How Poverty Affects Vaccination Rates

Last fall I pointed blog readers to my colleague Rachel Stone’s post on vaccination as an expression of neighborly love. Today, Rachel has a follow-up post of sorts, commenting on a Mother Jones article indicating that poverty and other family issues (such as working parents who struggle to get their kids to the doctor’s office during business hours) are significant factors in children going unvaccinated. I commend you to her post, as well as to an excellent new web site, Voices for Vaccines, that provides reliable, science-based information on vaccines. The Voices for Vaccines project is led by two parents and supported by a medical advisory council. I’ve had the privilege of talking with the two moms behind this project, Karen Ernst and Ashley Shelby, and have been looking for a chance to share their work. This seems like as good a time as any.

I am off to Chicago today to speak (and listen!) at the University of Chicago’s Second Annual Conference on Medicine and Religion. I will be drawing on the story I tell in my book, No Easy Choice, to highlight the ways in which reproductive medicine practitioners often provide excellent clinical care, but maintain a willful ignorance when it comes supporting patients as they grapple with the larger cultural, moral, and religious complexities of reproductive and genetic technologies. Posts will likely be sparse for the rest of the week, but I look forward to reporting on any good tidbits of wisdom from this conference!

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