It’s no surprise.
If we stop vaccinating, diseases that are now vaccine preventable will come back.
How do we know?
Because it has happened already.
We Know What Happens If We Stop Vaccinating
It has happened a lot, actually.
Remember when Sweden stopped using the DPT vaccine?
Between 1979 and 1996, Sweden suspended vaccination against pertussis because of concerns about the DPT vaccine.
And what happened?
“In 1979, the Swedish medical society abandoned whole-cell pertussis vaccine and decided to wait for a new, safer, more effective vaccine – a strategy that was soon adopted as national policy. During 1980-83, annual incidence for children aged 0–4 years increased to 3370 per 100000, with rates of serious complications approaching global rates. In subsequent years, Sweden reported more than 10000 cases annually with an incidence exceeding 100 per 100000, comparable to rates reported in some developing countries.”Ganarosa et al on Impact of anti-vaccine movements on pertussis control: the untold story.
Pertussis came back.
In fact, endemic pertussis came back.
“Our evaluation of pertussis in the unimmunized child population gave an answer to the question of whether pertussis nowadays is a harmless disease which does not demand general vaccination. The present situation regarding pertussis in Sweden and the low efficacy of the antimicrobial treatment indicate an urgent need to prevent the disease by general vaccination as soon as a safe and effective vaccine is available.”Romanus et al on Pertussis in Sweden after the cessation of general immunization in 1979.
Of course, they already had a safe and effective vaccine at the time. All of the claims against the whole cell pertussis vaccine ended up being untrue.
The same thing happened when Japan stopped using the MMR vaccine.
“Due directly to these gaps in ‘herd’ immunization resulting from politicized transitions in vaccination policy by the government, there were outbreaks of rubella with 17,050 cases reported between the years of 2012 and 2014, and 45 cases of congenital rubella syndrome reported to the National Epidemiological Surveillance of Infectious Diseases from week 1, 2012 to week 40, 2014.”
Yusuke Tanaka on History repeats itself in Japan: Failure to learn from rubella epidemic leads to failure to provide the HPV vaccine
What happened in Ukraine when immunization rates dropped in the 1990s? There were 17,387 cases of diphtheria and 646 deaths from 1992 to 1997. Also high, were cases of measles (over 23,000 cases in 1993) and pertussis (almost 7,000 cases in 1993).
Remember the measles outbreaks that spread across Europe in 2010 to 11, leading to about 30,000 cases of measles each year, and at least 28 deaths?
That should have been enough to warn folks, but it didn’t.
Things are much worse now, with over 120 measles deaths in Europe over the past few years.
More recently, in Venezuela, shortages of most things have led to ongoing epidemics of measles and diphtheria, a “potential for reemergence of poliomyelitis,” and a risk to neighboring countries.
“Officials say the low coverage rate and widespread transmission of the virus is due to many factors, including transport costs for those in rural areas, a high number of people with weakened immune systems, such people living with HIV and tuberculosis – and vaccine refusal.”Ukraine: Red Cross deployed to help contain largest measles outbreak in Europe in four years
And once again, there are measles outbreaks in Ukraine. This time, they have spread to many other countries, fueling outbreaks in Israel and the United States.
We know what happens if we stop vaccinating. Get vaccinated and stop the outbreaks.
Vaccines are safe, with few risks, and are very obviously necessary.
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