What do climate change and childhood vaccinations have in common? The scientific consensus supporting action on both fronts is under attack — but from opposite ends of the political spectrum.
Over the last two decades, the number of parents who decline to vaccinate their children has skyrocketed. The movement against vaccinations has been fueled by a fraudulent and long-discredited study purporting to link the shots to autism (the study’s main author has since lost his medical license), and embraced as a trendy part of an all-natural upbringing. Seven percent of kids in Marin County, Calif., don’t have state-mandated vaccinations when they enroll in school. In Ashland, Ore., the rate reached about 30 percent. In Washington State, the percentage of kindergartners with a vaccine exemption declined slightly last school year, but is still more than double the rate in 1998.