Personal belief exemptions from vaccinations in Texas: K–12th grade students with nonmedical exemptions, Texas, 2003–2016. Graphic: Hotez, 2016 / PLoS One

By Julia Belluz
28 July 2017

(Vox) – If there was ever a moment to fear the anti-vaxxers could win, this is it.

Consider the following:

The developments are worrying enough that two top vaccine researchers published op-eds earlier this year, warning about the risk of more outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles and mumps.

“Even a modest decrease in [vaccine coverage] rates could be enough to cause future outbreaks,” wrote Peter Hotez, a pediatrician at Baylor College of Medicine, in the New York Times. “I’m worried that our nation’s health will soon be threatened because we have not stood up to the pseudoscience and fake conspiracy claims of this movement.” […]

As for state-level analyses, Baylor’s Peter Hotez looked at the rate of nonmedical exemptions over the past 13 years in his home state of Texas. He found that in 2016, there were almost 45,000 children who refused vaccines — about double the number of exemptions in 2010 and a 19-fold increase compared with 2003. [more]

I was skeptical that the anti-vaccine movement was gaining traction. Not anymore.

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