Conspiracy Theories

Wealthy Hollywood parents are skipping vaccinations and now their kids have whooping cough

According to an investigation by The Hollywood Reporter, wealthy and educated parents are forgoing vaccinations for their kids in some of the most elite and affluent areas of Los Angeles, California – all this while a potentially dangerous outbreak of whooping cough spreads through the L.A. area like “wildfire.”

According to an investigation by The Hollywood Reporter, wealthy and educated parents are forgoing vaccinations for their kids in some of the most elite and affluent areas of Los Angeles, California – all this while a potentially dangerous outbreak of whooping cough spreads through the L.A. area like “wildfire.”

In a stunning comparison, the vaccination rates in areas such as Malibu, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills are apparently on par with South Sudan.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Across California, thousands of children and babies are coughing so violently that their bodies convulse, uncontrollably wheezing and fighting to breathe for weeks. Nearly 8,000 pertussis cases have been reported in 2014 to the state’s Department of Public Health as of Sept. 2, and 267 of those patients have been hospitalized, including 58 requiring intensive care.

Adults can contract the disease, but 94 percent of all cases reported statewide involve children — and the youngest suffer the most. So far this year, three infants under 2 months of age have died statewide from pertussis, a disease commonly known as whooping cough (named for the high-pitched sound that kids make when they inhale after coughing).

L.A.’s Children’s Hospital has seen 72 pertussis patients so far this year. Many of these children suffer broken ribs because the coughing is so violent.

“A number of them have been in the ICU and very, very sick,” says infectious disease specialist Dr. Jeffrey Bender. “They cough so hard, it turns into vomiting and broken ribs; they end up intubated, to ventilate their lungs.”

The map below shows schools in the L.A. area with abnormally low vaccination rates. As the Atlantic points out, the red dots (high risk) congregate in the more affluent cities.

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 5.31.49 PM

Whether it’s measles or pertussis, the local children statistically at the greatest risk for infection aren’t, as one might imagine, the least privileged — far from it. An examination by The Hollywood Reporter of immunization records submitted to the state by educational facilities suggests that wealthy Westside kids — particularly those attending exclusive, entertainment-industry-favored child care centers, preschools and kindergartens — are far more likely to get sick (and potentially infect their siblings and playmates) than other kids in L.A. The reason is at once painfully simple and utterly complex: More parents in this demographic are choosing not to vaccinate their children as medical experts advise. They express their noncompliance by submitting a form known as a personal belief exemption (PBE) instead of paperwork documenting a completed shot schedule.

Close to 60-70 percent of parents have filed these PBEs. That points to a vaccination rate as low as that of Chad or South Sudan. As a result, these neighborhoods are seeing a resurgence of whooping cough that’s unprecedented. Measles cases are also at highs not seen in decades.

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 5.25.22 PM

But it’s not just the Westside of L.A. that coddles the anti-vaccine belief system:

They’ve arisen in working-class religious and ethnic communities — Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn, the Amish in Ohio, a Somali enclave in Minnesota — that in turn have been trailed by measles outbreaks. It also isn’t the only wealthy region of a liberal, cosmopolitan sensibility to harbor vaccine skepticism. These beliefs have impacted Manhattan prep schools and classrooms in Marin County in the Bay Area.

Parents trusting their ignorant gut and being suspicious of science were not always a phenomenon of affluent communities.

“A century ago, much of the resistance was coming from the working class, who were most targeted for compulsory vaccination: in steerage compartments on steamships rather than first class, in public schools rather than private schools, in factories rather than offices,” says Brandeis professor Michael Willrich, Ph.D. “But the contours here are anything but. It’s the story of the well-educated, upper-middle class or upper class.”

“It’s a sense of entitlement and it comes out of a customer mentality since they are often choosing their doctor and paying cash,” says UCLA’s Dr. Nina Shapiro, who is a vocal critic of the anti-vaccine movement.

Watch a report from The Hollywood Reporter in the link below:



  1. Avatar

    Larry Brautigam

    September 17, 2014 at 1:23 am

    They have been through school, but ‘educated’? NOT.

  2. Avatar

    Mike Avina

    September 17, 2014 at 4:17 am

    Natural selection always finds a way. Too bad they can transmit it to other kids.

  3. Avatar

    Doc Rock

    November 17, 2014 at 6:33 am

    Too bad they can transmit it to other kids.
    Not the vaccinated ones, they cant.

    Sometimes, natural selection seems to be voluntary.

  4. Avatar


    November 17, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    I really didn’t know you had to get boosters as an Adult and got whooping cough last year at 47 from unvaccinated student at myschool

  5. Pingback: Thanks to Anti-Vaxxer L.A. Hipster Parents, Vaccination Rates Plummeting Whooping Cough Cases Skyrocketing | Americans Against the Tea Party

  6. Avatar

    Marlene Duke

    November 18, 2014 at 1:06 am

    “Vaccinated adolescents and adults may serve as reservoirs for silent infection and become potential transmitters to unprotected infants. The whole-cell vaccine for pertussis is protective only against clinical disease, not against infection. Therefore, even young, recently vaccinated children may serve as reservoirs and potential transmitters of infection.”

    I have an 18 page document showing different outbreaks and the numbers of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated. Statistically the majority of cases across the board are in vaccinated persons. You can find much of these statistics from the CDC.

    Reemergence of Pertussis in the Highly Vaccinated Population of the Netherlands: Observations on
    Surveillance Data
    “The increase in pertussis incidence was higher among vaccinated than among unvaccinated persons of all ages.”

    Acellular pertussis vaccination enhances B. parapertussis colonization (PennState study)

    Epidemics Regularly Occur in Highly Vaccinated Population

    FDA. “FDA workshop to review warnings, use instructions, and precautionary information (on vaccines).” (Rockland, Maryland: FDA, September 18, 1992, p 27.

  7. Avatar


    November 18, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    This is joke science promoted by the likes of Jennie McCarthy and Rob Schneider and their ilk. To disprove it, use your brains. Smallpox is gone, measles was virtually gone, polio is virtually gone, yet they will come back, along with whooping cough, because of fraudulent science and a populace that only thinks they are informed. I believe non-vaccination is very close to child abuse — and by that, I mean abuse of the child who is exposed to the diseased one who has not been vaccinated.

  8. Avatar


    March 3, 2015 at 3:41 am

    My two vaccinated kids and I are currently recovering from whooping cough. The vaccine isn’t 100%, and drops off in effectiveness starting at around three years, so get boosters early and often. My booster was not recent. In any case, even if the vaccine doesn’t 100% prevent infection and symptoms, the symptoms are much milder (so I’m told) than an unvaccinated person getting it. We, at least, didn’t break any ribs, puke, or require hospitalization. Despite that, I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy (ok, maybe ISIS; you can’t shoot straight when you’re almost unconscious from coughing your lungs out).

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