Arizona has canceled a vaccine education program after anti-vaccination parents complained.
The program was designed to share information about how vaccines are made, their history, how they are tested, and what they are designed to do.
However, 120 parents in the state – where more and more kids are foregoing mandatory vaccines – complained that they feared the course was one-sided and would become mandatory.
Health officials revealed the complaints have forced them to pull the pilot online course in a frustrated statement, saying they fear more illnesses and deaths as vaccines rates decline.
Parents in Arizona – where more and more kids are foregoing mandatory vaccines – complained that they feared the course was one-sided and would become mandatory
‘I’m not sure why providing ‘information’ is seen as a negative thing,’ Republican state Representative Heather Carter, who helped create the program, told AZCentral.com.
The program was devised with input from schools, nurses, doctors, health officials and naturopaths.
Using the blueprint of programs already implemented in Oregon and Michigan, they designed an online course between 60 and 90 minutes long.
The pilot started in 17 schools in Maricopa County, where vaccination rates are low, dropping far below 85 percent, which is the CDC’s recommended threshold to maintain herd immunity.
It explained to kids and parents what herd immunity is, and weighed up the risks of contracting a condition versus the risk of a vaccine.
Parents, however, complained.
It’s not clear where the aggrieved parents are from in Arizona, but they collectively presented an argument that the video was one-sided and did not offer room for their opposing views.
In July, after a committee hearing, the program was quietly pulled.
‘We’re so sorry we couldn’t make a go of this — strong forces against us,’ Brenda Jones, immunization services manager at the Arizona Department of Health Services, said in an email to school officials, according to AZCentral.com.