At the end of March 2010 the mainstream media loudly announces an outbreak of measles in BC. As of April 16 there have been 44 cases of measles reportedaround the Vancouver Lower Mainland, the BC Interior and Northern BC. No serious complications have been reported thus far though the media is using its usual scare tactics to urge the unvaccinated population to run out to get the MMR vaccine. Some schools are actually sending unvaccinated children home because they feel that measles is such a serious threat.
Poverty and Malnutrition are the Problem, Not the Measles
The press gives the impression that measles can only be kept under control by vaccination, but there is another side to the story. According to figures published in International Mortality Statistics, from 1915 to 1958 the measles death rate in the U.S. and U.K. declined by 98% (Miller). A chart illustrating the decline was published in a Public Health Report: “Mortality in the United States, 1900-1950.” The measles vaccine was introduced a few years after the decline, in 1963. The decline was not due to the vaccine, so most likely it was due to better sanitation, nutrition, and standards of living in the U.S. and U.K. Today, measles is a mild disease in first world countries but can be more severe in third world countries and in impoverished populations in the first world (Fisher). According to several studies, Vitamin A deficiency plays a big role in complication rates and chances of dying from measles (Sommer; Barclay; Keusch; Frieden). A simple solution to the measles problem is to improve hygiene and nutrition in impoverished populations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the rate of measles-induced encephalitis at 1 in every 1000 infected. Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, renowned pediatrician and vaccine researcher, questions the CDC’s numbers. He says those numbers may be accurate for people living in impoverished conditions, but for those with adequate nutrition and living conditions, the true incidence of measles-induced encephalitis is more like 1 in 10,000 or 1 in 100,000. In his bestselling book The Vaccine Guide, homeopathic pediatrician Dr. Neustaedter asserts that only 25 percent of measles induced encephalitis cases show evidence of brain damage.
Vaccine manufacturers would like you to believe that the MMR vaccine is 100% effective, but this is not always the case. In 1988, the CDC reports that in the U.S. a whopping 45% of those who contracted the measles were fully vaccinated. The next year, in 1989 in the U.S., the CDC reports that a surprising 40% of those who got the measles were fully vaccinated. In 1996 in the U.S., the CDC reports that only 64% of those who got the measles were unvaccinated and the rest were fully vaccinated. Studies done in Ethiopia and India reported varying vaccine efficacy rates of between 53%-100% (Talley; Puri). Dr. Neustaedter estimates that approximately 60% of all children infected with the measles will have been previously vaccinated. Measles outbreaks have been reported in schools where the entire school population was fully vaccinated (Gustafson; Poland; Edmonson). Edmonson concludes that as measles immunization rates rise to high levels in a population, measles becomes a disease of immunized persons.
Vaccination Shifts Infection Risk to More Vulnerable Populations
The measles vaccine alters distribution of the disease by shifting incidence rates from age-groups unlikely to experience problems (children aged 5-9) to age-groups most likely to suffer from severe complications (infants, teenagers, and adults). According to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, the risk of death from measles is higher for infants and adults than for children. Before the vaccine was introduced it was rare for an infant to contract measles, but by the 1990s more than 25% of all measles cases were occurring in babies under a year of age (Miller). This can be attributed to the growing number of mothers who were vaccinated in the 60s, 70s, and 80s (Haney). Before the vaccine, mothers were able to pass protective maternal antibodies to their babies, but now babies of vaccinated mothers are more vulnerable to measles (Papania). Before the introduction of the vaccine, measles was acquired in childhood before reaching adulthood. Now, since the introduction of the vaccine, measles incidence in the adult population in Canada and the U.S. is steadily increasing (Duclos).
Studies Suggest a Link Between MMR Vaccine and
Autism, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Ulcerative Colitis
There are studies that link the MMR vaccine with some serious health disorders. One study links MMR vaccination with irritable bowel syndrome (Thompson). Scientific papers have been published reporting a likely link between the MMR vaccine and autism (Taranger; Rutter). These studies done by Taranger and Rutter linked the onset of the studied children’s autism with immunization. A controversial scientific paper by Andrew Wakefield published in the Lancet also states that the parents of the autistic children linked the onset of symptoms with the administration of the MMR vaccine. Another study has been done that confirms Wakefield’s findings (O’Leary). In 2000, a study was done confirming the existence of the vaccine strain of the measles virus in the guts of patients with autism and ulcerative colitis (Kawashima). Two studies done by Singh et al. in 2002 and 2003 confirmed the presence of MMR antibodies in autistic children, again suggesting a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Singh concludes that the autistic children he studied had a hyper immune response to the vaccine strain of the measles in the MMR vaccine. In a paper published in 2004, measles virus was found in the spinal fluid of the autistic children studied and the authors conclude that it was very likely the vaccine strain of the virus (Bradstreet). Geier & Geier were able to measure a correlation between mercury doses from thimerosal- containing vaccines and the prevalence of autism in the 1980s and 90s. Although thimerosal has now been removed from the MMR vaccine in Canada, Geier & Geier were also able to find some correlation between measles-containing vaccines and the prevalence of autism in the 1980s.
MMR Vaccine Banned in Japan
The MMR vaccine was banned in Japan in 1993. Soon after introducing the vaccine, a record number of children developed non-viral meningitis and and other adverse reactions. An analysis of vaccinations over a three-month period showed one in every 900 children was experiencing problems. This was over 2,000 times higher than the expected rate of one child in every 100,000 to 200,000.
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By Sonya McLeod
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