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The medically illiterate

The medically illiterate

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Politicians, most of whom have no medical training, are all too eager to inject themselves into matters of healthcare, particularly when it fills a partisan purpose.

Inevitably, standard medical practice and politically-driven policymaking will clash. Just ask Alabama’s pediatricians.

The politicization of the coronavirus pandemic seem to spread faster than the virus itself, and by the time vaccines emerged, that standard approach to combat the rampant spread of viruses was vilified with misinformation, as were health officials who advocated for broad inoculation.

Several state legislatures, including Alabama’s, rushed into law prohibitions that would prevent businesses and other entities from asking a person’s vaccination status or withholding service because of it. That prevents stores, restaurants, and other businesses, as well as governmental entities, from requiring patrons to be vaccinated before entering the premises, and prevents a requirement that a person’s vaccine status be disclosed.

Either by oversight or by design, lawmakers didn’t limit their COVID 19-fueled vaccine passport ban to the novel coronavirus; now it applies to all vaccines, in direct conflict with traditional pediatric practices.

The evolution of medicine has resulted in the mitigation or elimination of many childhood diseases by immunization, and a schedule of vaccinations has been a hallmark of pediatric medical treatment.

Now Alabama law hamstrings physicians in their treatment of Alabama’s youngsters.

This is a hiccup that must be addressed quickly, and it presents a lesson about the putting public health decisions into the hands of the medically illiterate.


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