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Anti-vaxxers can go stick it
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By Andrea Peyser
February 20, 2015

Anti-vaxxers can go stick it

They’re privileged, prosperous and overwhelmingly white.

Known as "anti-vaxxers," these elite few proselytize against getting kids vaccinated against childhood diseases. Some advocate for slowing down or reducing the rate at which lifesaving inoculations are administered.

Either way, they threaten to infect everyone with their nonsense.

Take real estate developer and reality-TV babe Donald Trump.

"I’m totally pro-vaccine,"Trump, 68, told me.

"What I’ve seen is that you put these massive injections at one time into a 20-pound baby. I’ve seen children who were 100 percent normal and become totally autistic,"said Trump, who’s toyed with the idea of seeking the Republican nominations for president and for governor.

There exists no scientific evidence to support Trump’s theory that giving kids big shots can make them autistic. But Trump, who said he’s had all five of his kids vaccinated, wants doctors to give children smaller injections to shield them against individual diseases — no measles, mumps and rubella vaccines, for example — over a period of about two years.

Then there’s Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Trump’s ideological opposite on most every issue — except this one.

"I’m fiercely pro-vaccine,"Kennedy, 61, told me. So why did Laura Helmuth, the health and science editor of the online magazine Slate, rail that Kennedy dangerously confuses parents into choosing not to have their kids inoculated?

Last year, Kennedy published "Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak: The Evidence Supporting the Immediate Removal of Mercury — a Known Neurotoxin — from Vaccines." The book attacks the use of thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative that the lawyer and environmental activist claims causes attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and neurological ills, such as Tourette’s syndrome, in children.

"Sixty-million flu vaccines with thimerosal!" said Kennedy, who said he’s had his six children fully vaccinated. Numerous studies have deemed thimerosal safe, but drug companies stopped putting it in childhood vaccines in 2001 out of an abundance of caution. It’s still used in some vaccines that shield people from influenza.

"You’re looking for an angle to discredit me," said Kennedy. "Write one article that is fair. We know that thimerosal is not safe."

"We"do?

Measles — a disease considered eradicated in the United States 15 years ago — has sickened 141 people in 17 states and the District of Columbia this year as of Feb. 13, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Most cases were traced to an outbreak that started in California’s Disneyland. Could it have been prevented?

"This is a no-brainer," Michael Weitzman, MD, a professor of pediatrics and environmental medicine at the New York University School of Medicine and of global public health at NYU, told me. "There is no evidence that giving multiple vaccines at the same time"causes harm.

"There is no reason to worry about thimerosal."

People who spread fears about vaccine safety "are not people who have a medical or scientific background,"said Weitzman, 67.

An exception to that rule is actress Mayim Bialik, 39, who plays a neuroscientist on TV’s "The Big Bang Theory" and holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles.

She told People magazine’s Celebrity Baby Blog in 2009, "We are a non-vaccinating family . . ." But this month, she wrote on Facebook that her two sons have been vaccinated. Her rep turned down my request to interview her.

Former Playboy Playmate and ex-co-host of TV’s "The View" Jenny McCarthy, 42, has repeatedly advanced the discredited theory that vaccines cause autism in kids, including her 12-year-old son, Evan. "If you ask a parent of an autistic child if they want the measles or the autism, we will stand in line for the f-?-king measles,"she told Time magazine in 2009.

Denying my request for an interview, her rep emailed me McCarthy’s 2014 blog post titled "The Gray Area on Vaccines."

"For my child, I asked for a schedule that would allow one shot per [doctor’s] visit instead of the multiple shots they were and still are giving infants,"McCarthy wrote, sounding like Trump.

Measles has stricken two people in New York state so far this year, but it’s expected to enter New York City in a big way through the posh private schools clustered on the Upper East Side.

While public-school students must be fully vaccinated, barring rare religious or health exemptions, private schools allow parents to opt out of having their kids vaccinated for a host of medical and religious reasons, The Post reported last month. This has brought the vaccination rate at 90 schools below the 95 percent rate that medical professionals say creates "herd immunity"that prevents even unvaccinated children from getting sick.

At the Rudolf Steiner School on East 79th Street, just 76 percent of students have been fully vaccinated, The Post reported.

Ignore the naysayers, people. Get your children fully vaccinated. The sooner the better.

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