We know why most folks got scared of the MMR vaccine.
And most of us remember when most folks welcomed the MMR vaccine the end of endemic measles in the United States.
Why You Were Worried About the MMR Vaccine
Of course, that all changed when Andrew Wakefield spoke at the press conference for his 1998 Lancet paper and said:
“And I have to say that there is sufficient anxiety in my own mind of the safety, the long term safety of the polyvalent, that is the MMR vaccination in combination, that I think that it should be suspended in favour of the single vaccines, that is continued use of the individual measles, mumps and rubella components… there is no doubt that if you give three viruses together, three live viruses, then you potentially increase the risk of an adverse event occurring, particularly when one of those viruses influences the immune system in the way that measles does. And it may be, and studies will show this or not, that giving the measles on its own reduces the risk of this particular syndrome developing… the risk of this particular syndrome developing is related to the combined vaccine, the MMR, rather than the single vaccines…. People have been saying for some time, people on the periphery of autism, have been saying for some time that this may well be related to bowel damage.”
Although there was no evidence for any of that, vaccination rates went down and measles rates went up – the Wakefield Factor.
But no, it wasn’t one person at a press conference that us lead down a decade of worry about the MMR vaccine.
“And then the nurse gave my son that shot. And I remember going, “Oh, God, no!” And soon thereafter I noticed a change. The soul was gone from his eyes.”
What does Lou Dobbs and vaccines know about vaccines?
Like Larry King, Lou Dobbs used to be on CNN.
Lou Dobbs, with a degree in economics, used to focus more on business issues, unlike King, who interviewed politicians and people in the entertainment industry.
They had some crossover in that they both seem to like conspiracy theories.
And they both did some shows with an anti-vaccine focus.
For Larry King, of course, it was usually the shows that featured Jenny McCarthy.
Lou Dobbs went a different route.
On his show Lou Dobbs Tonight, he pushed the false idea that “illegal aliens” were fueling outbreaks of disease in the United States:
The invasion of illegal aliens is threatening the health of many Americans. Highly-contagious diseases are now crossing our borders decades after those diseases had been eradicated in this country.
He warned that “there are rising fears that once eradicated diseases are now returning to this country through our open borders. Those diseases are threatening the health of nearly every American as well as illegal aliens themselves.”
While Dobbs typically talked about leprosy, others blame measles and outbreaks of other vaccine-preventable diseases on undocumented immigrants.
Lou Dobbs also featured so-called “vaccine watchdog” Barbara Loe Fisher in a story about “Forced Vaccinations” in 2009.