Believe it or not, some folks are still pushing misinformation to scare people away from getting vaccinated and protected against measles.
Ironically, this guy talks about propaganda, manipulating parents, and media lies without saying anything that is truthful.
As I’m sure you are aware, the Disney measles outbreak was not caused by a vaccine strain.
The outbreak strain during the Disney outbreak was B3, which can be traced to outbreaks in Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean. Neither the Disneyland outbreak nor any outbreak has been caused by a vaccine strain of measles.
What about the idea that measles is now harmless???
Or that measles isn’t deadly is a developed country with a well-nourished population???
Why have so many people died with measles in Europe recently if it is so harmless?
Yes, research it for yourself and you will find the complications of recent measles infections he left out, including the pregnant woman with who had a miscarriage during the 2013 measles outbreak in Brooklyn.
you don’t have to worry about getting measles, chicken pox, and rubella, etc., anymore, because these diseases are rare, forgetting to mention that they are still relatively rare in many countries because most people are vaccinated and protected! When more folks skip or delay their vaccines, as they forget what these diseases are like and they listen to anti-vaccine propaganda, we get outbreaks, especially when they aren’t vaccinated and they travel to places where the diseases are more common!
everyone else overlooks the risks, when in fact, the risks of getting vaccinated and protected are just small and all of the so-called vaccine-induced diseases and other things anti-vaccine folks blame on vaccines aren’t real vaccine injuries
you don’t have to worry about getting measles, pertussis, or pneumococcal disease, etc., because those diseases are all mild, neglecting to mention that some people do have complications and some die when they catch them
if you don’t choose to vaccinate your kids on your own,someone is going to force you to get them vaccinated, overlooking that vaccine mandates don’t actually force anyone to vaccinate their kids – they are just about whether or not intentionally unvaccinated kids should be able to attend school
your choice to skip or delay your child’s vaccines won’t affect anyone else, failing to mention that most outbreaks are started by someone who is intentionally not vaccinated
if there is a risk, there must be a choice, but with their slogan, they overstate the risks of vaccines, never mention the risks of having the disease, and don’t mention the risk of your child getting other people sick, taking away their choice to keep their kids safe and healthy
you can always get vaccinated, but you can never get unvaccinated, neglecting to mention that you can indeed wait too long to vaccinate your kids
“…the measles outbreak was made out to be a unfounded panic created by big pharmaceutical companies and meant to push legislative agendas. Del Bigtree, a celebrity in the anti-vaccine movement, spoke with “Dr. Bob Sears.” My mom and I sat down, watching this video so she could prove her beliefs were not unfounded. In this video, Dr. Bob Sears claims that in the past 15 years there hasn’t been a single death to the measles. In contrast, 449 people have had fatal reactions to the MMR vaccine.”
Testimony of Ethan Lindenberger Student at Norwalk High school Before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee March 5th, 2019
These and many other comments didn’t make it into his oral statements.
“Although Ethan did not include this information in his verbal testimony, it was part of his original verbal statements (which were leaked), then edited out – for obvious reasons.”
The obvious reason is that each witness only had five minutes to speak, not some conspiracy as Dr. Bob seems to be implying!
And his original, written statements weren’t leaked. Like the statements of every other witness, they were posted on the Senate Committee website.
After clearing up all of that, do we still need to discuss how Dr. Bob is trying to justify any of his statements about the MMR vaccine?
Even though you can guess where this is going, let’s go ahead and do it to be complete, especially since Dr. Bob really does seem to want folks to know where “the fact” of the 459 fatal reactions to the MMR vaccine come from.
You likely already know this, but they are simply reports to VAERS. And you likely also know that “inclusion of events in VAERS data does not imply causality.” That little fact is included in a disclaimer when you search the VAERS database, which is why anti-vaccine folks created their own search tool at MedAlerts – the reference Dr. Bob uses.
But just because we understand that these reports aren’t proof of causality doesn’t mean that we dismiss them. No one dismisses VAERS reports as unscientific, as Bob Sears claims.
“And if you are the type of doctor, or Legislator, who likes to dismiss VAERS reports as “unscientific,” then please explain why HHS even bothers to collect the data? Spend millions of dollars collecting scientific data, then do nothing with it? Who does that? And what type of scientist ignores data? Is that what Congress had in mind when it created the VAERS system as a Federal Law?”
“VAERS is used to detect possible safety problems – called “signals” – that may be related to vaccination. If a vaccine safety signal is identified through VAERS, scientists may conduct further studies to find out if the signal represents an actual risk.”
CDC on How VAERS is Used
Remember, it was using VAERS data that CDC and FDA vaccine experts quickly discovered that the first RotaShield rotavirus vaccine was associated with an increased risk of intussusception.
