April 25, 2014 12:13 pm

‘Clueless’ actress Alicia Silverstone joins anti-vaxxer movement

TORONTO – Just as Jenny McCarthy jumped off the anti-vaccination train, another blonde actress jumped on: in her new parenting book, Clueless star Alicia Silverstone urges parents not to vaccinate their kids.

The actress, author and mom to two-year-old son Bear Blu says the shots are basically “aluminum and formaldehyde.” Her son relies on a healthy vegan diet and hasn’t had a “drop of medicine,” she said.

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READ MORE: 6 vaccination myths debunked

“While there has not been a conclusive study of the negative side effects of such a rigorous one-size-fits-all, shoot-‘em-up schedule, there is increasing anecdotal evidence from doctors who have gotten distressed phone calls from parents claiming their child was ‘never the same’ after receiving a vaccine,” Silverstone writes in her warning to parents.

“And I personally have friends whose babies were drastically affected this way.”

That’s only part of her parenting salvo in her new book The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnant, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning.

On another contentious note, among many, Silverstone tells parents that their kids are “much more content” with defecating in the grass as they’re playing instead of having to “sleep and eat accompanied by their own pee and poo.” She said that diaper-buying parents are propping up corporations and pseudoscience.

READ MORE: How should health officials reverse an anti-vaxxer movement?

Last week, Jenny McCarthy, the celebrity mom who has been outspoken about linking vaccines to autism, ate her words.

In an op-ed published in the Chicago Sun Times, McCarthy said that she’s “pro-vaccine.” It’s just that she was misbranded and misunderstood, she suggests.

“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,” McCarthy said.

Her 11-year-old son, Evan, was diagnosed with autism in 2005. After that, McCarthy publicly said that vaccinations may have triggered his disorder.

READ MORE: Anti-vaccination movement means preventable diseases making a comeback

McCarthy and Silverstone are fanning the flames in a timely debate. Measles outbreaks have been reported across Canada and into the United States. So have cases of mumps and whooping cough.

McCarthy says “blatantly inaccurate blog posts about my position have been accepted as truth by the public.”

In a previous interview with Global News about how to reverse an anti-vaxxer movement, Dr. Ran Goldman said that the Internet is key.

He’s cognizant of where the health care system may have gone wrong in reaching out to parents.

“The anti-vaccination movement is using very proficiently the online platform. They’re able to spread stories that are usually very rare or very powerful and not always based on any scientific evidence,” Goldman said.

He’s had his hands full at the B.C. Children’s Hospital. The province has been rocked by outbreaks of measles — more than 300 cases in the Fraser Valley alone – cases he calls “very troubling.”

That’s why he spearheaded the website medschoolforparents.com, a free resource for parents in Canada and worldwide. It’s not just about vaccinations either.

“Jenny McCarthy reaches 250,000 people on one YouTube video. Physicians can use the same medium to get to the same parents and explain the scientific evidence behind immunization. We didn’t play catch up on time,” he said.

The recent upswing in these completely preventable diseases is attributable to pockets of families who, for whatever reason, choose not to vaccinate, one doctor says.

READ MORE: What caused a whooping cough epidemic? Scientists blame parents

“When people say some of this might be related to low vaccine rates among people, that’s a huge understatement,” Dr. Gerald Evans, a Queen’s University medicine professor and director of infection control at Kingston General Hospital, told Global News.

“It’s all because of vaccination rates falling. It’s 100 per cent blamed on the fact that people aren’t getting vaccinated,” Evans said.

carmen.chai@globalnews.ca

 

© Shaw Media, 2014

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