Earlier this week on The Daily Weekly Nina Shapiro posted about the ongoing debate in our state over childhood immunizations. While we've reported on what Shapiro refers to as "an affluent, crunchy-chewy subculture," that is often at the center of Washington's anti-vaccine movement, this week's post focuses on religious objections to the health practice.
Matthew Blessing, a pediatrician who works at the University of Washington's Kent/Des Moines clinic says that he's increasingly been seeing parents with religious objections to vaccines. State Department of Health spokesperson Michele Roberts says she's aware of this constituency, which, while not the biggest in the anti-vaccine movement, has been around for some time.
A characteristic website coming from this strain of the movement is maintained by a Florida-based group, Catholic group called called Children of God for Life. The group objects to the CDC's recommended immunization schedule because, as an article on its website claims, "nearly a third of these immunization shots may contain vaccines derived from aborted fetal cells."
Among such "ethically"-compromised vaccines, according to a chart included in the article, are those for hepatitis A, chickenpox and measles, mumps and rubella.
"Whether a particular immunization is even needed for children in a typical traditional Catholic family may be debatable," the article goes on, without elaborating. In any case, it says: "As a Catholic parent, one has a duty to avoid the use of serums derived from these aborted fetal cells, if possible."
While Shapiro's post focuses on religious objections to vaccination, commenter Karissa T Johnson say many parents may simply be checking the religious-exemption box because it requires no proof or documentation.
Claiming religious exception is the only option that requires no proof. The other no vaccine option requires a doctor's signature, or you need a print out proving vaccine dates. Anyone who has ever seen the form you sign for your child, it is no shock people just sign whatever requires no follow up or proof. It's the "well educated, liberal" Washington that still believes the totally defunct "belief" that vaccines cause autism.