Things took a turn for the surreal in the California Senate a couple of weeks back when an unhinged woman threw a cup of “red liquid” at lawmakers. Her disgusting form of protest was reportedly linked to the signing of new regulations to govern child vaccine exemptions, and a half dozen officials were hit with the substance, which has now been confirmed to be blood.
Immediately following the incident, the chamber was evacuated and the blood was cleaned up. The lawmakers who were doused with the blood — which was reportedly from a “feminine hygiene product” — were excused to clean themselves up as well.
The California Senate’s decision to create some additional oversight for vaccine exemptions is a wise one. The anti-vaxxer movement has been putting lives in serious jeopardy for some time now, with recent measles outbreaks across the United States linked to children whose parents refused to have them vaccinated.
Rebecca Dalelio, the woman who terrorized lawmakers with a cup of her own bodily fluid, faces assault charges for her actions. Dalelio was apparently upset about the recent state senate bills, but it’s worth noting that the local government didn’t ban all vaccine exemptions. Doctors can still approve a vaccine exemption in cases where there is a legitimate medical reason to do so.
Modern vaccinations are not only incredibly effective at preventing the spread of measles, mumps, and other illnesses, but they’re also remarkably safe. A very small percentage of children who receive the standard MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine experience any side effects, and even when they do pop up, they’re typically nothing more serious than a mild fever.
Based on the rate at which childhood measles cases result in death — roughly 2 out of 1,000, according to the CDC — and the 97 percent effective rate of the vaccines in preventing the illness, childhood vaccines have saved over 700,000 lives in the United States alone, and prevented over 300 million kids from falling ill.
Still, anti-vaxxers lean on debunked data and pseudoscience as scare tactics, insisting that vaccines cause conditions such as autism. The supposed autism link originated in a decades-old study that was not only flawed but has long since been fully retracted.
The fact is that vaccines are safe, and kids should get them. Medical professionals and scientists have said this time and time again, no amount of blood thrown at lawmakers will change that.