“In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics warned about this in a 1998 publication in Pediatrics that confirmed 48 cases of severe or fatal encephalopathy after Measles Vaccination in the 70s and 80s: 8 children died, and the rest survived but were neurologically devastated.”
What about the AAP warning about encephalopathy and the measles vaccine?
Dr. Bob is talking about a 1997 paper, Acute Encephalopathy Followed by Permanent Brain Injury or Death Associated With Further Attenuated Measles Vaccines: A Review of Claims Submitted to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which concluded that “this clustering suggests that a causal relationship between measles vaccine and encephalopathy may exist as a rare complication of measles immunization.”
“Nevertheless, with a denominator of 75,000,000 vaccinees throughout 23 years, the incidence of acute encephalopathy caused by measles vaccine in this cohort can reasonably be described as very low.”
Weibel et al on Acute Encephalopathy Followed by Permanent Brain Injury or Death Associated With Further Attenuated Measles Vaccines: A Review of Claims Submitted to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
Bob left that part out, didn’t he?
Considering how many children used to die and develop measles encephalitis each year, this small risk would still seem to greatly outweigh the risk of remaining unvaccinated and at risk to get measles.
Fortunately, even that risk is something we likely don’t have to worry about!
“We did not identify any association between MMR vaccination and encephalitis, aseptic meningitis, or autism.”
Mäkelä et al on Neurologic disorders after measles-mumps-rubella vaccination.
Although encephalopathy or encephalitis is still a table injury, studies have shown it is likely not associated with getting the MMR vaccine.
“For encephalitis and aseptic meningitis, the numbers of events observed within a 3-month risk interval after vaccination were compared with the expected numbers estimated on the basis of occurrence of encephalitis and aseptic meningitis during the subsequent 3-month intervals. “
Mäkelä et al on Neurologic disorders after measles-mumps-rubella vaccination.
And then there is the 2012 IOM report, Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality, which found inadequate evidence to be able to conclude that encephalitis was caused by vaccines.
“The last child to die from measles infection in the United States was back in 2003. Since then, over 100 fatal VAERS reports have been filed for the MMR vaccine. At what point would mandating this no longer be considered in the interest of the greater good? “
Bob ignores those reports and ignores the fact that a woman died in 2015.
He also ignores the fact that you don’t even have to go all of the way back to 2003 to find the last child who died of measles.
a 17-year-old died of SSPE in 2004
a 1-year-old died of measles in 2005
an 11-year-old died of SSPE in 2005
an 8-year-old and a 12-year-old died of SSPE in 2006
a 19-year-old died of SSPE in 2007
a 13-year-old died of SSPE in 2008
a 17-year-old died of SSPE in 2011
an infant died of SSPE in 2012
More importantly though, he ignores that fact that the only reason that there aren’t even more measles deaths these days is because most people are vaccinated and protected! Even Bob used to understand this…
“I also warn them not to share their fears with their neighbors, because if too many people avoid the MMR, we’ll likely see the diseases increase significantly.”
Bob Sears in The Vaccine Book
Unfortunately, people shared their fears with their neighbors… And we are seeing the consequences of what happens when folks scare parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids.
“Sometimes these vaccine mandates have run amok. As when the government mandated a rotavirus vaccine that was later recalled because it was causing intestinal blockage in children.”
Sen Rand Paul
That’s an interesting example of “the government” that has run amok…
Which “government” mandated that the original rotavirus vaccine be given to children?
As Senator Paul hopefully understands, the Federal government doesn’t mandate vaccines for anyone. And since it must be given at such a young age, even states don’t actually mandate that the rotavirus vaccine be given to children…
Even today, there are no mandates for the rotavirus vaccine.
If there were, it still wouldn’t mean giving up your Liberty, after all, vaccine mandates don’t mean forced vaccination.
“It is wrong to say that there are no risks to vaccines. Even the government admits that children are sometimes injured by vaccines. Since 1988, over $4 billion has been paid out from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Despite the government admitting to and paying $4 billion for vaccine injuries, no informed consent is used or required when you vaccinate your child. This may be the only medical procedure in today’s medical world where an informed consent is not required. “
What folks actually say is that vaccines are safe, with few serious risks.
And the $4 billion that Rand Paul and anti-vaccine folks often talk about has been paid out over more than 30 years, during a time that we have given nearly 300 million doses of vaccines each and every year!
“Now proponents of mandatory government vaccination argue that parents who refuse to vaccinate their children risk spreading these diseases to the immunocompromised community. There doesn’t seem to be enough evidence of this happening for it to be recorded as a statistic, but it could happen. But if the fear of this is valid, are we to find that next we will be mandating flu vaccine?”
You probably aren’t surprised to hear that Japanese encephalitis isn’t very common in the United States.
