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Texas Rep. Sarah Davis Fights The Anti-Vaccine Movement


Science tells us vaccines are one of the greatest inventions of the last 150 years. They've all but eradicated deadly diseases like smallpox, polio, and measles from most of the world.

Vaccines are a treatment designed to arm a person against those viruses and other diseases by providing immunity. They work by exposing you to a weakened version of a pathogen, like a flu virus. Your body's immune system then learns the pathogen's characteristics and develops the necessary antibodies to resist the pathogen if later exposed to it.

The development of vaccines was a major breakthrough that allowed humanity and civilization to flourish.

Scientific evidence for the effectiveness of large scale vaccination campaigns is well established.

Some opponents to vaccination argue that the reduction of infectious disease is due to improved sanitation, hygiene and refrigeration – or that these diseases were already in decline before the introduction of vaccines. However the scientific data does not support these claims.

But now these lifesaving treatments have become politically controversial. It's possible that a when an entire generation grew up without witnessing firsthand the horrors of deadly contagious disease on children and mass outbreaks they never understood the miracle of vaccination.

Regardless the number of parents who are refusing to vaccinate their children is growing in Texas. As is the political power of the anti-vaccination force.

But one Texas lawmaker has decided to author bills that would challenge the anti-science agenda.

Republican Rep. Sarah Davis has authored bills in the current legislature that support vaccinations and she has drawn the ire of those who oppose mandatory vaccination laws for public health.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi