Deja Vu: Spinning Measles

by Barbara Loe Fisher

Last week, CDC officials began spinning the significance of 64 cases of measles reported during the past four months in contrast to the 37 to 508 cases of measles reported annually between 1996 and 2006 in the U.S.. One-quarter (14) of the 64 children and adults who got measles in the past four months were hospitalized but there were no deaths.

A CDC press release and Fact Sheet revealed that nearly half of the 64 measles cases occurred in those too young to be vaccinated or whose vaccination status was not known. Only one fifth (14) of the cases were American children whose parents claimed a religious or personal belief exemption. This fact didn't stop CDC officials from trying to blame the measles "outbreaks" on the exemption-takers by stating "These cases and outbreaks resulted primarily from failure to vaccinate, many because of religious or personal belief exemption."

In addition, the CDC made the following undocumented statement: "Before the measles vaccination program, about 3- 4 million persons in the U.S. were infected each year, of whom 400 to 500 died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and another 1,000 developed chronic disability from measles encephalitis." A quick look at the MMWR historical tables shows that the highest number of measles cases reported since 1945 in the U.S. was 763,094 cases reported in 1958.

What is the real story behind the hyping of 64 cases of measles and attempting to demonize parents who have taken religious or personal belief exemptions to vaccination? Are government health officials trying to deflect attention from the reality that even with a 95-100 percent measles vaccine uptake for children entering kindergarten in two- thirds of the states and a 92 to 95 percent vaccine uptake in all but four states, two doses of measles vaccine does not prevent measles from circulating in the population? Are they softening up the public for a future announcement insisting that a third dose of MMR vaccine must be mandated to "eradicate" measles?

After the first measles vaccine was licensed in 1963 and began to be used on a mass basis in the U.S., health officials estimated the herd immunity threshold was as low as 55 percent vaccine coverage in a population receiving one dose of measles vaccine. (free registration to Medscape required, or click here to view the Abstract in Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 25(12):1093- 1101, December 2006) When that belief failed to "eradicate"measles, in 1971 the herd immunity estimate was raised to more than 90 percent coverage and the 1977 Childhood Immunization Initiative was launched with an aggressive enforcement of mandatory vaccination laws. However, by 1989 it was obvious that even with a 95 percent plus vaccination rate for children entering kindergarten in most states, measles was still circulating with about 55,000 cases reported between 1989 and 1991.

Without conducting a thorough investigation to find out why there were measles increases between 1989 and 1991 in a highly vaccinated population or why the measles being seen was unusually virulent, CDC officials announced that all children must get a second dose of measles vaccine. But measles infections persisted and, in 1995, the National Vaccine Information Center reported on informed consent violations and child deaths in a large worldwide high titer measles vaccine experiment in which a very potent experimental measles vaccine was given to children under six months old to try to over- ride maternal antibodies. By 1998, eight distinct genetic groups of wild type measles were identified worldwide in vaccinated and unvaccinated populations.

By 2006, vaccine developers had raised the estimated herd immunity coverage rate for measles eradication to between 93 to 95 percent but obviously even that extremely high coverage rate in most states is not enough to do the job. So what comes next? Will the CDC call for the National Guard to go door-to-door armed with syringes containing measles vaccine to make sure there is not one unvaccinated person in the country?

Measles vaccine, which is part of the combination live virus MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine can cause brain inflammation and permanent brain damage. There have been nearly 45,000 reports of health problems associated with MMR vaccination made to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) . However, there is gross underreporting to VAERS and it is estimated that, for example, fewer than 4 percent of all cases of thrombocytopenia (potentially fatal blood disorder) following MMR vaccination are ever reported to VAERS.

In 1997, Andrew Wakefield, M.D. and his colleagues published findings indicating that the MMR vaccine may contribute to the development of inflammatory bowel disease and autism in a subset of children, a scientific debate that continues today.

Parents contact the National Vaccine Information Center every week to file MMR vaccine reaction reports in the NVIC Vaccine Reaction Registry and describe how their children are suffering high fevers, seizures, brain inflammation and regression into autism after MMR vaccination. To view some of these reaction reports, go to the International Memorial for Vaccine Victims .

The CDC's one-size-fits-all, no-exceptions MMR vaccine policies allow almost no contraindications to MMR vaccine use. According to the CDC, a child can be sick at the time of vaccination or recovering from an illness; have a fever; be taking antibiotics; have a history of allergies; or have experienced a seizure or regression after a previous MMR shot and still be eligible for more MMR vaccine.

With oppressive "no missed opportunities" vaccination policies in place, it is no wonder more parents are filing religious and personal belief exemptions to vaccination. Some have no other choice, especially if their children have experienced previous serious health problems following vaccination and they cannot find a doctor to write a medical exemption. Others want to choose less toxic alternatives to vaccination to maintain health and wellness.

Non-medical vaccine exemptions for religious and personal beliefs are all that stand between the people and tyranny when doctors inside and outside of government take an extreme, utilitarian approach to infectious disease control and write off vaccine casualties as acceptable losses. Today, 1 in every 6 highly vaccinated American child is learning disabled, 1 in 9 is asthmatic and 1 in 100 to 150 develops autism while measles and other childhood diseases persist no matter how many doses are given or how high the vaccine coverage rate.

It is time for parents and legislators to take a hard look at whether trying to eradicate many diseases with forced use of multiple vaccines is a fundamentally flawed policy that has failed to achieve better individual or public health. It is time for vaccines, which are pharmaceutical products made and sold by corporations for profit, to be subject to the law of supply and demand rather than be financially subsidized and forced by government on the people.

No forced vaccination. Not in America.

Green Our Vaccines Rally
Wednesday June 4, 2008

9:00 a.m. - 12:30 a.m.
Washington, D.C.



I don't get the big deal it is measles, it is not the plague. A few days in bed and you are over it, sure it is not pleasant but there have been too many studies showing vaccine dangers, and there have been studies showing why having the measles is actually good for the immune system. I think those studies are too often ignored even by non vaxers.

The CDC and the pharmaceutical companies that profit from vaccines have gone way over board. I tried to get the local media to do a think on vaccines and I was treated like I wear a tin foil hat.

Just the other day, I posted a bulletin on myspace about a mother who had to correct the media, they had the nerve to assume her child was not vaccinated just because he contracted measles.

I could go on and on about how far they go to try and push the vaccines are good and always protect garbage.

Corin said...

Hi Barbara,
I just wanted to stop by quickly and thank you so much for all of your effort and work you put into the vaccine "issue".

I absolutley love your blog and really appreciate all the sound information and thoughtful commentary you supply the public with. You're doing a huge service to our society.


*PS* I found you through Hannah at Wahine Toa.