Tag: answers

Is Larry Cook an International Threat to Pharma?

Larry Cook?

An International threat to Pharma?

Does Larry Cook really think that he needs bodyguards because Big Pharma is coming for him?
Does Larry Cook really think that he needs bodyguards because Big Pharma is coming for him?

Your first thought on seeing this was likely “Larry who?,” right?

Is Larry Cook an International Threat to Pharma?

To catch you up, Larry Cook is one of the newer heroes of the anti-vaccine movement.

He rose up post-SB 277 (the California vaccine law) on Facebook, with an anti-vaccine group that pushes stories that he claims are of kids who have died after they were vaccinated.

Larry Cook is not just about opposing vaccine mandates.

He has created a group to scare parents away from vaccinating their kids because he seems to believe that vaccines are dangerous and aren’t necessary.

Doing your vaccine research with Larry Cook is like learning about astronomy from a member of the Flat Earth Society.
Doing your vaccine research with Larry Cook is like learning about astronomy from a member of the Flat Earth Society.

Is he a threat to Pharma?

He’s only a threat to the folks who listen to him!

Vaccines are safe, with few risks, and with all of the outbreaks we are seeing, they are obviously very necessary.

Is Larry Cook an International Threat to Pharma?

Behind the Curtain of the Anti-Vaccine Movement

Ever wonder what anti-vaccine folks talk about?

How they do their research?

Behind the Curtain of the Anti-Vaccine Movement

Here you go!

How do you argue the point that vaccines killed off all of the diseases?
That seems like a reasonable question…

There is a good reason that folks have a hard time arguing this point.

Vaccines work.

But let’s see how they do…

It is with her summary that says you can treat cancer naturally and without chemotherapy.
It is with her summary that says you can treat cancer naturally and without chemotherapy.

The idea that we simply renamed diseases to make them disappear has to be the silliest anti-vaccine claim that you will hear. If that’s true, why not come out with an RSV vaccine or an HIV vaccine and rename those diseases?

If smallpox was renamed to monkey pox, then where are all of the kids with monkey pox?
If smallpox was renamed to monkey pox, then where are all of the kids with monkey pox?

The idea that better hygiene, sanitation, and good nutrition made now vaccine-preventable diseases go away is a very good theory, because those things did actually improve the mortality rates for most things in the early part of the 20th century. Unfortunately, those effects plateaued by the 1930s.

When my uncle got polio in Brooklyn in the early 1950s, our family and access to very good hygiene, sanitation and nutrition. It didn’t help. Remember, a lot of people were still dying at the time from polio, pertussis, diphtheria, and measles.

It was vaccines.

Actually, it’s the charts and graphs with declining mortality rates from better hygiene and sanitation in the early 20th century that anti-vaccine folks can use to fool folks into thinking that vaccines don’t work. If they actually look at disease rates, with a few exceptions, they will see that they were mostly unchanged.

Charts with mortality rates won't prove their point, but are their only chance to fool folks. They have no chance if they use disease rates...
Charts with mortality rates won’t actually prove their point, but are their only chance to fool folks. They have no chance if they use disease rates

This is actually an interesting idea. Do viruses and bacteria become attenuated or less dangerous over time? Considering that smallpox was around for thousands of years and was still deadly right up until it was eradicated, in general, there is plenty of evidence against this idea. You can also look at polio, which still paralyzing people.

Scarlet fever has become less dangerous, but no evidence that many other diseases have over time.
Scarlet fever has become less dangerous, but no evidence that many other diseases have over time.
Sanitation, plumbing, clean food, hygiene worked to get rid of diseases - anything but vaccines...
Anything but vaccines…

This is another silly idea. It implies that vaccines actually cause outbreaks of vaccine-preventable disease. If this were true, then as we have been vaccinating more and more people, wouldn’t rates for all of these diseases have been going up over the years? And how did we eradicate smallpox? How are we so close to eradicating polio?

