Parents who have decided not to immunize their children against preventable diseases are rolling the dice and gambling with their children’s lives.
Measles remains one of the leading causes of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine.
Facebook made a commitment to direct millions of its users to World Health Organization’s scientifically proven and unequivocally safe vaccine information across Instagram, and Facebook search, groups, pages and forums. Vaccine misinformation could reverse decades of progress made in tackling children’s preventable diseases and deaths.
The World Health Organization confirms that measles cases have tripled in the first seven months of 2019 compared with the same period in 2018. From January to August 2019, 170 countries reported 112,239 confirmed measles cases. In comparison, during April 2018, there were 28,124 measles cases from 163 countries.
Prior to the introduction of measles vaccine in 1963, major epidemics occurred every 2 to 3 years causing an estimated 2.6 million deaths every year – majority of them children under the age of five.
In 2017, over 100,000 children died of measles. In 2016, over 85,000 children died.
Have Measles Ever Been Linked to Autism?
No, absolutely not! Every reputable, medical organization and association has challenged anyone to provide evidence of a single link between vaccines and autism or any other neurological disorder. As of yet, not one single doctor or research medical scientist has come forward to provide the world and news media with their medical findings - because there are none. They can’t give us what they don’t have.
The controversy around a possible link between the MMR vaccine and autism came from a single, small study written by Andrew Wakefield in 1998. The study was not only fraudulent but ‘rife with faulty data’ and subsequently withdrawn by the Lancet Journal. Wakefield lost his medical license to practice medicine. And there’s the rub. Wakefield continues to spread fear and rumours on the internet.
Immunization rates for MMR, the annual flu shot and HPV vaccinations, which protect against cervical cancer – are all dangerously low.
Scientific studies and reviews continue to show that there is no link between vaccines and autism. Vaccine ingredients do not cause autism. Numerous scientists have studied MMR vaccine and thimerosal, and they have all reached the same conclusion:
there is no link between MMR vaccine or thimerosal and autism.
Think about it for a minute…
Why would every paediatrician, family physician and school around the globe immunize children with a vaccine that would hurt them?
Why are parents so willing to believe conspiracy theories they read on the net and deny the professional, medical advice from their own doctors? There is no reasoning or logic here – there is only the absolute absurdity of a pack mentality that is overly complacent, uneducated and misinformed.
The MMR shot is very safe and effective in preventing measles as well as mumps and rubella. Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects but most people who get the MMR shot do not have side effects. If a child gets side effects, they are commonly very mild and can include a fever, rash, soreness or swelling where the vaccine was administered. Serious side effects are extremely rare.
I spoke with a parent who was adamantly against all vaccinations, stating that she was very upset when her daughter received the HPV vaccination because she became very sick. A few days later, her daughter miraculously recovered. When I reopened the ‘vaccination conversation’ and asked her to provide me with the evidence she found that stated vaccinations cause autism and other neurological disorders, she agreed and said she would locate the documents and send them to me. That was two years ago. No matter how many times I requested the evidence that supports her belief about the dangers of vaccinations – nothing is revealed.
If you’re going to make a serious accusation, shouldn’t you at least provide supporting documentation to back it up?
Trump, the blow horn of all blow horns, has expressed scepticism over vaccinations. Then again, he doesn’t believe in global warming either. It astounds me to no end that the people with the biggest mouths with raucous and rapacious voices are baseless in moral values and faceless in credibility.
Ethan Lindenberger Makes an Important Decision
Ethan Lindenberger from Norwalk, Ohio, received vaccinations last February despite his parent’s objections stating, “I was doing it for my safety and the safety of others.”
Lindenberger researched the pros and cons of vaccinations and concluded that the ‘so called evidence’ that states vaccinations cause autism and brain damage are untrue.
Lindenberger testified in front of a Senate Committee about the preventable disease outbreaks and the misinformation that has led to hundreds of thousands of children’s deaths around the world. (see the video at the end of this article)
Other children are following Lindenberger and receiving vaccinations for childhood diseases.
