Boolean terms of true and false. Thus, "I have a 1:450,000,000 chance of winning the lottery" turns into "I have a chance of winning the lottery", which is a different wording that is remarkably easy to misinterpret as a "50:50" chance, even though both outcomes are statistically equal to false. They apply that same lack of understanding to any risk, including vaccination (a 1:3,000,000 chance of a serious adverse reaction becomes "a chance of a serious adverse reaction".)

        In the case of vaccines, I was initially a bit skeptical when it came to vaccinating my son. But it was extraordinarily easy to convince myself that they're safe and effective, and that the one study showing a purported link to autism was completely fraudulent. It took about an hour of research that anyone with a browser and half a wit could do. And because it was so easy to learn the truth, I now hold all anti-vaxxers in that extra-special contempt I reserve for the willfully ignorant. In this case I consider them parties to attempted murder. They threaten society as a whole, either because they're too stupid to do the research or too dull to change their minds.

        • Being a self-perceived-intelligent pig-headed engineer myself, I think you're missing a critical component in that description. I'm right, until proven otherwise. Show me a trustworthy test, show me trustworthy data, show me trustworthy studies, show me proof from a respectable authority that I'm wrong and I will happily change my mind and apologize to you for wasting your time in having to convince me.

          Not everybody seems capable of determing what sources are trustworthy and what sources are not. Combine the same self-perceived-intelligence and pig-headded-ness with a distrust of "government" or "the man", and there you have it. At that point, the "mainstream" "trustworthy" sources are just a part of the conspiracy, so the only sources to be trusted are those on the fringe that are supressed and bringing you the real truth.

          I have a good friend who is a very smart autodidact, but also a massive skeptic. Yo

      • I call it (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @09:11PM (#49043881)

        Smartest Motherfucker in the Universe Syndrome. You see it all the time. One great famous geek example was Hans Reiser. He was so sure he was just smarter than everyone that he could get away with murder. No way those dumb cops could know more about criminal justice than him...

        Geeks seem to have it the most, probably a combination of above average intelligence, below average social skills, and a culture that makes intelligence the be-all, end-all of being "better". However you see it in other areas too. My sister is really bad. Don't you dare to tell her about something she thinks she knows about, she'll jump all over your shit for that. As such, she's a fairly regular fountain of bad ideas. Mom calls me at least once every couple months to ask about some harebrained shit my sister is up on that is bad for her/necessary for her.

    • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @07:54PM (#49043271) Journal
      Go into any whole-foods in Silicon Valley, and you'll see plenty of herbal medicines that do nothing but empty people's wallets. Silicon Valley isn't some kind of pro-science paradise.
    • by dnavid ( 2842431 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @08:23PM (#49043477)

      Science denial is probably more strongly correlated with politics/emotions not intelligence level. The left and the right merely have different things they are in denial about, different things that touch on their politics and their emotions. And emotions lead people to stand by their beliefs regardless of rational thought and evidence, both on the left and the right.

      In my experience, there's science denial, and then there's the more likely phenomenon occurring here which is the belief that one's personal interpretation of the evidence is vastly superior to anyone else's. If an anti-vax article sounds reasonable to them, its far more likely to their thinking that everyone else who considers it rubbish is wrong, because their own understanding is far superior.

      That's not exactly science denial, that's narcissism masquerading as science denial. And this general belief is, in my experience, extremely prevalent in the various technology industries, particularly IT.

  • You don't say! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AdamThor ( 995520 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @06:52PM (#49042675)

    "Of 12 day care facilities affiliated with tech companies, six—that’s half—have below-average vaccination rates, according to the state’s data."

    So half of the sample is below average? Hmmm!

  • State laws provide guidelines for day care center vaccination requirements. Sometimes they are not equivalent to public school vaccination requirements; lawmakers aren't doctors, how many can recite the available vaccines by heart?

  • by Sir_Eptishous ( 873977 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @06:53PM (#49042693) Homepage
    for a bunch of these kids to get chickenpox or pertussis and everyones tune will change on vaccinations.

    I grew up with a grandmother who was a nurse during the 20's - 60's. She told me horror stories of what medicine was like before things like penicillin and vaccinations. People died from the simplest things, as they do still, but back then it was more dangerous. We take for granted that we live in a time with less disease than ever in human history.

