The Measles Vaccine – Information You Should Know
The following letter was written by a board certified pediatrician, a family doctor who hasn’t prostituted himself to the pharmaceutical companies.
Measles Matters: News You Can Use
As a board certified pediatrician, I took the same oath as all physicians, “to do no harm.”
The latest media presentation of the measles outbreak at Disneyland as a result of unvaccinated children is very upsetting to me. We are being fed information that is essentially inaccurate by media journalists – none of whom have medical degrees – which may actually be promoting medical harm to our children.
The latest reports blaming a failure of the measles vaccine on the unvaccinated population are not accurate, and in some reports, not true at all. In fact, over the past 30 years, there have been similar numbers of measles cases reported in various areas of the United States. Studies published in leading medical journals, such as the New England Journal of Medicine, American Journal of Epidemiology, American Journal of Public Health and others around the world have confirmed small numbers, 75-140 cases of measles annually. So why then is the latest statistic of over 90 cases of measles spread over 14 states, representing tens of millions of people being billed as an epidemic?
The media would have us believe that this is a result of the fringe population of anti-vaxers who refuse to have their children vaccinated according the guidelines of the current vaccine schedule. Medical reporting has brought to light the glaring ineffectiveness of the measles vaccines in fulfilling their widely claimed promise of preventing outbreaks in highly vaccine compliant populations.
In fact, measles outbreaks have occurred in populations that have been vaccinated on the average of 77%- 99%, not the so-called anti-vaxers.
Last year 1 in every 500,000 Americans came down with the measles. Nearly all recovered in a few days without serious consequences. At the same time 1 in 68 American children were diagnosed with autism or for every case of measles there were 7000 cases of autism. I ask myself which is the real epidemic here?
Frank Bruni in an editorial in the New York Times on February 1, 2015 states that this measles outbreak is a result of “wealthy, educated people who deliberately didn’t vaccinate their children.” He refers to measles as “the scourge once essentially eliminated in this country is back” when, in fact, it never left! He refers to all links between autism and MMR vaccines as having been discredited yet he obviously has not read all the studies from the U.S. and around the world proving his information false. As a recent example, I would ask him to justify the 340% increase in autism in African-American boys in Chicago – a report that was supposedly squelched by the CDC . While he reports that the incidence of measles has increased over the past 10 years, no patients have died.
Scare tactics were used to terrorize those who attended this year’s SuperBowl in Phoenix because of one woman who sat in a clinic without being properly isolated or that every one of the thousands of people passing through Penn Station are at risk because of one man who rode an Amtrak train. It appears that the saturation of the media amplifies the hypotheses to a point that seems misleadingly worthy of consideration. In other words, if enough people say things enough times there must be some truth to it. Does that justify USA Today publishing an article claiming that non-vaccinated parents should be jailed or sued or have their children removed from the home if they chose not to vaccinate their children against the measles? Does that justify the immediate vaccination of every child and adult in this country regardless of their immune status or overall medical health? Will the local pharmacies be hooking pedestrians into their stores for MMR vaccines as they have b een doing for the less than effective flu vaccines?
As I write this piece, the director of the CDC states that the overall vaccination rate in this country is 92% !! Yet he is very concerned of a large outbreak because of the trend in not vaccinating certain children. Does this make sense?
I wish these journalists, vaccinologists and infectious disease specialists spent a week in my office. I wish they would actually listen to the testimonials given to me by parents of autistic children who were obviously affected by these vaccines adversely. I wish they would tell parents that the risk of dying from the measles in the United States is around zero. I wish they would admit that they are being told by pharmaceutical companies not to report certain statistics or to cover up factual scientific information. I wish they could be free to report honestly about vaccines rather than being dependent upon drug advertising and internet information.
This is an emotional debate for sure. If we discount emotion and fear, we would realize that a child may have a greater chance of getting struck by lightning, accidental drowning or possibly from adverse side effects of the MMR vaccination itself than from acquiring live measles infection. I wish that my pediatric colleagues would offer parents factual pros and cons of vaccines in general so that a parent can make an informed decision and then give consent to vaccinate rather than being told that if their child isn’t vaccinated they will be thrown out of school and they are guilty of child abuse!
I am not advocating that vaccines be discontinued. I am advocating that doctors and patients become aware of the ingredients of these vaccines, what they can potentially do to affect an adverse outcome in an immunologically compromised child. Adverse reactions to MMR and other vaccines have been reported in numerous clinical trials and studies. I am advocating that medical practitioners and researchers, not journalists, address the real medical epidemics of autism, asthma, GI disease and autoimmune diseases facing our society and people around the world. Stop hyping the safety of MMR vaccines which may actually be more dangerous than live measles and may be ineffective in preventing the illness which they are so anxious to report as a dangerous epidemic itself.
Let’s stop believing that the mainstream media is telling us the truth when all they are doing is shutting down any intelligent and open discussion about vaccine safety and how to improve it.
Dr. Michael Elice, M.D.