Then why do we see outbreaks in clusters of folks who are mostly intentionally unvaccinated.

Instead, we see outbreaks in clusters of folks who are mostly intentionally unvaccinated and no, it’s not just during “shedding season.”

Witch's brew of vaccines?
Again, anything but vaccines…

Do you really believe that ‘they’ are purposely “releases (sic) these diseases again, to cause hysteria, to get people back in their corner vaccinating again?”

It's a conspiracy! Big Pharma!!!
It’s a conspiracy! Big Pharma!!!
Vaccines are not killing people.
And yet, life expectancy and infant mortality rates are going up…

We know why they are coming back… It ain’t magic.

Are you prepared to argue their point now?

Did they convince you that we renamed diseases, flushing toilets and clean water got rid of all diseases, vaccines cause outbreaks, or that all of the diseases we developed vaccines for just naturally got milder and went away?

Or did they convince you to go out and vaccinate and protect your kids?

More on Behind the Curtain of the Anti-Vaccine Movement

What Do Anti-Vaccine Folks Actually Know About Vaccines?

Anti-vaccine folks are spreading another quiz around…

It’s not the questions that automatically makes you think the quiz is anti-vaccine though. It’s how you just know anti-vaccine answers will be very different from someone who actually does know something about vaccines.

What Do Anti-Vaccine Folks Actually Know About Vaccines?

If you are anti-vaccine, you likely believe that vaccines are dangerous, full of toxins, and that they don’t even work. That gives other folks a giant hint as to how you would answer these 32 questions…

