Is there a vaccine for idiocy?

28 August 2014 - 14:14 By Shanthini Naidoo

Justin Timberlake brought sexy back, but that's nothing on the Hollywood stars who may have brought measles back.

It is a sign that the world has gone mad when people start taking medical advice from actors.

Celebs are great at being fashionable, trying maple-syrup-and-cayenne diets, having blood facials and the self-flagellation they call "exercise routines". Some are great philanthropists and most are beautiful. But many celebrity ideals, much like Kim Kardashian's humungous behind, are not for everyone.

The anti-vaxx campaign is one of these. Anti-vaxxers like Jenny McCarthy, Bill Maher, Alicia Silverstone and Charlie Sheen publicly shun vaccinations for their children, citing "possible" links to autism, leukaemia and/or mercury poisoning, from vague or offbeat sources they are exposed to in their world of far too much free time and money.

Despite warnings from medical experts to the contrary, and the small fact that several contagious diseases have been eliminated worldwide, parents have been listening to them.

The anti-vaxxers are now being blamed for bringing eradicated diseases back into prevalence. Australia reported a measles outbreak in July after it had been declared measles-free in March. There are similar outbreaks in the US.

A recent report said that in the last year, eight newborn babies were brought into a Texas hospital with internal bleeding. On the brain.

It seems parents are skipping the routine vitamin K injections administered to children shortly after birth, because of the "trauma" associated with the jab. Thanks for that, anti-vaxxers.

Vitamin K, a clotting agent, prevents spontaneous bleeding that newborns may be prone to. Spot the circle?

It seems the BS spewed by gossip mags and glossies is the new medical journal. And these celebrities are writing parenting books.

Silverstone, the actress best known for the '90s hit movie Clueless, which may be telling, wrote a book called The Kind Mama. In it, she advocates co-sleeping, a vegan diet, natural birth - and says she is anti-vaccination, based on anecdotal evidence, personal experience and gut instinct ...

Imagine where we would be if Hollywood starlets of yesteryear went: "Polio? Whateveerrrr. There is mercury in that vaccine."

Actors are good at pretending to be other people. They are not scientists, doctors or nurses, even if they played one in a sitcom that time.

So why are adults, responsible for their children's health, paying attention to any more than their hairstyles and beauty routines?

The world has gone mad, surely. Maybe there is a vaccination for it ... send it to Hollywood first.