It used to be automatic: You took your kids to the doctor for their regular office visits and they got a series of scheduled vaccinations to protect them from childhood diseases, including measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR, vaccinations before entering school for the first time.
The series of vaccinations for decades has offered protection against diseases that once posed a deadly threat to children. But now, other childhood diseases, such as whooping cough and measles, which were stopped because of vaccinations, are starting to reappear. Why?
Questions About Safety and New Risks
Back in 2014, there was a measles outbreak at Disneyland in Anaheim, California that was traced to unvaccinated children visiting the amusement park. It was the first real outbreak in decades, sparking a slew of strict vaccination rules and policies across the state. In 2015, the California State Legislature passed SB277, one of the toughest mandatory vaccination laws in the nation.
Enter Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has long been a voice against vaccines for children, claiming among other things, that the Centers for Disease Control, or the CDC, is hiding dangerous side effects of the treatments, including links to autism. Kennedy calls the vaccines and their side effects the “holocaust.”
He enlisted the help of the Nation of Islam to help spread the word to Black parents. Minister Tony Muhammad, western regional minister for the Nation of Islam, charged that the group found the CDC was using vaccines to poison Black and Latino boys, à la the Tuskegee experiments. But no studies or investigations have so far verified the claim.
Kennedy also found another unlikely ally in the fight: Donald Trump. Before he was elected, he fired off a series of tweets claiming vaccines cause autism. In fact, Kennedy has said that the president has since asked him to chair a commission on vaccine safety. The commission has yet to be formed.
In response to these and other claims from anti-vaccine advocates, the CDC says the…