1. Can you name 5 vaccine ingredients?
Yes. I can also name what’s not in vaccines, including heavy metals, hidden ingredients, toxins, antifreeze, lead, glyphosate, vaginal spermicides, etc.
AV answerall vaccines contain toxic ingredients!
2/3. What is MRC-5/WI-38?
These are immortalized cell lines that are used to make some vaccines. These cell lines are derived (they can replicate infinitely) from fetal embryo fibroblast cells from two electively terminated pregnancies (abortions) in the 1960s. The cells used today are descendants of the original cells.
AV answerthere are aborted baby parts in our vaccines!
4. What is vaccine court?
The Vaccine Court is part of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) and decides if the claims should be compensated or dismissed, etc.
AV answervaccine court proves that vaccine injuries are real.
5. What is the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program?
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) was created as “a no-fault alternative to the traditional legal system for resolving vaccine injury petitions.”
AV answerthe National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) proves that vaccine injuries are real.
6. What is the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act?
The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 established the VICP, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Trust Fund, the National Vaccine Program Office, VAERS, and required that health care providers give a Vaccine Information Statement to anyone getting a vaccine.
AV answerthe 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act should be repealed because it removed all liability from vaccine manufacturers.
7. How has the CDC schedule changed since 1986?
The immunization schedule has changed to include vaccines to protect kids against meningitis, pneumonia, blood infections, severe dehydration, epiglottitis, and cancer from Hib, pneumococcal disease, rotavirus, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, chicken pox, HPV, and meningococcal disease.
AV answerit has ballooned and exploded with 300 more vaccines in the pipeline!
8. How much money has been paid out by vaccine injury court?
Since the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program began, in 1988, almost $3.5 billion dollars have been paid out for 4,899 compensated awards, the majority of which were settled, and during which time over 2.5 billion doses of vaccines were given.
AV answer$3.5 billion dollars, which proves that vaccine injuries are real!
9. How many doses of vaccines are in the CDC schedule between birth and age 18?
By age 18 years, today’s kids get 54 doses of 13 vaccines that protect them against 16 vaccine-preventable diseases, with a third of those doses coming from yearly flu vaccines.
AV answer72 doses!
10. Do vaccines contain DNA from aborted fetal cell lines? If so, which vaccines?
Residual, highly fragmented DNA is sometimes found in vaccines that are made using the MRC-5/WI-38 cell lines.
AV answervaccines contain aborted fetal tissue.
11. Do any vaccines contain dog, monkey, pig, or human DNA?
Residual DNA, if found in vaccines, is not a cause for concern. It is typically a function of growing vaccine viruses in mammalian cell lines.
AV answerdog, monkey, pig, and human DNA contaminate vaccines and will turn us all into mutant dog-monkey-pig-human hybrids.
12. What is an adjuvant?
An adjuvant in a vaccine can increase the body’s immune response to an antigen, allowing you to use a smaller amount of antigen, which is important, as it is the antigens that typically cause side effects.
AV answerAdjuvants in vaccines have never been tested and they trigger vaccine injuries and disease.
13. What is an antigen?
An antigen is a substance, often part of a virus or bacteria, that can stimulate an immune response and the production of antibodies. Surprisingly, even though kids get more vaccines than they used to, those vaccines contain far fewer antigens than older vaccines.
AV answerwe don’t care about antigens anymore, because all of the other vaccine ingredients are toxic.
14. Which arms of the immune system do vaccines stimulate?
It actually depends on the vaccine, but this is about the differences between innate (nonspecific and without memory) and adaptive immunity, which typically interact with each other, whether it is to create natural or vaccine induced immunity.
AV answerI don’t care which arm you try to give it to them, my kids aren’t getting vaccinated!
15. Which arms of the immune system do natural diseases stimulate?
As with vaccines, it depends on the disease.
AV answerEven if you offer to give the shot in their legs, my kids aren’t getting vaccinated!
16. What is transverse myelitis?
Transverse myelitis is a type of inflammation of the spinal cord, causing weakness and paralysis, and typically triggered by infections, immune system, inflammatory, and vascular disorders.
AV answertransverse myelitis is a vaccine injury.
17. What is encephalopathy?
Almost anything can cause encephalopathy, leading to diffuse brain disease and dysfunction.
AV answerencephalopathy is a vaccine injury.
18. What is the rate of autism in 2018? What was it in 2000? What was it in 1980?
The reported rate of autism has increased since 1980 because of better recognition, diagnostic substitution, broadening of the diagnostic criteria, and social influences. Vaccines are not associated with autism.
AV answervaccines cause autism. If it isn’t the MMR vaccine, then it is thimerosal, or maybe aluminum. Or it could be glyphosate. It is definitely vaccines though.
