According to recently released WHO/CDC data on worldwide measles mortality, 2018 marks the second year in a row with a significant increase since the historical low in 2016. And 2019 is shaping up to be even worse. The main reason for this is poverty and lack of access is resource poor regions.
A quick recap of vaccine-related news from over the past several weeks.
Thanks in large part to anti-vaccine propaganda and decreasing vaccination rates, 2019 is shaping up to be a bad year when it comes to measles outbreaks, the worst in over 2 decades to be exact. And we are now at risk of losing our hard-fought elimination status.
Dr. Gorski returns from medical leave and finds that a lot has been going on with respect to vaccines, antivaxers, and measles outbreaks. Measles outbreaks are changing the narrative, emboldening legislators to tighten vaccine mandates, and also making antivaxers more radical. However, the narrative is, as is usually the case, more complex than what we usually hear.
It's indisputable that vaccines protect against specific infectious diseases. What's less well known is how a vaccine like the measles vaccine protects against more than just measles.
Make measles great again: A case study of the politicization of school vaccine requirements in Michigan
Protecting our children through school vaccine requirements has long had strong bipartisan support. Unfortunately, the antivaccine movement has had success linking "vaccine choice" with "freedom" and "parental rights", leading to a surge of right wing antivaccine activism that has undermined that bipartisan consensus. Two bills under consideration by the Michigan legislature represent a microcosm of what is going on in much of...
Andrew Wakefield's antivaccine propaganda film VAXXED claims that MMR vaccination causes autism in African American boys. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Wakefield has targeted people of color with antivaccine misinformation. Before there was VAXXED, Wakefield and antivaxers targeted Somali immigrants in Minnesota. Measles outbreaks have been the result.
One of the common tropes of the anti-vaccine movement is that vaccine-preventable diseases are not all that bad. Perhaps the most direct manifestation of this is the self-published children’s book, Melanie’s Marvelous Measles, by Australian author and anti-vaccine activist Stephanie Messenger. Throughout the book Messenger claims that measles is nothing to be frightened of and in fact makes the body stronger. This...