    People need to wake up.
  • by bfwebster ( 90513 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @06:54PM (#49042701) Homepage

    The anti-vaxx movement has been almost entirely among liberals and environmentalist, who view Big Pharma and anything "unnatural" with deep suspicion. I've been highly amused at recent efforts to cast it as a conservative cause; there are some anti-vaxxers among the hard right, but the vast majority are on the left.

    • by Galaga88 ( 148206 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @06:56PM (#49042723)

      Silicon Valley is unexpectedly bad for vaccines - it's the perfect mix of anti-science liberals and anti-government libertarians. One group thinks vaccines are poison, the other thinks they're a conspiracy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That's a neat narrative but doesn't actually fit the data very well.

      Look at a map of vaccination rates. Georgia, Montana, and California have a similar rate of non-medical exemptions. Montana has a pretty high rate, too.

      I have a different theory. Tree huggers and libertarians are both deeply suspicious of vaccines, for myriad reasons. But those people can't account for the degree of the problem.

      I think the source of the problem has more to do with wealth. It's like breast feeding vs bottle feeding. When bot

    • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @09:05PM (#49043839)

      As many people on Slashdot have probably noticed, there are more than a few geeks who are infected with Smartest Motherfucker in the Universe syndrome. Since they've gone through their lives generally being a good deal more intelligent than their peers, but with poor social skills, it can lead to an arrogance that they are smarter than basically anyone else, and that their knowledge is supreme not just in their field, but in all fields.

      Well that then is ripe for anti-scientific shit like anti-vaxxer crap. They believe they are in on a secret that normal people are just too stupid to see, that they are smarter and better than those sheep doctors and so on and so forth. It feeds their ego on their intellect to believe they know better than the medical establishment.

      So this surprises me not at all. SV has all the right elements to be a hotbed of this kind of shit.

      • As many people on Slashdot have probably noticed, there are more than a few geeks who are infected with Smartest Motherfucker in the Universe syndrome. Since they've gone through their lives generally being a good deal more intelligent than their peers, but with poor social skills, it can lead to an arrogance that they are smarter than basically anyone else, and that their knowledge is supreme not just in their field, but in all fields.

        Well that then is ripe for anti-scientific shit like anti-vaxxer crap. They believe they are in on a secret that normal people are just too stupid to see, that they are smarter and better than those sheep doctors and so on and so forth. It feeds their ego on their intellect to believe they know better than the medical establishment.

        So this surprises me not at all. SV has all the right elements to be a hotbed of this kind of shit.

        I am really glad I went to a "smart" high school program because of this. Once I got into a crowd of other Smartest Motherfuckers, I realized that I really wasn't, and amongst the Smartest Motherfuckers, I was only about average. Then I graduated and went to college and was like "wait, where are all the other Smartest Motherfuckers?". Then I went and got a real job at Some Company that's nothing special, and I've largely forgotten what I learned in high school.

  • by Gorshkov ( 932507 ) <AdmiralGorshkov@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday February 12, 2015 @07:01PM (#49042773)

    Of 12 day care facilities affiliated with tech companies, six—that’s half—have below-average vaccination rates, according to the state’s data.

    In other words, half the day care facilities were below average, and half were above. Isn't that kinda/sort the DEFINITION of average?

  • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @07:01PM (#49042779)

    Of 12 day care facilities affiliated with tech companies, six—that’s half—have below-average vaccination rates

    As many have suggested, no duh.

    according to the state’s data. ... And those six have a level of measles vaccination that does not provide the “herd immunity” critical to the spread of the disease.

    So that is legitimately worrying, if the anti-vax situation has gotten so bad that half the schools don't have herd immunity.

    But it also suggests an incursion of anti-science, anti-vaccine thinking in one of the smartest regions on Earth.

    It suggests the null-hypothesis, that one of the smartest regions on Earth is utterly typical in this respect.

  • by medv4380 ( 1604309 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @07:02PM (#49042781)
    Really? South Carolina Public Schools vaccination rate is 98.1%, but for Private Schools it is 96.02% For New York public schools are 99% and private schools are 88%. So you really expect me to believe that there is no correlation at all with being rich enough to afford private school, and poor enough to be stuck in public school?
  • by hyades1 ( 1149581 ) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Thursday February 12, 2015 @07:02PM (#49042785)

    Where would one find a large, concentrated population of the most selfish, inconsiderate, greedy, preening, risk-loving, egotistical, psychopaths on the continent?