19. What is glyphosate? Is it in vaccines?
Glyphosate, a weed killer (Roundup) made by Monsanto is not in any vaccines.
AV answerbecause glyphosate is everywhere, including in vaccines, half of all children will be autistic by 2025.
20. If your child is injured who will take physical, emotional and financial responsibility?
If a child has a true vaccine injury, compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) will hopefully help with your financial responsibilities.
AV answeryou can not sue vaccine manufacturers, so they have no liability if your child is injured by a vaccine.
21. What was the Supreme Courts statement on vaccines in 2011?
In 2011, the Supreme Court decided Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, in which they used the infamous unavoidably unsafe terminology, which has been misunderstood by anti-vaccine folks ever since.
AV answerthe Supreme Court said that vaccines can never be safe.
22. Can you find a study showing vaccinated vs unvaccinated health outcomes?
Yes, yes I can. A large study, “Vaccination Status and Health in Children and Adolescents Findings of the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS),” found that unvaccinated kids weren’t healthier, they just had more measles, mumps, rubella, and pertussis.
AV answerthe Mawson study (published in a pay-to-publish journal after being retracted two other times) proves that unvaccinated (homeschooled) kids are healthier than vaccinated (homeschooled) kids.
23. Can you find a safety study proving it is safe to inject multiple vaccines?
Yes, yes I can. There are many studies that prove that it is safe to give multiple vaccines at the same time.
AV answervaccines have never been tested together.
24. Do vaccines shed?
A few vaccines do shed, including the rotavirus vaccines (in stool, so wash your hands when changing diapers) and oral polio vaccines, which haven’t been used in the United States since 2000. Although FluMist can shed, since the vaccine contains attenuated viral strains of the flu that are temperature-sensitive, it isn’t a problem, except maybe for someone who is severely immunocompromised.
AV answerour unvaccinated kids are at risk during shedding season!
25. Which vaccines can shed for up to 6 weeks?
The oral polio vaccine, which hasn’t been used in the United States since 2000, can likely shed for up to 6 weeks. This type of shedding is one of the reasons this weakened live virus vaccine is preferred over the inactivated polio vaccine when polio is still common in an area. In areas with poor hygiene and sanitation, the shedding (in stool) can lead to a type of passive immunization and improved herd immunity!
AV answershedding season is coming!
26. Which vaccines are live virus vaccines?
Attenuated, live virus vaccines which contain a weakened version of a virus include MMR, Varivax (chicken pox), the rotavirus vaccines, FluMist, the yellow fever vaccines, the oral polio vaccine, and vaccines against typhoid, cholera, adenovirus, and smallpox.
AV answerunvaccinated children are at risk from shedding if they are around kids who have gotten a live virus vaccine, especially during shedding season.
27. What is the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP)?
This is the same thing as the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) in question 5…
AV answerwe need to repeal both the NVICP and the VICP!
28. What is SV40?
Simian virus 40 was found to contaminate polio vaccines from 1955 through 1963. Fortunately, it has not been found to cause any disease in the folks who got those vaccines.
AV answervaccines are contaminated with monkey viruses and cause cancer.
29. What is MTHFR and how does it affect the body’s response to vaccines?
True MTHFR gene mutations rarely cause homocystinuria. Folks are more likely to hear about MTHFR polymorphisms, which are typically normal and have no affect on vaccines or anything else.
AV answerno one should not get vaccinated if they have MTHFR mutations or signs of MTHFR.
30. What is an acceptable amount of aluminum to be ingested per day versus the aluminum content in the Hep B shot given at birth, 2 months, and then again at 4 months?
Although there are limits on aluminum that premature neonates and infants getting daily intravenous fluids and IV feeding solutions over prolonged periods of time, that doesn’t mean that aluminum in vaccines that infants get every few months isn’t safe. It is. And they are.
AV answerinfants are getting toxic amounts of aluminum in their vaccines!
31. Can someone who was vaccinated for pertussis still spread pertussis after being exposed to it? If so, for how long?
Maybe. A study in baboons said it is possible. More importantly though, you are much more likely to get pertussis if you are unvaccinated, will have more severe symptoms, and will likely get more people sick.
AV answervaccinated people are the ones starting pertussis outbreaks.
32. What is the death rate from measles in the past 10 years in the U.S. compared to the death rate from the MMR vaccine in the past 10 years?
Deaths from measles are now rare in the United States because most people are vaccinated and protected. And unless you are looking at VAERS reports, the deaths from the MMR vaccine are also very rare. We will have more and more measles outbreaks if folks don’t get vaccinated though, increasing the risk of another measles death.
AV answermeasles is a mild disease that was on the Brady Bunch, and MMR is an unnecessary vaccine kills tons of people.

