My Facebook feed is filled with measles hysteria and hatred for those Jenny McCarthy-following “anti-vaxxers.” Interestingly, only four friends are responsible for most of these posts. None of those four friends has children, which reminds me of the adage, “The only perfect parent is the person who doesn’t have children.”
I’ve said it before, but in case you missed it, we don’t vaccinate our children. We don’t vaccinate ourselves, either. This blog post is a response to the hate- and fear-mongering going on in social media.
When was the last time you had your MMR booster?
No vaccine confers lifelong immunity. The CDC’s vaccine schedule for adults recommends one or two MMR boosters during the 19-59 year range. (Unless you were born before 1957. You lucky people probably got the measles and now have naturally acquired, lifelong immunity.)
Some of the more balanced news articles of late will explain that anyone who received only one dose of MMR are not terribly well “protected.” Anyone who received two doses of MMR… well, that’s a little trickier. Searching the CDC archives, it appears that two doses of the MMR were not officially recommended (or, as some people like to say, untruthfully, “required for school”) until 1998, though they started recommending (offering) two doses in 1989. The people who received those doses are still young – about 18 – 27. (Remember, the first MMR isn’t given until a child is 12-15 months old.) How long will two doses last? We don’t really know yet.
If you have a baby, and you’re afraid of the measles, as many as 80% of adults don’t get their boosters. Work on them before you attack me for keeping my kids healthy. Or, better yet, keep your baby out of crowds, make sure you and everyone around you washes hands, and keep random stuff out of the baby’s mouth. And, if you were lucky enough to have measles naturally, breastfeed. You can pass your naturally acquired anti-bodies through breast milk.
There have been 5 – FIVE – measles-related deaths in the US since 2000.
There was one death in 2000, one in 2001, two in 2003, and one in 2005. One of the 2003 deaths was in a 13-year old child who had chronic granulomatous disease (an immune system disorder), received a bone marrow transplant in October 2002, and died in January 2003. The other was a 75-year old man.
In the years before the vaccine was introduced (1963), there were about 450 measles-related deaths per year, for 500,000 reported cases of measles. However, the CDC actually estimates that there were more like 3-4 million cases of measles per year. (Measles was a part of life back then, and people didn’t always report it.) That’s 1 death for every 6,500 cases.
There have been 148 – ONE HUNDRED FORTY EIGHT – deaths reported to VAERS in association with the MMR vaccine since 2000.
VAERS is the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. It is estimated that only about 10% of reactions are ever reported to VAERS. Therefore, the number 148 could be much higher.
The measles vaccine may very well be deadlier than the measles.
Speaking of VAERS, if you run a query for adverse reactions to the MMR vaccine from 2000-2015, you get 47,580 cases. If you run a query for serious adverse reactions to the MMR vaccine from 2000-2015, you get 4,075.
Again, only about 10% of reactions are reported. Though, to be fair, because multiple vaccines are given at one time, we don’t really know if all of these reactions are to the MMR vaccine or to one of the other vaccines. (Don’t even get me started on how stupid it is to vaccinate for multiple diseases at one time.)
For every person who tells me about babies dying of measles, those babies are hypothetical. Real babies are dying and living with lifelong damage from the MMR vaccine, as well as from other vaccines.
Note: Japan banned the MMR in 1993 due to safety issues. They now have the MR, for measles and rubella.
The newly vaccinated carry the measles virus.
The MMR is a live virus vaccine. The vaccine sheds for up to 14 days after vaccination. Recently vaccinated people are not supposed to be around the immunocompromised. The one case of measles (thus far) in Baltimore is in a 1-year old child and has been confirmed to be a direct result of his vaccination.
Also, pregnancy should be avoided for three months after vaccination, according to the MMR package insert.
Yet, you tell me my totally healthy, unvaccinated kids are a threat?
Yes, vaccines do cause autism.
