We know how anti-vaccine folks think.
And now we know how they do their research…
How Anti-Vaccine Folks Research Disease
If you’re like me, you are probably wondering why they picked 2016 as the year to research.
And, there you see it.
In the past 6 years, 2016 was the year with the fewest cases of measles. Why not choose 2017 or 2018 to do their research?
But let’s look at 2016, even though the information isn’t complete:
- 86 cases
- cases in 19 states, including Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah
- a large outbreak in Arizona (31 cases) linked to a private detention center and all that is known is that 7 of 9 staff members who got measles had received at least one dose of MMR, and 3 had received their dose very recently
- a large outbreak in Shelby County, Tennessee, at least 7 cases, including 6 unvaccinated and one partially vaccinated child
- a large measles outbreak (17 cases) in Los Angeles County and Santa Barbara County that was linked to the Los Angeles Orthodox Jewish community
- two cases in Colorado, including an unvaccinated toddler and an unvaccinated adult – outbreaks which cost at least $68,192 to control
And of th cases in 2016, it seems that just 16% were vaccinated.
What about the claim that 26% were vaccinated?
That wasn’t 26% of the total number of cases, but rather 26% of the cases among US residents.
So if you do the math, that’s just 14 cases that were vaccinated, and out of 86 cases, that’s really just 16%. And a lot of those cases are skewed by the one outbreak at the detention center, in which they may have only received one dose of MMR and nearly half may have gotten vaccinated after the caught had already started!
What about the claim that “the odds of dying from the measles are like 0.00000013%” using numbers “before the vaccine was introduced in 1963?”
“Before a vaccine became available in 1963, measles was a rite of passage among American children. A red rash would spread over their bodies. They would develop a high fever. Severe cases could cause blindness or brain damage, or even death.”CDC says measles almost eliminated in U.S.
And looking at statistics of reported measles cases and reported measles deaths, we know that death occurred in about 1 to 3 in every 1,000 reported cases.
So everyone got measles, but not everyone survived having measles.
What about your odds of dying with measles now?
If you are fully vaccinated, then they are extremely low.
They are pretty low if you are unvaccinated too, in most cases, because you are benefiting from herd immunity and the fact that most folks around you are vaccinated, reducing your risk of being exposed to measles. Still, the risk is much higher than most anti-vaccine folks expect, because they often make the mistake of using the entire population of the United States in their calculations. They should instead just use the folks who are unvaccinated and susceptible, a much smaller number.
Want to increase your risk?
The odds aren’t in your favor to avoid measles if you are unvaccinated. Eventually, your luck might run out.
Starting to see the mistakes anti-vaccine folks make when they say they have done their research?
“How do they know how many people would have gotten measles and how many of them would have died?!?”
It’s not rocket science.
“We constructed a state-space model with population and immunisation coverage estimates and reported surveillance data to estimate annual national measles cases, distributed across age classes. We estimated deaths by applying age-specific and country-specific case-fatality ratios to estimated cases in each age-country class.”Simons et al on Assessment of the 2010 global measles mortality reduction goal: results from a model of surveillance data.
Unfortunately, after years of improvements, measles deaths increased in 2017. And they will continue to increase, as our risk of getting measles continues to increase if folks don’t get vaccinated and protected.
Lastly, why does it “sound like millions of people would have died without the measles vaccine?”
Maybe because millions of people died in previous years, before they were vaccinated and protected.
More on Researching Vaccine-Preventable Disease
- VAXOPEDIA – The 3 Components of Anti-Vaccine Propaganda
- VAXOPEDIA – Comparing Lightning Strikes to Measles Deaths
- VAXOPEDIA – What to Do If Your Child Is Exposed to Measles
- VAXOPEDIA – How Many People Die from Vaccine Preventable Diseases These Days?
- VAXOPEDIA – How Many People Die in the USA Every Year from Being Vaccinated?
- VAXOPEDIA – Who Dies with Measles?
- VAXOPEDIA – News on the Latest Measles Outbreaks of 2019
- Dr. Jay’s Magical Math
- Seriously, How Deadly Is Measles?
- Yes, California children are dying of measles. Today. It’s called SSPE. Andrew Wakefield, Del Bigtree, Polly Tommey, stop lying about it.
- Thanks, antivaccinationists. Thanks again for the measles.
- The myth of mild measles
- MMWR – Notes from the Field: Measles Outbreak at a United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Facility ― Arizona, May–June 2016
- MMWR – Measles Outbreak of Unknown Source — Shelby County, Tennessee, April–May 2016
- MMWR – Public Health Economic Burden Associated with Two Single Measles Case Investigations — Colorado, 2016–2017
- CDC – Measles Data and Statistics (2016)
- MMWR – Progress Toward Regional Measles Elimination — Worldwide, 2000–2016
- Measles cases spike globally due to gaps in vaccination coverage
- Seriously, How Deadly Is Measles?
- CDC says measles almost eliminated in U.S. The Herald-Palladium. Saint Joseph, Michigan. Friday, September 3, 1999
- WHO – Measles vaccination has saved an estimated 17.1 million lives since 2000
- WHO – Measles cases spike globally due to gaps in vaccination coverage