How did you answer the questions?

What Do Anti-Vaccine Folks Actually Know About Vaccines?

I’m Not Anti-Vaccine, I Just Don’t Believe in the HPV Vaccine

Believe it or not, there are some parents who get their kids each and every vaccine, but skip the one that protects them from cancer.

I’m Not Anti-Vaccine, I Just Don’t Believe in the HPV Vaccine

Why?

HPV Vaccine is Cancer Prevention.

That’s a good question.

And although they won’t have a good answer, some of their reasons include that:

  • the HPV vaccine is too new – even though Gardasil was first approved in 2006 and the first phase 1 and phase 2 trials began in 1997!
  • they don’t think it is necessary – even though about 4,200 women die of cervical cancer each year (that’s just in the United States), even in this age of routine pap tests
  • it might lead their kids to have early sex or unprotected sex – even though studies show it won’t
  • Michele Bachmann once said it caused mental retardation – even though she had no evidence to support her claim
  • the HPV vaccine is too controversial – any “controversy” about Gardasil and Cervarix is made up by anti-vaccine folks
  • HPV vaccines can cause POTS, ASIA, primary ovarian failure, venous blood clots, behavior problems, or multiple sclerosis, etc. – even though over and over, studies have found HPV vaccines to be safe and to not cause any of the other serious side effects or vaccine induced diseases you read about on the Internet that scare you away from vaccinating and protecting your kids
  • it is banned in Utah – even though that isn’t true
  • it doesn’t provide life-long protection – even though the protection has been found to be long-lasting, as long as we have been giving the vaccine so far
  • it is banned in Japan and France – even though HPV vaccines aren’t banned anywhere and are actually on the immunization schedule in at least 64 countries
  • Katie Couric once did a scary segment on HPV vaccines – well, she did but later apologized… after being called out for pushing anti-vaccine misinformation
  • an HPV vaccine researcher says it’s dangerous – no, the HPV vaccine researcher, Diane Harper, actually says it is a safe vaccine
  • HPV vaccines are just for girls – even though there are around 11,000 cases of HPV induced cancer in men each year, including anal cancer and cancers of the mouth/throat and penis
  • their kids are too young and can get it later, when they are older – even though protection is likely better when they get the vaccine when they are younger, and you don’t want to wait too long, when you increase the chance that they will have had sex and will already be exposed to HPV

So why aren’t you getting your kids vaccinated and protected… against cancer?

Need to do more research? Read the links below and then schedule your kids for their HPV vaccine.

More on HPV Vaccine Safety

How Do You Provide Informed Consent to Vaccination?

When you take your child to their pediatrician, you expect to be given all of the information you need to help you make good decisions about their care.

Whether it is about an antibiotic to treat an ear infection, the need for an MRI if your child is having severe headaches, or weaning off an asthma medication, etc., you deserve to be well informed of the risks and benefits of any and all procedures they have.

How Do You Provide Informed Consent to Vaccination?

Of course, informed consent also applies to vaccinations.

It's not an "informed consent form," but the Vaccine Information Statement can help you get informed consent before getting vaccines.
It’s not an “informed consent form,” but the Vaccine Information Statement can help you get informed consent before getting vaccines.

How do you provide informed consent to vaccination?

  1. Provide the latest edition of the appropriate Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) before a vaccination is given. Although these aren’t actually “informed consent forms,” they are required to be given by federal law and because “cover both benefits and risks associated with vaccinations, they provide enough information that anyone reading them should be adequately informed”
  2. Give parents/guardians the chance to take the VIS home to review later.
  3. Answer any questions about the vaccine that their child is about to get.

Hopefully you always get informed consent before your child is vaccinated.

You should also get informed consent before skipping or delaying any of your child’s vaccines, as it risks their getting a life-threatening vaccine-preventable disease and puts others at risk, all without any extra benefit.

“At trial, the parent and physician both acknowledged that the vaccine was recommended, but the parent stated that the risk of death wasn’t mentioned during the discussion.”

Document ‘informed refusal’ just as you would informed consent

Believe it or not, a pediatrician in California was successfully sued after a parent refused to vaccinate their child with Prevnar and their infant died of pneumococcal sepsis, which the vaccine could have prevented.

Although they realized that their pediatrician had recommended the vaccine and they refused it, they claimed that they didn’t realize that their baby could die without it. He did…

Myths About Informed Consent and Vaccines

Not surprisingly, many folks get the idea of informed consent to vaccination wrong.

For one thing, unless it is required by state law, no one has to sign a consent form before getting vaccinated. Many pediatricians and clinics do have you sign that you received the VIS, although federal law does not require this signature.

And informed consent doesn’t come from reading a vaccine’s package insert, as the parts pushed by anti-vaccine folks are just things included from voluntary reports and have not actually been proven to be caused by the vaccine.

