I thought we’d gotten over Rep. Bachmann’s attacks on vaccines, but evidently that’s not the case:
Michele Bachmann is still defending her oppositionto the vaccine that prevents HPV, the leading cause of cervical cancer. At a campaign event in Sheldon, Iowa on Monday night, she sympathized with a mother who believes her daughter Jessica, now 16, has been debilitated by headaches, pains and seizures brought on by the vaccine three years ago and can no longer attend school…
Bachmann thanked Wepple for bringing up the vaccine issue. “Parents have to make that decision for their kids because it isn’t the schools that are going to follow up with Jessica,” she said. “It isn’t the schools that live with Jessica every day. It’s Jessica who’s having to have her body live with the ravages of this vaccine.”
I’m assuming that Rep. Bachmann will now release the evidence that she has that the vaccine causes this? No?
Ben Smith has more:
She received a great deal of pushback when she raised the issue back in September, and the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership is hitting back this time, too. GRASP spokesman Evan Siegfried emails:
It is truly astounding that Michele Bachmann would continue on this road despite science contradicting her. Nevermind the fact that in Minnesota, including the district she represents, there was just a measles outbreak that was attributed to a fear of vaccines brought on by statements like the ones Ms. Bachmann has made. It is sad to see that Congresswoman Bachmann values getting media appearances more than the health and safety of children.
Since I can’t bring myself to do this again, I’ll let past-me speak:
I don’t know what Rep. Bachmann’s sudden interest is in vaccine safety. I hope it’s not for political gain. Because at this moment, if you want to immunize your child for HPV in the vast majority of states, it’s recommended. If you don’t, no one forces you to. That’s how we do vaccines here. No one holds a gun to your head. Only a few states even go so far as “opt out” on this one.
But the language that some are engaging in now is not questioning the wisdom of this particular vaccine as a policy. It’s questioning whether we can “believe” the vaccines are safe. Unless you have good proof they’re not, politicians need to be careful. People believe in you. People believe what you say. And if you start using fear of vaccines to win political points, the side-effects will be real.
The way in which we decide vaccine policy, and whether certain vaccines meet the standard for government intervention, is open to opinion. Their safety, however, is determined by science, and science should not be political.