“Travelers who go to Asia are at risk for getting Japanese encephalitis (See map). For most travelers the risk is extremely low but depends on where you are going, the time of year, your planned activities, and the length of the trip. You are at higher risk if you are traveling to rural areas, will be outside frequently, or will be traveling for a long period of time”
Fortunately, if you are one of those travelers who will be at risk, a Japanese encephalitis vaccine is available.
Is the Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine the Stupidest Vaccine Known to Man?
So how many people get Japanese encephalitis in the United States?
Not many, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important to have a Japanese encephalitis vaccine if you need it, right?
“Now correct me if I’m wrong, but no one seems to be complaining of the fact that we have two vaccines that injured have injury rates adverse events of over 100 people. Nine serious adverse events. When the disease itself has only infected 12 human beings in 24 years.
That means that both of these vaccines are six times more dangerous than the disease itself, yet no one on this panel seems to want to discuss that. I imagine that you all will pass whatever it is the Japanese encephalitis next – the stupidest vaccine known to man.
Remember 12 people infected in America – 4 million people visiting the Asia every single year – 24 years – 12 people been infected, and yet we are having this conversation. It is clear that this is a money making operation for the vaccine maker and has nothing to do with actual safety.”
It is clear that he doesn’t understand how any of this works, so let’s correct him, since he did ask.
First things first.
Why does he think that only 12 people have been infected with Japanese encephalitis in the United States?
“In the United States, in 25-year period following licensure of JE vaccine in 1992, 12 travel-associated cases reported (< 1 case per year)”
Review of Japanese encephalitis (JE) and JE Vaccine Work Group plans
That’s actually the data from the ACIP JE Vaccine Work Group…
Japanese encephalitis is more common in Asia, where it is endemic in 24 countries in the WHO South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions.
Still, since it isn’t on the list of National Notifiable Conditions, it is possible that a low number of cases have been reported to the CDC because few of the cases actually get reported.
It is also possible that there are few cases because folks who are high risk now get vaccinated and protected. Rates were higher in the pre-vaccine era.
But there is also the fact that most travelers are not at risk to get Japanese encephalitis, so maybe there really have only been 12 cases.
“However, given the large numbers of travelers to Asia (>5.5 million U.S. travelers entered JE-endemic countries in 2004), the low risk for JE for most travelers to Asia, and the high cost of JE-VC ($400–$500 per 2-dose primary series), providing JE vaccine to all travelers to Asia likely would not be cost-effective. In addition, for some travelers with lower risk itineraries, even a low probability of vaccine-related serious adverse events might be higher than the risk for disease. Therefore, JE vaccine should be targeted to travelers who, on the basis of their planned travel itinerary and activities, are at higher risk for disease.”
Use of Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine in Children: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, 2013
That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have these vaccines or that this is all part of a money-making operation, does it?
If it was a “money-making operation,” wouldn’t the ACIP recommend the Japanese encephalitis vaccines for all travelers?
“Travelers to JE-endemic countries should be advised of the risks for JE disease and the importance of personal protective measures to reduce the risk for mosquito bites. For some travelers who will be in a higher-risk setting based on season, location, duration, and activities, JE vaccine can further reduce the risk for infection. JE vaccine is recommended for travelers who plan to spend a month or longer in endemic areas during the JE virus transmission season.”
Use of Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine in Children: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, 2013
Instead, they make recommendations, even with the latest updates, that virtually guarantees a very low market for the vaccine.
But if the disease isn’t common, why have a vaccine at all?
“Although symptomatic Japanese encephalitis (JE) is rare, the case-fatality rate among those with encephalitis can be as high as 30%. Permanent neurologic or psychiatric sequelae can occur in 30%–50% of those with encephalitis.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2017 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released December, 2018. Data are from the Multiple Cause of Death Files, 1999-2017, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. Accessed at http://wonder.cdc.gov/ucd-icd10.html on Feb 28, 2019 8:53:52 PM
Anti-vaccine folks like to talk about death and measles, as long as they can talk about vaccine deaths, something they seem to think happens commonly.
“Over the past ten years in the U.S., there has been one reported death from the measles, and it is unclear based on the medical history of the patient whether and how measles played a role in their death. During the same time period (based on Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) reports), there have been 105 reported deaths associated with the MMR or MMRV vaccinations.”
Measles Madness: Dr. Brian Hooker’s Statement to WA Legislators
There are two big problems with this statement, that is so often repeated that it is clearly a PRATT – a point refuted a thousand times.
The reports in VAERS about deaths after MMR are not proof of a cause-and-effect relationship.
“Reports of all possible associations between vaccines and adverse events (possible side effects) are filed in VAERS. Therefore, VAERS collects data on any adverse event following vaccination, be it coincidental or truly caused by a vaccine. The report of an adverse event to VAERS is not documentation that a vaccine caused the event.”
Guide to Interpreting VAERS Data
In fact, studies have shown that most of the reports of deaths submitted to VAERS are coincidental and not causally associated with a vaccine.