“Now that case one is settled, I can go back to being loud and proud about my belief that every single patient should receive complete informed consent prior to vaccinations. This two-year period of silence has been tough. I will not rest until every single family has been given access to full, complete, objective, and un-doctored information that makes every parent fully aware of the risks they accept if they don’t vaccinate their child, and all the risks they take if they do vaccinate their child. Period. And I will fight against mandatory vaccination laws until they are no more. When every single person on this planet has access to informed consent, and can make a free choice, I will then be able to say my work is done.”

Dr. Bob Sears

When Dr. Bob talks about vaccines, do you think he mentions the parents who skipped the Prevnar vaccine and then successfully sued their pediatrician for not warning them that their baby would die? 

Dr. Bob Sears actually reassured parents that measles wasn't deadly in developed countries, neglecting to mention the dozens of people who have died in outbreaks in Europe - another well-nourished population with lower vaccination rates than the U.S.
Dr. Bob Sears actually reassured parents that measles wasn’t deadly in developed countries, neglecting to mention the dozens of people who have died in outbreaks in Europe – another well-nourished population with lower vaccination rates than the U.S.

Overstating the side effects and risks of getting vaccinated, rarely or ever mentioning the benefits of vaccines, and underestimating the complications and risks of life-threatening vaccine-preventable diseases isn’t informed consent.

It is actually misinformed consent.

It is propaganda.

It is a tool that some folks use to scare you away from making the right decision to vaccinate and protect your kids.

Parents deserve informed consent about vaccines. Unfortunately, that’s not what they are getting from the modern anti-vaccine movement.

More on Providing Informed Consent to Vaccination

10 Myths About Chicken Pox and the Chicken Pox Vaccine

You remember chicken pox, don’t you?

Is this really a disease that we need to vaccinate our kids against?

Obviously, the folks who posted the following comments don’t seem to think so.

It is just as obvious that they are wrong though.

That she doesn't understand survivorship bias doesn't mean that you shouldn't vaccinate your kids.
That she doesn’t understand survivorship bias doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t vaccinate your kids.

No one ever says that chicken pox, measles, mumps, and rubella kills everyone that gets them.

Even in the pre-vaccine era, when measles would kill 500 people a year in the United States, there is a very good chance that you wouldn’t have known anyone that died of measles. Of course, that doesn’t mean that nobody died of measles or chicken pox or any other now vaccine-preventable disease.

You likely know someone that plays football, right? Maybe on a youth football team or in middle school or high school? Do you know anyone that plays on a team in the NFL? While millions of kids might play football, only a few thousand play in the NFL.

Benign diseases don't kill kids.
Benign diseases don’t kill kids.

Chicken pox was never a benign disease. It was considered a rite of passage because we all had to endure it, but it wasn’t something anyone looked forward to. You don’t die from a benign disease.

Trying to scare people into thinking that vaccines are poison... Anti-vaccine propaganda is all about fear.
Trying to scare people into thinking that vaccines are poison… Anti-vaccine propaganda is all about fear.

Part of that is actually true – “they keep you a customer for life” because you didn’t die from a vaccine-preventable disease!

The UK doesn't haven't routinely vaccinate against chicken pox, but they do have chicken pox deaths...
The UK doesn’t routinely vaccinate against chicken pox, but they do have chicken pox deaths and the same rise in shingles rates…

Many countries don’t have the chicken pox vaccine on their routine immunization schedule because they don’t think it is cost-effective and they were concerned about what controlling chicken pox could do to rates of shingles.

“About 3 in every 1000 pregnant women in the UK catch chickenpox. Between 1985 and 1998, nine pregnant women died in the UK from chickenpox complications. Their unborn babies are also at risk from a rare condition called foetal varicella syndrome (FVS). This can result in serious long-term damage to the baby or even death, particularly if the mother catches chickenpox in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.”

Vaccine Knowledge Project on Chickenpox (Varicella)

These countries have the same rates of shingles as countries that do use the chicken pox vaccine, but still have high rates of chicken pox and complications of chicken pox!