In Quebec, children as young as fourteen-years-of-age can be vaccinated without their parent’s consent.
Measles in the US were declared eliminated in 2000, but from January to August 2019, there were 1,215 confirmed cases in 30 states and majority of these people were not vaccinated. More than 75% of the cases this year are linked to outbreaks in New York and New York City. 125 people were hospitalized and 65 reported having complications, including pneumonia and encephalitis.
From January to August 2019, 84 confirmed cases of measles have been reported in Quebec, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, Ontario, Alberta, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
The legislative committee in Fredericton, New Brunswick is studying proposed amendments to the ‘Education Act’ and the ‘Public Health Act’ wherein mandatory vaccinations for all school children including licensed early-learning and child care centres will take effect.
Bill 39 proposes that all existing and new students must provide medical proof they have received vaccinations for childhood diseases, such as measles, mumps, diphtheria and whooping cough, or provide a medical exemption form signed by a health-care professional. Students that aren't vaccinated will not be allowed into public school.
Some children cannot receive vaccinations because their health is compromised with a serious disease. These children are the most vulnerable and at the greatest risk.
Public Health Agency Canada stated that over 500 students have been suspended from Ottawa's two French-language school boards for not having up-to-date immunization records.
Mandatory Immunization Reporting Program in British Columbia
Starting in September 2019, unvaccinated students in British Columbia must stay home for 21 days in the event of a measles outbreak. The ministry has implemented a new mandatory immunization-reporting program, where parents who have declined to vaccinate their children will be required to speak with public health staff.
Since January 2019, there were at least 31 confirmed cases of measles in BC and subsequently more than 30,000 school-aged children were immunized due to the launch of a catch-up campaign.
The BC Centre for Disease Control stated that 82% of seven-year-olds received both MMR shots in 2018, down from 88% in 2017 and 90% in 2016.
Europe in a State of Decline
Following several years of steady progress toward the elimination of measles in the European Region, the number of countries having achieved or sustained elimination of the disease has declined.
As of the end of 2018, 35 countries are considered to have achieved or sustained measles elimination (compared to 37 for 2017), two have interrupted the endemic transmission of measles (for 12 to 35 months) and 12 remain endemic for measles: Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.
Ukraine has 23,070 confirmed measles cases.
France has 2,592 cases.
Serbia has 4,951 cases.
The surge in cases that began in 2018 has continued into 2019, with approximately 90,000 cases reported for the first half of the year. This number is already more than that recorded for the whole of 2018.
The European Regional Verification Commission for Measles and Rubella Elimination (RVC) has concluded that for the first time since the verification process began in 2012, Albania, Czech Republic, Greece and the United Kingdom lost their measles elimination status.
“Re-establishment of measles transmission is concerning. If high immunization coverage is not achieved and sustained in every community, both children and adults will suffer unnecessarily and some will tragically die,” says Dr Günter Pfaff, Chair of the RVC.
Austria and Switzerland attained elimination status, having demonstrated the interruption of endemic transmission for at least 36 months.
A special address will be made by Ethan Lindenberger, the US teenager known for his opposition to anti-vaccine disinformation campaigns and Fergal and Kevin Brennan, brothers of Laura Brennan, Irish HPV vaccine advocate who died of cervical cancer in March 2019.
The European Commission and World Health Organization
On September 12, 2019, the European Commission and the WHO in Brussels, Belgium co-hosted the world's first Global Vaccination Summit to accelerate global action to stop the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases and advocate against the spread of vaccine misinformation worldwide.
“It is inexcusable that in a world as developed as ours, there are still children dying of diseases that should have been eradicated long ago,” said Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission.
“Worse, we have the solution in our hands but it is not being put to full use. Vaccination already prevents 2 to 3 million deaths a year and could prevent a further 1.5 million deaths if global vaccination coverage improved,” added Juncker.
The European Commission and the World Health Organization urged for strong support of GAVI, the Global Vaccine Alliance, which plays a critical role in achieving the global vaccine goals in the world's least-resourced countries.