There are plenty of those that anti-vaccine folks love to ignore.
Where are they?
These deaths are all in the CDC Wonder database.
Before the death of the woman in Washington in 2015, the CDC caused a lot of confusion by stating that “the last verifiable death in the United States from acute measles infection occurred in 2003 when there were 2 reported deaths.”
Does that mean that the measles deaths in 2005, 2009, 2010, and 2012 didn’t happen?
Of course not!
The information in the CDC Wonder database comes from death certificates that are sent in from all over the United States to the National Vital Statistics System. The system isn’t like VAERS though, where just anyone can send in a report. Still, they are unverified, which is why the CDC doesn’t mention them all.
“Existing evidence on the safety and effectiveness of MMR vaccine supports current policies of mass immunisation aimed at global measles eradication and in order to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with mumps and rubella.”
Cochrane Systematic Review on Vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella in children
Let’s see if you still are after we get all of your questions about the measles vaccine answered…
How long has the measles vaccine been around? The very first measles vaccine was licensed by John Enders in 1963. An improved measles vaccine was developed by Maurice Hilleman and licensed in 1968, and that is the measles vaccine that we still use today, at least in the United States. It was combined into the MMR vaccine in 1971.
How effective is the measles vaccine? A single dose of the measles vaccine is about 93% effective at preventing a measles infection. Two doses (the second dose was added to the routine immunization schedule in 1994) are up to 97% effective. That’s why almost all of the people who get measles in an outbreak are unvaccinated.
How long does immunity from the measles vaccine last? Immunity from the measles vaccine is thought to be life-long. It is important to understand that the second dose isn’t a booster dose, but is instead for those few folks who don’t respond to the first dose.
Who should get the measles vaccine? Everyone without a true medical contraindication should get the measles vaccine (MMR), with the first dose at 12-15 months and a second dose at 4-6 years.
Can my kids get their measles vaccine early? An advanced immunization schedule is available for kids in an outbreak or if they will be traveling out of the country. The first dose can be given as early as age 6-months, but is repeated when the child is 12 months because of concerns of interference with maternal antibodies. The official second dose can be given early too, as early as 4 weeks after the first dose, as long as the child is at least 12 months old.
Do I need a booster dose of the measles vaccine? People who are fully immunized do not need a booster dose of the MMR vaccine, but it is important to understand whether or not you are really fully immunized to see if you need a second dose. Some adults who are not high risk are considered fully vaccinated with only one dose, while others should have two doses. Are you at high risk to get measles? Do you travel, live in an area where there are measles outbreaks, go to college, or work as a health care professional?
Should I check my measles titers? In general, it is not necessary to check your titers for measles. If you haven’t had two doses of the MMR vaccine, then get a second dose. If you have had two doses of the MMR vaccine, then you are considered protected. Keep in mind that there is no recommendation to get a third dose of MMR for measles protection, although it is sometimes recommended for mumps protection during a mumps outbreak.
If my child gets a rash after getting his MMR, does that mean that he has measles? No. This is a common, very mild vaccine reaction and not a sign of measles.
Can the measles vaccine cause seizures? The MMR vaccine can cause febrile seizures. It is important to remember that without other risk factors, kids who develop febrile seizures after a vaccine are at the same small risk for developing epilepsy as other kids. And know that vaccines aren’t the only cause of febrile seizures. Vaccine-preventable diseases can cause both febrile seizures and more serious non-febrile seizures.
Why do people think that that the measles vaccine is associated with autism? It is well known that this idea originated with Andrew Wakefield, but the real question should be why do some people still think that vaccines are associated with autism after so much evidence has said that they aren’t?
What are the risks of the measles vaccine? Like other vaccines, the MMR vaccine has mild risks or side effects, including fever, rash, and soreness at the injection site. Some more moderate reactions that can rarely occur include febrile seizures, joint pain, and a temporary low platelet count. More serious reactions are even rarer, but can include deafness, long-term seizures, coma, or lowered consciousness, brain damage, and life-threatening allergic reactions.
When did they take mercury out of the measles vaccine? Measles vaccines, including the MMR, have never, ever contained mercury or thimerosal.
Why do we still have outbreaks if we have had a measles vaccine since 1963? In the United States, although the endemic spread of measles was declared eliminated in 2000, many cases are still imported from other countries. As measles cases increase around the world, that is translating to an increase in outbreaks here. Even though overall vaccination rates are good, because there are many pockets of susceptible people in areas that don’t vaccinate their kids, they get hit with outbreaks.
Can we eradicate measles? Because measles is so contagious, the vaccine does have failures, and some folks still don’t get vaccinated, there is some doubt that we can eradicate measles without a better vaccine. That doesn’t mean that the current measles vaccines can’t prevent outbreaks though…
Are you ready to get your kids their MMR vaccine so that they are vaccinated and protected against measles, mumps, and rubella?