The UK does not vaccinate for chicken pox, but young, otherwise healthy kids die with chicken pox in the UK.

Don't trust the CDC, but do trust anyone with a website or Facebook page that says what you want to believe.
Don’t trust the CDC, but do trust anyone with a website or Facebook page that says what you want to believe…

Most folks should understand that when anti-vaccine folks say “do your research,” they mean look at their websites and Facebook groups that regurgitate misinformation and anti-vaccine propaganda.

Natural immunity is not better than vaccine induced immunity when you consider the risks of a natural infection, which can include death.
Natural immunity is not better than vaccine induced immunity when you consider the risks of a natural infection, which can include death.

We don’t need disease.

There is no diet that will help you beat chicken pox.
There is no diet that will help you beat chicken pox.

While you will be at higher risk for complications from chicken pox and most other diseases if you have a compromised immune system or are malnourished, if you are otherwise healthy, there is nothing you can do to boost your immune system to try and beat chicken pox – besides getting vaccinated.

Homeopathic vaccines do nothing.
Homeopathic vaccines do nothing.

There is also no homeopathic remedy or homeopathic vaccine that can help you avoid chicken pox.

Adults don't need boosters to most vaccines, so actually are up-to-date and immune to most diseases.
Adults don’t need boosters to most vaccines, so actually are up-to-date and immune to most diseases.

The chicken pox vaccine provides long lasting protection. Ironically, anti-vaccine folks often misunderstand how herd immunity works, the one thing that can protect their unvaccinated kids as they try to hide in the herd

Chicken pox parties were never as common as folks think they were, but when done, it was out of necessity, as we didn't have a vaccine.
Chicken pox parties were never as common as folks think they were, but when done, it was out of necessity, as we didn’t have a vaccine.

Chicken pox parties kind of made sense in the pre-vaccine era. Since it was inevitable that your child would get chicken pox, you wanted them to get it at a young age, so they weren’t at increased risk for complications as an adult.

But intentionally exposing your child to a life-threatening infection when a safe and effective vaccine is available?

Do your research. Get vaccinated and protected.

More on Chicken Pox Myths

Who Dies with Measles?

Measles is another of those diseases that some claim used to be mild and a rite of passage for kids.

That’s why there was an episode of the Brady Bunch about it, right?

An episode in which all of the kids got sick and they had to call two pediatricians to do house calls…

Who Dies with Measles?

While measles was a rite of passage for kids, it wasn’t the kind you looked forward to, because measles is rarely mild.

“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.

Instead, most people develop 10 days of measles symptoms, including a high fever, cough, runny nose, watery eyes, and a rash. Photophobia, irritability, sore throat, headache, and abdominal pain are other symptoms that children with measles might have.

Many require hospitalization and some die.

But isn’t it just older people or those with immune system problems that die with measles?

“From 1964 through 1971, 16.7% of the death certificates reviewed noted some underlying pathologic condition.”

Roger Barkin, MD on Measles mortality. Analysis of the primary cause of death.

Nope.

It is most often children, typically young children, without any medical problems who die.

Before the routine use of vaccines, most measles deaths were young children without any medical problems.
Before the routine use of measles vaccines, most measles deaths were young children without any previous medical problems.

In the post-vaccination era, no one would be expected to die with measles, but those with immune system problems sometimes do, as most others are vaccinated and protected. As vaccinated rates drop though, even otherwise healthy children and adults can once again die of measles.

Remember the measles outbreaks at the end of the 1980s?

“Complications were reported in 672 (9.8%) cases, including otitis media in 318 (4.6%) cases, pneumonia in 178 (2.6%), diarrhea in 171 (2.5%), and encephalitis in five (0.1%). Nine hundred thirteen patients (13.3%) were hospitalized, and 10 measles-associated fatalities were reported (case-fatality rate: 1.5 deaths per 1000 reported cases). Eight of the deaths were reported in children less than 5 years of age, all of whom were unvaccinated. None had a reported underlying illness or immunodeficiency. Most deaths have been attributed to pneumonia.”