    Bingo!

  • It's not about being smart or dumb, conservative or liberal. Far too many people they think having money is a far better immunity than vaccinations, and not just in Silicon Valley. Around the country the most affluent areas are the ones with the worst rates.

  • Smart and stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by X10 ( 186866 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @07:08PM (#49042847) Homepage

    Apparently, a person can be very smart and very stupid at the same time.

  • I absolutely 100% understand it and it is not 'anti science', it is anti herd.

    AFAIC 'herd immunity' is an offensive term, I cannot even begin to fathom something more offensive than grouping of people together, thinking of people as of a 'herd'. Death is preferable to this level of groupthink. It is and it always has to remain a private/individual decision to vaccinate or not. As it says in TFA more than half of these day cares have below-average vaccination rates, so this means a large portion of the in

  • This drives a silver stake through the heart of the idea that vaccines cause autism. You would expect that in a place where autism is a required skill on resumes everyone would be vaccinated.

    • Perhaps vaccines cause your offspring to be autistic!
      Since it's not something you can catch, you're born with it.

  • by pem ( 1013437 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @07:15PM (#49042929)
    The only women that will marry the loser geeks are batshit insane, and the geeks have made the perfectly valid mental calculation that they are more apt to pass on their genes if they have kids and don't vaccinate them than if they fail to have kids altogether.
  • by schwit1 ( 797399 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @07:18PM (#49042949)
    “They’ll line up around the block.” http://www.theglobeandmail.com... [theglobeandmail.com] There are schools in the wealthiest parts of Los Angeles where the vaccination rate is on a par with that of South Sudan – fashionable tinder boxes of measles waiting to go up. Pertussis (the far-less-fun-than-it-sounds “whooping cough”) is making a dramatic comeback.
  • Maybe they're relying on everyone else to have their children vaccinated. Their own children, of course, are exceptional.

  • Of 12 day care facilities affiliated with tech companies, six—that’s half—have below-average vaccination rates

    Half are below average? That's to be expected, or it wouldn't be a very average average.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The valley has all but lost the ability to produce better tools and products to improve the world. Instead it focuses almost entirely on BS to make money off the hard work of the previous generation without providing value to the end user in return.

    The lemming-esk groupthink that permeates industry as people mindlessly jump from one bandwagon to another without any understanding of what they are doing would be amusing if the stench of hubris and entitlement were not so overpowering.

    Only measure of intelli

  • by geekd ( 14774 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @07:44PM (#49043185) Homepage

    The doggy day care I bring my mutt to won't take her unless she is up to date on all her shots.

    But a people day care does not have this same rule?

    That's just crazy.

  • by asasdlfgnjl ( 1678718 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @07:58PM (#49043291)
    Children have a greater chance of getting stuck by lightning [noaa.gov] than catching measles [cdc.gov].

    Kinda makes sense that people who commonly do risk assessment would choose not to vaccinate.

    Especially when the majority of polio cases in the united states are caused by vaccinations [cdc.gov] than any other sources combined.

    PS:Iâ(TM)ve had both vaccinations.
    • by denzacar ( 181829 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @09:19PM (#49043919) Journal

      From the links provided above:

      The risk of VAPP is not equal for all OPV doses in the vaccination series. The risk of VAPP is 7 to 21 times higher for the first dose than for any other dose in the OPV series. From 1980 through 1994, 303 million doses of OPV were distributed and 125 cases of VAPP were reported, for an overall risk of VAPP of one case per 2.4 million doses. Forty-nine paralytic cases were reported among immunocompetent recipients of OPV during this period. The overall risk to these recipients was one VAPP case per 6.2 million OPV doses. However, 40 (82%) of these 49 cases occurred following receipt of the first dose, making the risk of VAPP one case per 1.4 million first doses. The risk for all other doses was one per 27.2 million doses.
      ...
      The last case of VAPP acquired in the United States was reported in 1999.

