One of the most outspoken moms on the vaccines debate is celebrity, and The View co-host, Jenny McCarthy. Yet it seems McCarthy wants to set the record straight, claiming she's actually "pro-vaccine," in a Chicago Sun Times op-ed piece.
“I believe in the importance of a vaccine program and I believe parents have the right to choose one poke per visit. I’ve never told anyone to not vaccinate,” wrote McCarthy, who claims her stance was twisted and misinterpreted in the media.
According to an article in Global News, McCarthy's son, Evan, now 11, was diagnosed with autism in 2005. At the time she publicly blamed vaccines for causing his disorder—allegations that were later refuted. Yet many still believed the hype. And in the age of social media, someone like McCarthy has a far greater reach than the average physician.
So, why are some preventable diseases making a comeback in developed countries?
“[The cause of outbreaks are] all because of vaccination rates falling. It’s 100 per cent blamed on the fact that people aren’t getting vaccinated,” said Dr. Gerald Evans, a Queen’s University medicine professor and director of infection control at Kingston General Hospital.
Now, in light of the measles outbreak—particularly in western Canada, as well as that of mumps and whooping cough in the U.S.—McCarthy wants to distance herself from the issue. Critics, however, suspect her response is too little, too late.