Sunday, September 16, 2012

Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Death

Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Death

In 1998 The Lancet published a paper penned by Andrew Wakefield linking autism with the MMR(Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine.  Media coverage was wide spread including impassioned interviews of parents of autistic children who believed that they had caused their children's autism by inoculating them with the MMR vaccine.  This caused confidence in the vaccine to falter world-wide resulting in fewer children receiving the vaccination and greater instances of outbreaks of Measles, Mumps and Rubella.

This new religion of those who follow the anti-vaccine mantra will not be swayed.  Even after several papers have been published refuting the results of Wakefield's paper, vaccine administration rates have remained lower and incidence of measles have increased dramatically.  

We all care and worry about our kids.  We worry about the food they eat, the education they receive, and what may be in store for them in the future.  It is hard for us to be impartial and look at things based on data and science when our children's health is in the balance especially, when sensational claims by experts, friends, and media outlets seed doubt in our minds.  The reaction of most parents it to avoid any perceived risks for their children and this is natural, it is gut instinct, a feeling. But feelings and gut instincts are not truth. No matter how much we would like them to be they are not, and because of this we should educate ourselves and wrap ourselves in the warm blanket of reason and data.

Wakefield & Bad Science = Rise of the Virus

Measles Infection
I twas found in his paper, Wakefield was found to have had several undisclosed financial conflicts of interest with MMR studies.  He was given the opportunity to replicate his experiments or retract his paper and he declined to do either.  10 of his coauthors retracted the paper's interpretation in 2004 yet he remained steadfast in his support of his position.

The results are that we now face a world where uncommon diseases will be come common again. Mumps and Measles are on the rise.  In the England and Wales during the first 6 months of 2012 twice as many cases of measles have been reported as had been reported in the same time period for 2011.  These diseases have been taken for granted for decades because vaccines have protected us and our children.

Heard Immunity

Those who do not immunize their children are putting all of us at risk.  They can, not only contract and spread diseases causing billions in public funds but due to the larger un-vaccinated population, those who are unable to receive vaccination because of medical issues are no longer protected by heard immunity.  Heard immunity occurs where a large percentage of a population is vaccinated against a disease. Those who have not been administered vaccination are relatively safe because of the large number of vaccinated people that surround them.  This reduces the probability that they will encounter an infected person and, if infected the are much less likely to infect others.

Those who choose  not to inoculate their children are not only making the decision to leave their children unprotected from potentially deadly diseases like the measles, but they are also choosing to put children who are unable to be vaccinated at risk as well.

Please, read everything about the MMR Vaccine and understand the entire picture before making a decision, and I encourage you to get your children vaccinated!


Here are several links that discuss the flawed study as well as other general vaccination information:

MMR Vaccination Rates (Europe 2011)