Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell are using their influence and celebrity to promote science and vaccinations for infants and children. The Hollywood power couple spoke out on Twitter last week to share their views on vaccinations and urge others to trust science. Both Bell and Shepard have been speaking out in support of California Senate bill SB276 that will strengthen laws around medical exemptions for vaccines.
Last week the California Assembly Health Committee heard arguments from parents against the SB276. The committee held the meeting to vote on amendments added to the bill by the California Senate earlier in the month.
Despite large crowds of protestors filling the California State Capital, the amended bill easily passed the committee. The bill will move to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for a vote. According to the Los Angeles Times, several committee members have publically stated that they support the amended bill. Additionally, Governor Gavin Newsom said he supports the changes made to the bill and will sign the bill into law if it reaches his desk.
While the Assembly listened to angry parents argue for fewer restrictions to vaccination laws. Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell spoke out to support the proposed law. Many celebrities have been reluctant to comment on their position on the bill. Others, like Jessica Biel, have denounced the bill and urged lawmakers to vote against SB276.
On Twitter, Kristen Bell wrote three tweets supporting the bill. She told her 2.57 million followers that SB276 would ensure communities in California are safe from a vaccine-preventable disease. Additionally, Bell stated that passage of the bill would enable children, infants, and the immunocompromised will remain safe in public school.
While Kristen Bell’s statement was more formal, Dax Shepard’s tweets took aim at parents that refuse to vaccinate their children. Shepard wrote, “I would have a hard time keeping my opinion to myself if someone was telling me their 8-month-old did not need a car seat. The same hard time I’m having currently with anti-vaxxers.”
He went on to call out anti-vaxxers for allowing their ignorance to affect their children. He wrote, “I’ll tell you why, because their ignorance is affecting an innocent child. This is a clear and obvious distinction.”
When a Twitter user replied to Dax that she thought he and his wife were anti-vaxxers, Dax responded by saying, “God no. We’ve been the most vocal pro-vaccination couple in the biz.
Then Kristen Bell chimed in by affirming their choice to vaccinate their children. Bell wrote, “Absolutely not! We vaccinated and we’re proud to. Gotta protect the herd immunity.”
Being an open pro-vaccine celebrity is certainly not the trend in Hollywood. For years, celebrities like Robert DeNiro, Jenny McCarthy, Alicia Silverstone, Kristin Cavallari, Jim Carey, Lisa Bonet, Mayim Bialik, Kat Von D, Bill Maher, and Toni Braxton have advocated against mandatory vaccinations.
For Bell and Shepard to announce their pro-vaccine stance, they prove they are willing to support scientific data rather than bend to Hollywood’s trendy belief that vaccines cause autism. Despite over 100 studies proving vaccines do not cause autism, many celebrities continue to promote the debunked belief to their fans.
Shepard addressed the debunked myth about vaccination and autism in a tweet on June 19, In the tweet, Shepard wrote, “You should not be allowed to use Twitter (technology brought to you by science). Epidemiological studies have proven 100% there is no link between autism and vaccinations. But there’s a huge link between the people with measles right now and no vaccinations.”
Shepard’s statements about the measles are on par with the data that the Centers for Disease Control have released on the measles cases reported in 2019. According to the CDC, there have been 1077 reported cases of the measles and the majority of the infections occurred in unvaccinated people.
For many, Shepard and Bell’s support of vaccinations is a breath of fresh air. Misinformation related to vaccines has spread widely due to celebrities like Jenny McCarthy and Robert DeNiro. Both have used their platforms to write book or fund documentaries that spread incorrect information about vaccines.
With California likely to pass SB276, many celebrities will have to buckle down and get their children vaccinated. Shepard and Bell are already ahead of the curve because their children are all up to date.
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*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.
She co-hosts the YouTube show, “The Smoking Nun,” with Kyle Curtis on The Non-Sequitur Channel. The show airs weekly and tackles pseudoscience, current events, and crime stories.
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