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Letters to the Editor: The anti-vax crowd can inflict far more harm than one assault

State Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), the author of SB 276.
State Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), the author of SB 276.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

To the editor: The online anti-vaccine crowd to which the alleged attacker of pediatrician and state Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) belongs includes a few honestly concerned parents, but also many conspiracy theorists, science denialists and, yes, trolls and bots. (I know because I’ve been helping protect scientists on Twitter by operating a shared blocklist called Science Shield, so I spend far too much time looking at anti-vaxxer tweets.)

These people can be scary, but we must not let them distract us from protecting our children.

More recently, we learned of another measles exposure at Disneyland and Los Angeles International Airport, a reminder that disease is only a plane ride or a trip to the farmer’s market away.

Pan’s SB 276, which would close a loophole used by parents who have no valid medical reason not to inoculate their children, is a fair approach to reducing exemption abuse and getting school vaccination rates back up. The Legislature should get it on the governor’s desk pronto. Lives depend on it.

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Dan Kegel, Los Angeles


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