Anti-vaxx groups grow amid pandemic and vaccine rollout
As coronavirus vaccines start rolling out across the U.S., there are concerns about resistance in so-called "anti-vax hotspots." In the state of Texas, more and more parents have been exempting their children from regular vaccinations over the last decade.
In this fourth and final installment of his series on coronavirus in Texas, CGTN reports from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
The headquarters of Texans for Vaccine Choice is a short drive from several hospitals that are now giving out the first doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine.
Executive Director Jackie Schlegel says it’s not an anti-vaccination group, but instead promotes people’s right to decide for themselves.
But, she also repeatedly refused to answer my questions about whether she, personally, gets vaccinations.
"All medical decisions require informed consent and are best left to the individual with their chosen medical provider," she says.
Her group is part of a small but growing movement in Texas - a study found that an increasing number of parents exempted their children from vaccinations in the state’s schools between 2012 and 2018.
In the coming months, Texas will be rolling out a massive immunization program with newly-approved coronavirus vaccines.
In Dallas, there’s a buzz of excitement about long-awaited vaccines, but also a sense that things won’t get back to normal for a while.
In the short-term, new vaccines could lead to complacency, people deciding they don’t need to wear a mask anymore.
In the long-term, rising skepticism about vaccines could hold back the state’s push to eradicate COVID-19 for good.