This past several days found us hearing the viewpoints of several highly visible folks like politicians and entertainers speak their mind on the unusually contentious topic of vaccines.

Chris Christie Image/Donkey Hotey
Chris Christie
Image/Donkey Hotey

At a New Hampshire town hall meeting today, New Jersey Governor and Republican presidential hopeful Chris Christie responded to an audience member’s inquiry on whether he would allow people to opt out of vaccines if they had objections, Christie said, “You can’t count on me.”

JFK nephew and RFK son, Robert Kennedy Jr. backtracked and apologized on the what many people found outrageous description of  the number of children injured by vaccines as “a holocaust”. “I want to apologize to all whom I offended by my use of the word holocaust to describe the autism epidemic,” Kennedy said in a statement. “I employed the term during an impromptu speech as I struggled to find an expression to convey the catastrophic tragedy of autism which has now destroyed the lives of over 20 million children and shattered their families.”

Actress Kristen Bell said in an interview with Good Housekeeping of how having children turned her around on the issue of vaccines: “There is a lot of scientific, proven information out there that shows why vaccinations are necessary”, Bell said.

If your kid has leukemia, he can’t get vaccinations; if he then goes to school with my kid and I chose not to give my kid vaccinations, I’m putting your kid at risk.” “To me, that’s unacceptable.”

This comes more than a month after Bell said similar things in an ET interview.

Smallpox eradicator, Donald Henderson says new methods such as oral vaccine or skin patches are needed to overcome debates over the use of syringes for vaccinations.

“If we could vaccinate with an oral vaccine, if we could vaccinate with a little patch on the skin, rather than the needle or syringe – which is an emotional thing with parents,” he told AAP.

“We haven’t done enough in the area, working on alternative ways to vaccinate which would be not so much of a problem, not so much of an emotional thing.”

Lastly, an Ottawa mom has changed her tune on vaccines after seven, yes count ’em, seven of her children have contracted pertussis as she declined to have her children immunized.

Tara Hills wrote on the Scientific Parent Blog last week:

We had vaccinated our first three children on an alternative schedule and our youngest four weren’t vaccinated at all.  We stopped because we were scared and didn’t know who to trust.  Was the medical community just paid off puppets of a Big Pharma-Government-Media conspiracy?  Were these vaccines even necessary in this day and age? Were we unwittingly doing greater harm than help to our beloved children? So much smoke must mean a fire so we defaulted to the ‘do nothing and hope nothing bad happens’ position.

I am not looking forward to any gloating or shame as this ‘defection’ from the antivaxx camp goes public, but, this isn’t a popularity contest.  Right now my family is living the consequences of misinformation and fear.