      New cases per 100,000 population in 2011
      Rubeola (measles) 0.06

      That's 1 in 1.66 million for measles.
      1 in 2.4 million for Vaccine-Associated Paralytic Polio - overall risk.
      1 in 1.4 million for Vaccine-Associated Paralytic Polio - for first doses.
      1 in 27.2 million for Vaccine-Associated Paralytic Polio - for all other doses.

      Only thing is, that 1 in 1.66 million number for measles is for a single year, 2011.
      Even the "worst" numbers for polio vaccine are from data FOR 14 YEARS. 1980 - 1994.
      What are the numbers for that period for measles?

      New cases per 100,000 population in 1980
      Rubeola (measles) 5.96

      New cases per 100,000 population in 1990
      Rubeola (measles) 11.17

      That's somewhere between 1 in 16778.52 and 1 in 8952.55 during a similar time period, vs. 1 in 1400000 to 1 in 27200000.
      You can't really compare them for "new outbreaks" - AS THERE WERE NONE FOR POLIO SINCE 1999.

      As for lightning strikes data...
      That may be more relevant in the lottery discussion from the other day.
      As those are both cases closer to pure mathematical chance, while measles and vaccines are preventable risks.
      Though in reality those lightning strikes probably fail to match their average US numbers when comparing millions of people riding on subways and people climbing mountains.

      I.e. You can significantly increase your chances to get hit by lightning, but not really for catching polio from a vaccine or for winning a jackpot.

  • Spectre of Autism... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DigitalAce9 ( 1876372 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @08:12PM (#49043379)
    It seems that people have forgotten the autism/thiomersal hysteria of a few years back -- just in time to deliver a generation of unvaccinated kiddos into our schools. Unfortunately, the "thiomersal-autism-link" was promoted loudly by people like the well-meaning, but misinformed Jenny McCarthy as panicked parents sought answers for the "autism outbreak". Autsim is heavily over-represented in families that have engineers as family members. See this article from Scientific American (paywall, sorry): http://www.scientificamerican.... [scientificamerican.com] The referenced UK survey showed that families with engineers in them can have between 2.5 to 8.6 *times* the statistical occurrence of autism in their children. Even though the whole thiomersal-autism link has been debunked, in the intervening time a lot of people have sadly opted out of vaccinating their kids -- better "safe-than-sorry" seemed the prevailing wisdom -- until science can make a ruling on it, right? After all, when was the last time a kid came down with measles? ...This against the backdrop of seeing kids with a life-long devastating condition like autism -- nearly every family I know in Silicon Valley knows one or more families that are stricken with it. I personally know over half a dozen, including my own son. Unfortunately, the success of vaccinations seems to have been blunted everyone's memory of why we did it in the first place. As parents, all of us try to make the best decisions based on the most current studies/data available, but the tragedy is that current prevailing wisdom failed us on this one. --Ace
    • by Yaztromo ( 655250 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @10:31PM (#49044287) Homepage Journal

      The referenced UK survey showed that families with engineers in them can have between 2.5 to 8.6 *times* the statistical occurrence of autism in their children.

      Just in case anyone reading your message jumps to the wrong conclusion, I'll remind everyone that correlation != causation, even in this case.

      There is, however, growing evidence that microexons [thestar.com] -- tiny gene fragments that aren't well understood -- that are linked to altered brain development in individuals with autism (paper [cell.com]).

      And (IIRC) there is a certain amount of correlation between problems with microexons and older fathers. Due to the cost and length of their education, engineers may not be having children until they are older (and perhaps more established in their careers), increasing the risk factor (it has been well established that older fathers are more likely to sire autistic children).

      I'm not accusing you of having much such an assumption. The correlation is interesting and needs further investigation, however it may just stems from age of fathers, rather than any special mental makeup of engineers.

      Yaz

  • by DutchSter ( 150891 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @09:24PM (#49043955)

    So why is it that I can't send my child to preschool with a peanut butter sandwich, but yet I am expected to respect your decision to send your unvaccinated child to be with mine?

  • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Thursday February 12, 2015 @09:38PM (#49044039)
    Refusing to get your children vaccinated is the liberal version of creationism. Nucking Futs

    I hope that some day that some fucking imbecile parent goes to prison for willfull and depraved negligence manslaughter.

    As an adult who picked up whooping cough after herd immunnity was lost, I can state with certainty that I would rather have a broken leg, and that any parent that gamlbes on that with their children is abusing them.

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