According to a Euro barometer from April 2019, 48% believe that IP/19/5536 vaccines can often produce serious side effects, 38% think they can cause the diseases against which they aim to protect and 31% are convinced they can weaken the immune system. These figures are also the result of an increased spread of disinformation about the benefits and risks of vaccines through digital and social media.
So far, in 2019, reported measles cases have reached the highest numbers seen globally since 2006. A surge in measles cases that began in 2018 has continued into 2019, with approximately 90,000 cases reported for the first half of the year in the WHO European Region alone and over 365,000 worldwide. These half-year figures already exceed each annual total since 2006.
From September 2018 to May 2019, there were 145,136 confirmed cases of measles. Children under 14 years-of-age were the most affected. Of this total, more than 19,000 children had severe complications and 909 died.
Michigan Parents Pressure Doctors Who Provide Care for Unvaccinated Children
In Michigan, parents whose children have been fully vaccinated are putting pressure on their family physicians for providing medical care to children who have not been vaccinated. Parents do not want their children exposed to measles in the waiting room area and all agree that the family physician is responsible to protect their families from unvaccinated people.
Many parents stated they would be looking for another family physician should steps not be taken to protect their children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is in full support of doctors who believe it is in the best interest of all their patients to dismiss parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated.
Doctors are bound by the Hippocratic Oath to uphold specific ethical standards, which are of paramount significance today.
Transmission of Measles
Measles, one of the world’s most contagious diseases, is spread by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact or direct contact with infected nasal or throat secretions.
Measles remains active and contagious while airborne or on any surface for up to 2 hours. It can be transmitted by an infected person from 4 days prior to the onset of the rash to 4 days after the rash erupts.
Measles outbreaks have resulted in epidemics that caused hundreds of thousands of deaths, especially among young under five-years of age.
Onset of Measles Symptoms
- High fever begins about 10 to 12 days after primary exposure to the virus. The fever will last from four to 7 days.
- Runny nose with cough and red and watery eyes
- Small white spots inside the cheeks can develop in the initial stage
- After several days, a rash erupts usually on the face and upper neck.
- For duration of 3 days, the rash spreads, eventually reaching the hands and feet. The rash lasts for 5 to 6 days and then fades. On average, the rash occurs 14 days after exposure to the virus (within a range of 7 to 18 days).
Measles-related deaths are caused by complications such as blindness, encephalitis (brain swelling), severe diarrhea, dehydration, ear infections and severe respiratory infections such as pneumonia, are more common in children under the age of five, or adults over the age of 30.
Highest Risk Measles Cases
- Children who are poorly nourished or whose immune systems have been compromised by HIV/AIDS or other diseases are more likely to receive a severe case of measles.
- Young children who have not been vaccinated are at the highest risk of getting measles.
- Pregnant women who have not received vaccinations are also at risk.
- Measles is still common in parts of Africa and Asia. More than 95% of measles deaths occur in countries with low per capita incomes and weak health infrastructures.
- Countries experiencing or recovering from a natural disaster or conflict are particularly prone to measles outbreaks because damage to health infrastructure and health services interrupts routine immunization, and overcrowding in residential camps, which greatly increases the risk of infection and death.
In 1988, polio was endemic in more than 125 countries on five continents and paralyzed more than 1,000 children every day.
More than 2.5 billion children were vaccinated against polio since the start of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, and today global incidence of polio cases dropped by 99%.
Thinking of venturing on a holiday with your family?
Public Health Agency of Canada has up-to-date statistics regarding measles outbreaks in Canada.
The World Health Organization has surveillance data on diseases internationally.
For additional information, Diligencia Investigative Reporting recommends the following articles:
Diligencia Investigative Reporting - Vaccinations Prevent 6 Million Deaths Every Year
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World Health Organization – Immunizations, Vaccines and Biologicals
Center for Disease Control – Measles Cases and Outbreaks for 2019
Vaccinate Your Baby for Best Protection
Diligencia Investigative Reporting - Vaccinations Prevent 6 Million Deaths Every Year States WHO
Diligencia Investigative Reporting - Measles Remains one of the Leading Causes of Death Among Young Children Globally
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