Jessica Biel’s anti-vaccine bill activism puts the public’s health at risk – Los Angeles Times, 6/14/2019

To the editor: The article describing Jessica Biel’s and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s opposition to the pending state legislation to tighten the rules regarding vaccine exemptions fails to cover the most salient issue: the boundary between medical decisions affecting only one’s family versus those that risk the health of the community.

The small number of children who truly qualify for a vaccine exemption can be tolerated without risking an epidemic, but if the proportion of unvaccinated children is enlarged because of inappropriate exemptions, other vulnerable children will be infected and some will die.

The article also misleadingly treats the issue of whether vaccines cause autism as a difference of opinion between activists for personal choice on the one side, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and “various medical groups” on the other.

The original so-called research on vaccines as a cause for autism was long ago proved fraudulent. Much subsequent research has found that there is no connection between vaccines and autism, a medical fact established with roughly the same degree of certainty as the causative relationship between cigarettes and lung cancer.

Cyril Barnert, M.D., Los Angeles