vaccinations

As the measles outbreak continues to spread, political leaders with an eye on the White House in 2016 spent much of the week jumping into, and then trying to bail themselves out of, the vaccine debate.

Some brushed the issue off as an unnecessary media circus, but it's worth taking a look at its deeper political meaning. Here are five things the vaccine politics kerfuffle of 2015 tells us about the emerging field of presidential candidates for 2016.

1. Vaccination politics are a problem for Republicans — not Democrats.

Logan Shannon / NHPR

In a series of comic books, Joel Christian Gill shines a light on unsung African American figures from history. On today’s show, he tells us why he’s launched a campaign against Black History Month, and makes the case that #28DaysAreNotEnough.

Then, an outbreak of measles traced to Disneyland has outraged parents and cast anti-vaccine advocates as dangers to the public. We’ll hear about a propaganda tool that targeted anti-vaxxers in 18th Century France: fashionable hats!

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Public health officials have a problem. They want more parents to get their kids vaccinated, because there's been a resurgence of dangerous diseases as vaccination rates have dropped.

Healthnewsnet / Flickr Creative Commons

Since Edward Jenner’s discovery of a smallpox vaccine in the 18th century, vaccinations have at times been controversial. Today, while vaccines have been proven to inoculate against a host of dangerous diseases, the debate continues. We’ll look at what underlies this debate today.

GUESTS:

About 100 people between Friday and Saturday turned up at Bow High School for Hepatitis-A vaccines.  They were offered by the state after a second employee at the Covered Bridge Restaurant in Contoocook tested positive for the disease.  Rick Cricenti directs Emergency Services for the Department of Health and Human Services  He says the agency reached out to more people than those who were at the restaurant when the first infected employee was working.

Whooping Cough Hits N.H.

Dec 26, 2012
CDC

Pertussis starts like a cold, but after a week or so, it leads to severe coughing fits that can take weeks to shake.  It’s also called ‘whooping cough’ because patients make a high-pitched whoop sound as they suck in air.

There are 222 confirmed cases in the state this year, the highest levels since 2006.

Imagine you're a happy baby, off with your folks to visit the doctor.

"They're probably thinking, 'Oh hi everybody, hi!' and suddenly — boom! A shot," says John Harrington, a pediatrician in Norfolk, Va.

Who wouldn't scream at that?

But Harrington says that the same techniques used to soothe a fussy baby can also help an infant overcome the pain of vaccinations.