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  • We've been hearing a lot about anti-vaxxers in the news lately, but they've been around

  • since the beginning of vaccines. Vaccines date back to the the research of Edward Jenner,

  • a doctor who was working in rural Britain in the 1700s. He noticed that on the farm,

  • the milk maids didn't get smallpox in the way everyone else around him seemed to. So

  • one by one, he started scraping pus from sick cows into the skin of his family members,

  • and miraculously they didn't get sick. His discovery led to the smallpox vaccine, and

  • later the world's first and only infectious disease eradication. "This child has what's

  • called active immunity. He has acquired this active immunity by actually having the disease.

  • Fortunately, there's a safer way to get immunity. This is through vaccination." Edward Jenner

  • was basically ostracized from his community. People thought it was disgusting that he would

  • inject his family with pathogens from a sick animal. Fast forward to today, and the same

  • kinds of concerns continue. Jenny McCarthy:"We do not need that many vaccines." J.B. Handley:

  • "People overly generalize about them as if they're only good." Doctors have to ask brand

  • new parents to give otherwise healthy babies dozens of needles, based on the promise that

  • they'll avoid some future, abstract disease. One discredited paper made many, many parents

  • think there is a link between the Measles, Mumps, Rubella vaccine and Autism. Andrew

  • Wakefield: "The parents understand it. They get it. Because they've lived it." Anderson

  • Cooper: "The messages from the BMJ could not be clearrer or more shocking: Wakefield's

  • research, they contend, has been a fraud." And we have other anti-vaxxers today who aren't

  • only worried about autism. There are the delayers like Rand Paul: "We sometimes give five and

  • six vaccines all at one time, I chose to have mine delayed." There are deniers of all stripes.

  • There are the Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn. There are the parents of children with medical conditions

  • who have to opt out. There are even unvaccinated kids visiting Disneyland. The majority of

  • last year's massive uptick in measles cases actually involved the Amish of Ohio. More

  • than 350 people there were infected by one man who had travelled to the Philippines.

  • These outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in the US typically happen just like that.

  • An un-immunized person travels to a place where one of these diseases is circulating,

  • returns to his community with other similarly un-immunized people. And boom. We don't remember

  • what Measles or Polio or Hepatitis B look like and felt like. Elizabeth Warren: "These

  • vaccines work so well that the memory of these diseases has faded." Viruses and bacteria

  • don't know any borders. All it takes is a single traveler to spark an outbreak, even

  • in the happiest place on earth.

We've been hearing a lot about anti-vaxxers in the news lately, but they've been around

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