Anti-vaxxers are continuously spreading false claims, as measles spreads across the U.S. and Europe

More than 41,000 children and adults across Europe have been infected with measles in the first six months of 2018 and at least 37 people have died, recorded by World Health Organization.

Measles is up in the U.S. this year as well. As of November 3, 2018 the number of cases reported to the Centers for Disease Prevention (CDC) reached 220 including the 120 cases prior reported in 2017.

In 2018 alone there have been 15 reported measles cases in the U.S.

Most recently in November at the Asheville Waldorf school in North Carolina, more than 100 of the schools 152 students were unvaccinated, resulting in one of the largest chickenpox outbreak in North Carolina.

New data shows in most North Carolina school districts less students are getting vaccinated. “In North Carolina, Mecklenburg County saw the largest increase in non-vaccinated kindergarteners, up almost 2.5% from the previous year”, FOX 46 reported.

Vaccine coverage has been declining in parts of the developed world, just last year Europe reported 60,000 measles cases—the most in this century—and records of pediatric flu deaths in the U.S. Children are not receiving their full vaccine schedule— a trend that’s been worsening since 2009.

Vaccines have already been proven safe, suggesting otherwise is foolish considering we have evidence of solid science and research denying claims made by anti-vaxxers.

Some of the claims made are:

  • Too many vaccines overwhelm the immune system
  • A link between autism and vaccinations
  • Dangerous ingredients in vaccines

The research is set and solid, despite the conspiracy’s being spread and shared online revolving vaccinations. The questions being raised have been debunked. In the early 2000’s healthcare professionals, including GPs worked so hard to re-establish public confidence in vaccination, taking years to restore. The MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine began to improve and there was a time not so long ago where we had eradicated measles entirely. 

The CDC has conducted nine studies since 2003 and concluded that there is no determinant relationship between thimerosal, “a mercury-based preservative used to prevent contamination of multidose vials of vaccines,” and autism.

 According to Time magazine, a decline in kids getting vaccinated resulted in outbreaks of measles, mumps, whooping cough and chicken pox throughout the country. Spreading propaganda has consequences.

Vaccines have eradicated numerous diseases in the U.S. here is a list of diseases that have been. radically decreased by vaccinations in the country, via Forbes:

  • Diphtheria
  • H.influenza, which is “bacteria that can cause deadly meningitis.”
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Pertussis
  • Pneumoccal Disease (which can result in pneumonia).
  • Polio
  • Rubella
  • Congenital Rubella
  • Smallpox
  • Tetanus
  • Varicella

Some people fall into the trap believing vaccinations are deadly by false claims made by celebrities like Robert De Niro. “I, as a parent with a child who has Autism, am concerned,” he said on NBC’S “Today Show” in 2016, adding “I want to know the truth, and I’m not anti-vaccine, I want safe vaccines”

The propagandist film “Vaxxed” released in 2016 by De Niro accused the CDC of covering up evidence that vaccines cause autism and sparked the anti-vaccine movement. In 2019 we are expected to see a continued increase of anti-vaxxers as people are being led by misguided celebrities like De Niro.

It is crucial to tackle public misinformation about vaccines for the sake of humanity. Vaccinations are proven effective and safe.

This must be tackled with society-wide approach.

Dana Homsi