Dr. Bob Sears says skipping vaccines is not good for public health

The Pediatric Insider

© 2014 Roy Benaroch, MD

This weekend, The Los Angeles Times reported on California pediatrician Dr. Bob Sears’ role as a favorite among vaccine-fearing parents. What he tells them is absolute nonsense that he has freely admitted he made up in a Reddit interview. Now he’s let a little more honesty shine through. He told the reporter:

“I do think the disease danger is low enough where I think you can safely raise an unvaccinated child in today’s society,” he said. “It may not be good for the public health. But … for your individual child, I think it is a safe enough choice.”

I had wondered: is it possible that a board-certified pediatrician, one from a family of influential and well-known children’s health experts including Dr. William “Attachment Parenting” Sears and Dr. Jim “The Doctors” Sears, could really believe the idiocy in his own book? Now we know. Dr. Bob Sears says screw public health, screw everyone else’s children, screw your neighbors and their families. It’s fine if you skip your child’s vaccines, because for your child the risk isn’t great. That may not be good for the public, Bob says, for all of those other idiots out there—we know if people start skipping vaccines the disease will surge back. But for your snowflake, well, it’s OK. You can even picture him winking when he says it.

This is just despicable. Mendacious, vile… I’m running out of adjectives, here. Dr. Bob thinks his own special pals, his patients, the suckers who buy his books, they don’t need their vaccines—they can just hide in the herd, as long as the rest of us get our kids vaccinated. His white, affluent, Orange County kids can’t be bothered with needles. Sure, it’s no good for public health, but public health isn’t something his parents need to think about.

Dr. Bob freely regurgitates long-disproved anti-vaccine canards throughout his laughably mis-named The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child. The book has sold well. He’s telling people exactly what they think they want to hear, blaming all sorts of ills on vaccines, fueling fear and anxiety and a mistrust of every legitimate health authority on the planet. They’re all wrong, he says, the CDC and the IOM and every county health officer and every single country’s health ministries and all of the pediatricians, family medicine docs, infectious disease specialists, and everyone else who’s invested their careers in protecting the public health. We don’t need no stinkin’ evidence.

He’s making oodles of money off of your fear, while freely admitting that what he’s doing is no good for the public health. Don’t forget: the public is you, your children, your family. We’re all in this together, sharing our planet and sharing these infections. You can help keep your children and communities safe by making sure your kids are vaccinated. Or you can join the “me first, screw you” brigade led by Dr. Bob.

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8 Comments on “Dr. Bob Sears says skipping vaccines is not good for public health”

  1. jack Says:

    That’s just so appalling. I don’t know what else to say, I think you used up all the words I would use.


  2. Genny Says:

    I appreciate your articles and generally believe that you have a solid and balanced view on many of the topics that you write about. Unfortunately you discredit yourself with ugly name calling and mudslinging. Very disappointed to see that you can’t express your views in a more civil manner.


  3. Chris Hickie Says:

    Bob Sears does not deserve a license to practice medicine. His standard of care is a direct threat to the health of his pediatric patients and the public in general–Chris Hickie, MD, PhD


  4. Genny, the arsehat deserves all the name calling and mudslinging every person in the world could do.

    He is profiting off the suffering of others, he should be in jail.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. stargrl8 Says:

    The disturbing thing about Dr. Bob is that the hipsters have been joining the throng of his followers. When my first son was born, it was just the non-mainstream “hippy moms” that revered his holy name. Not vaccinating is truly a selfish choice, which he reveals in his comment; unfortunately, good luck convincing anyone who is a loyal follower of his :-/ To the non-vaxers: you’re welcome. I vaccinate my kids; you reap the benefits. At least, until your numbers grow great enough that these diseases return.


  6. Alexis Says:

    If I was just a tiny bit more courageous I would write a post called, “Dr. Sears Oh How I Hate You”. Although maybe that’s the royal “you” as there is a whole tribe if Dr. Sears and I frankly can’t keep them straight.

    There is a great well-researched article on the anti-vax movement in LA, interestingly enough, in the Hollywood Reporter: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/los-angeles-vaccination-rates/

    It includes this great quote, “‘Wait a minute, your children are actually benefiting from the barrier I’m putting in place for them, and now you’re questioning my soundness of mind for doing that?’ ”


  7. Brenda Says:

    As an Orthopedic surgeon, I learned a whole bunch of procedures to treat joint contractures and muscle imbalances from polio. Thankfully, I have never had to use them, but if these ill-informed people persist in their anti-vaccination campaigns, I fear I might. Not to mention post-polio syndrome….
    It boggles my mind to think that people would run the risk of letting their children contract such a disease.


  8. Kristen Stuppy Says:

    I can think of more adjectives. Greedy. Appalling. Slimy. Dangerous. Many more I can’t say because I try to keep my language clean.


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