I just love it when people say “vaccines don’t cause autism” as though it’s a fact. It shows that they only read the headlines of any “news” article, and that they consider the CDC to be the only credible source of information about vaccines. (More on that in a minute.)
Vaccines can and do cause autism. To quote myself: The US “vaccine court” ruled that vaccines caused autism in a girl named Hannah Poling. An Italian court ruled that vaccines caused a young boy’s autism. … [T]he vaccine court awarded damages to two autistic children. These are just the children whose parents knew about the vaccine court and had the wherewithal to fight. How many children do these four represent?
But if you don’t feel that the court rulings bear any weight, what about a vaccine package insert? This is from Tripedia, a DTaP vaccine:
Adverse events reported during post-approval use of Tripedia vaccine include idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, SIDS, anaphylactic reaction, cellulitis, autism, convulsion/grand mal convulsion, encephalopathy, hypotonia, neuropathy, somnolence and apnea.
Many vaccines cause side effects – encephalitis and encephalopathty, for example, which are serious side effects seen after the MMR vaccine – that may then cause autism.
Sure, just because autism was reported doesn’t mean that the vaccine absolutely, positively caused it. But it can’t be ruled out. So, you cannot say that vaccines don’t cause autism. Until there’s a study that compares the vaccinated and unvaccinated, the jury, as they say, is still out.
Oh, and you’d rather have a kid with autism than a kid who died from measles? First, those aren’t your only two choices. Second, if that’s how you feel, then vaccinate your kid. I have no fear of measles. My child will live through it and get natural, lifelong immunity to boot. For the vast majority of people who contract measles, measles is here and gone in about two weeks. For the vast majority of people who develop autism, autism is with them their entire lives. Why don’t you ask some parents of vaccine-damaged children if they would rather their children have the theoretical disease or the actual vaccine damage?
Trusting the CDC’s information about vaccines is like trusting the tobacco industry’s information about cancer.
The tobacco industry knew, for decades, that cigarettes cause lung cancer. But they funded studies that “proved” otherwise and clung to the party line that cigarettes were safe. Some doctors even recommended cigarettes to relax. The CDC and the pharmaceutical companies have a vested interest in vaccines. They are not impartial, dispassionate sources of information. They do not corner the market on science. Independent vaccine studies are hard to come by, but, by and large, they show a much more concerning picture. Vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe.” A true study that compares the vaccinated and unvaccinated has never been done.
If you had the choice between saving your kid or saving my kid, you would pick your kid.
If we were at a lake, and your 3-year old child and my 3-year old child were both drowning, and you could only save one, you would save your kid. I know I would save mine. It’s how we’re wired. Parents do what they feel is best for their children. It is not my responsibility to save your kid; it’s yours. If you think vaccines will save them, vaccinate them. I think most vaccines pose more of a risk than the diseases they supposedly prevent. I will not harm my children to save yours (especially when you don’t even have a child).
Herd immunity, you say? That’s BS. We don’t have it now. We never will, not through vaccination. Children aren’t getting diseases in childhood, when they’re safer, so multiple boosters are required throughout the entirety of one’s life. And only 20-60% of adults get their boosters. (The real percentage depends on the vaccine.)
Read these, all the way through.
- An Angry Father’s Guide to the Measles Vaccine
- There Is No Anti-Vaccination Movement
- The Vaccine War
- For the Good of the Herd
Just stop. Your ignorant, hate-filled rants do nothing but prove that you truly know nothing about the issue at hand. This isn’t about measles, or autism, or shots. This is about choice. You think that measles is worse than a vaccine? Then get the vaccine. I have no problem with you and your children (whom many of you don’t even have) being vaccinated (even if you will shed). We think that the vaccine is worse than the measles. If the vaccine works, you have nothing to fear. If it doesn’t, you’re SOL anyway. Parents make choices for their children. We’ve made our choices. You make yours.
As Jackson would say, “Easy peasy lemon squeezy.”