Measles — United States, First 26 Weeks, 1989

Probably not, but from 1989 to 1991 there were at least 123 measles deaths across the United States, even after measles had been declining for years with the introduction of the measles vaccine in the 1960s. Most of the deaths were otherwise healthy, without underlying medical problems.

They were unvaccinated and unprotected.

Because we don’t typically hear any details about measles deaths, including the almost 90,000 measles deaths that continue to occur around the world each year, most people likely assume that measles only kills in third world countries, where kids are already sick or malnourished. Of course, that wouldn’t explain how over one hundred people died with measles in Europe over the past few years…

Still think that measles isn’t deadly?

Tragically, there are plenty of stories (although most are never reported in the news and we don’t hear about them) and case reports that will prove you wrong:

  • Olivia Dahl died with measles when she was 7-years-old (1962)
  • an unvaccinated 3-year-old died in Maricopa County (1970)
  • a 13-year-old girl who had previously been vaccinated with one of the first inactivated measles vaccines which were found to be ineffective and were replaced with the newer live vaccines died in Michigan (1978)
  • a 9-month-old died in Chicago (1990)
  • an unvaccinated 13-year-old died in Kansas (1990)
  • Tammy Bowman, an 11-year-old unvaccinated girl died in Michigan (1990)
  • an unvaccinated 13-year-old became the first person in the UK to die with measles in 14 years (2006)
  • a 14-year-old died of Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis (SSPE), a late complication of a natural measles infection (2015)
  • an immunocompromised woman died after she was exposed in an outbreak in Clallam County, Washington (2015)
  • a 6-year-old boy with leukemia died in Italy caught measles from his intentionally unvaccinated sibling (2017)
  • an 11-month-old unvaccinated infant died in Greece (2017)
  • an intentionally unvaccinated 9-year-old girl with chromosomopathy, which is not a contraindication to getting vaccinated, died in Italy (2017)
  • a 10-month-old unvaccinated boy who likely caught measles when he had been hospitalized for an RSV infection, died in Italy (2018)
  • a 16-year-old who had received a heart transplant when she was 2-years-old died in France (2018)
  • an unvaccinated toddler in Jerusalem (2018)

Measles as a rite of passage?

“We baby boomers were apparently the last generation whose doctors, and therefore parents, accepted the measles as just one more annoying rite of passage of childhood that also happened to prime the immune system and provide lifelong immunity. Medical texts prior to the advent of the vaccine described measles as a benign, selflimiting (sic) childhood infectious disease that posed little risk to the average well-nourished child.”

Darrerl Crain, DC on The Great Measles Misunderstanding

While early pediatric textbooks did a great job describing the symptoms of measles, they also did a great job of documenting that measles was never a benign disease, something anti-vaccine folks still misunderstand because vaccines can do such a good job controlling the disease.

Even as overall mortality improved in the mid-20th Century, measles still wasn't a benign disease.
Even as overall mortality improved in the mid-20th Century, measles still wasn’t a benign disease.

Do benign, self-limiting childhood infections diseases kill hundreds of children every year?

This toddler died of measles in 1955.
This toddler died of measles in 1955.

Measles as a rite of passage is something we don’t want to have to go back to. It was a rite of passage that was endured because there was no other choice.

We have a choice now.

Don’t be misled into making the wrong one.

Don’t help anti-vaccine folks bring back measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

Vaccines are safe, effective and necessary.

“Today, vaccination is a cornerstone of pediatric preventive health care and a rite of passage for nearly all of the approximately 11,000 infants born daily in the United States.”

Cohn et al on Immunizations in the United States: A Rite of Passage

Getting vaccinated and protected is a rite of passage that you can look forward to, thanks to the many benefits of vaccines, not one that you should dread or avoid.

More on Measles Deaths