Respectful Insolence

The consequences of not vaccinating

In case you haven’t heard it enough on this blog and elsewhere: Antivaccination lunacy has consquences. In the UK, measles cases have jumped to a record high:

The number of measles cases in England and Wales jumped more than 30% last year to the highest level since records began in 1995.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) recorded 971 cases during the year – up from 740 in 2006.

The agency issued a warning last summer urging parents to get their children immunised with the MMR jab.

Experts have repeatedly stressed that public concerns about the safety of the jab have no foundation.

As I’ve pointed out before, this is the true legacy of Andrew Wakefield: Falling vaccination rates, misery and suffering due to the return of vaccine-preventable diseases, and at least one dead child. Ten years later, the effects of his pseudoscience and lack of ethics continue to reverberate in the U.K. The same could happen here in the U.S. if the mercury militia has its way.

Comments

  1. #1 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 27, 2008

    Not that I follow the anti-vaxers with the fervor that you and a few noted others do, but i do read this blog nearly every day. I’m not sure I’ve seen any anti-vaxer address these consequences. Have they? Do they even accept them?

    How do they reconcile this?

  2. #2 Bill
    February 27, 2008

    The anti-vaxers are happy about it, they view measles as a benign disease much less harmful than vaccinations.

    Now they are touting this story in the Huffpo.

    “Government Concedes Vaccine-Autism Case in Federal Court – Now What?”

    I think it will happen in North America, its just a matter of time.

  3. #3 Tlazolteotl
    February 27, 2008

    David Kirby has a new rant up at HuffPo that somehow the US government has conceded that a vaccine caused some kid’s ASD. What’s that about? I can’t understand what he’s on about (his post turns into something about mitochondrial disorders), but would like to know if that particular claim has any sort of factual basis.

  4. #4 Tlazolteotl
    February 27, 2008

    Ooops. I see Bill sort of beat me to it, without mentioning that the article was posted by Kirby. So what the hell is up?

  5. #5 stavros
    February 27, 2008

    Orac, thanks for the link.

    The same is also happening in Greece currently where the Greek Society of Homeopaths is spreading anti-vaccination lies. I have contacted their president asking him to set the record straight about their misleading information on their website. He hasn’t yet replied and its been a month.

    I’m seriously planning to take this as far as possible until they modify their website as it is being viewed by really many people every day. Unfortunately woo woo in Greece is on the high and there are only limited things a simple man like me can do from London…

  6. #6 Phoenix Woman
    February 28, 2008

    Hey, Orac! If I’d had more time I would have given you a heads-up on this one.

    I did a post on the anti-vax crowd at Firedoglake; boy did it raise a ruckus! I cited you and other trench workers in the war against woo. Feel free to comment.

  7. #7 isles
    February 28, 2008

    Re: the mitochondrial thing, to the extent I understand (which is not a very great extent), what the government conceded was that the vaccine could have aggravated some other condition that the child had, and the fact of her also having autism or autistic features didn’t play into it.

    But of course the antivaxers are going around claiming it’s now been proven in court that vaccines cause autism. Thankfully the major media seem to have pretty much wised up to them by now and aren’t biting.

  8. #8 bcpmoon
    February 28, 2008

    Don´t forget switzerland:
    http://www.saez.ch/pdf/2003/2003-27/2003-27-667.PDF
    That was 2003, but this year they are already at ~500 cases, just google “schweiz” and “masern”.
    Money quote at the end of the pdf (roughly translated)
    “It seems that the missing vaccinations stem mostly from a minority of parents who decided to visit doctors who advise against vaccinations. In fact, the cases are mainly in the vicinity of some alternative practitioners. The centre of the outbreak in schwyz is at a private school with alternative education. 42 of 46 children got infected with measles.”
    Also in the pdf you will find that about 10% of the children who got infected were vaccinated, the rest was not.

  9. #9 bcpmoon
    February 28, 2008

    Just to clarify: The 10% is with regard to all the cases in Switzerland.

  10. #10 sophia8
    February 28, 2008

    Not that I follow the anti-vaxers with the fervor that you and a few noted others do, but i do read this blog nearly every day. I’m not sure I’ve seen any anti-vaxer address these consequences. Have they? Do they even accept them?

    How do they reconcile this?
    If they do, I can predict what they’ll say:
    “Measles is a completely benign infection that cannot harm a healthy child that has never had their immune system poisoned by toxin-laden inorganic food, polluted water, Big Pharma medications and microwave radiations.”

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