There have been hundreds of media stories published in the U.S. and around the world since Jan. 14, 2015, the day after it was first reported that visitors to Disneyland got measles and presumably infected other people in California, Washington, Utah and Colorado.1 Like wildfire, the story spread globally even though there was—and still is—limited information about the 166 lab-confirmed cases of measles public health officials say are linked to the happiest place on earth. According to a Jan. 23 Health Advisory issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) when there were 51 confirmed cases, “no source case for the outbreak has been identified.”2
Demonizing of Parents and Their Children The U.S. has a population of more than 320 million people and 38 million people live in California, so it is curious why a handful of measles cases prompted one California newspaper to quickly place blame on parents making informed vaccine choices, calling them “ignorant” and engaged in a “self-absorbed rejection of science.”3 Astroturfers4 and trolls5 6 saw that kind of talk as a green light to do more of it on public comment boards, suggesting that children with vaccine-related brain injuries are genetic mutants and calling mothers of vaccine injured children “liars” and “witches.”7
Pediatrician Leads Blame and Shame Game
Dr. James Cherry,8 a prominent UCLA pediatrician and infectious disease expert, publicly joined in the blame and shame game, hurling insults at parents declining to give children every one of the government recommended 69 doses of 16 vaccines, including two MMR shots. Dr. Cherry said, “There are some pretty dumb people out there,”9 and “Some people are just terribly selfish.”10 Name-calling is a convenient way to deflect attention from inconvenient truths about vaccine failures and the dissolving myth of vaccine acquired herd immunity.11
A Very Highly Vaccinated U.S. Population
Case in point: there were 644 cases of measles reported in America in 2014,12 even though 95% of children entering kindergarten 13 have gotten two doses of MMR vaccine, which is also true for 92% of school children ages 13 to 17 years.14 Plus, less than 1% of children under age three are completely unvaccinated and 92% of them have gotten one or more MMR shots.15 In some states, the MMR vaccination rate is approaching 100%.16 According to Dr. Cherry, measles vaccine acquired herd immunity is in effect with a measles vaccination rate of more than 90%.17 Well, that has been true in America since 1981 with one dose of MMR vaccine18 and since 2000 for two doses of MMR vaccine, which is one reason why the CDC declared measles eradicated from the U.S. in 2000.19
But, clearly, measles virus has not been eradicated from the U.S., just like measles has not been eradicated from any other country and emerging scientific evidence suggests it never will be—no matter how many doses of MMR vaccine are mandated for every man, woman and child in the world.20 21 22 23 23
Why is a big deal being made out of 166 cases of measles reported in the U.S.?
Flu Shots That Don’t Work
Perhaps public health officials would prefer that the media and the public focus on a handful of measles cases at Disneyland and not focus on the fact that millions of Americans have gotten flu shots that don’t work and health care workers are being fired if they don’t get flu shots that don’t work.24 25 If you got a flu shot this year, it will do absolutely nothing to protect you from the influenza strain making most people sick.26 27 28 Worse, scientists have confirmed that the more often you get an annual flu shot, the less effective it is!29 30
How many vaccinated people are attending schools, going to grocery stories and working in hospitals and doctors offices without a clue they are infected with and shedding and transmitting influenza virus because they only have mild flu symptoms or no symptoms at all.31 32 And it is anybody’s guess how many children are getting sick after live virus influenza vaccine is sprayed up their noses33 or are shedding vaccine strain live virus that could make other people sick.34 35
Pertussis Vaccine Failing
The pertussis vaccine is failing, too.36 37
Like measles, in recent years there have been huge increases in reports of B. pertussis whooping cough among children and adults in California and other states and many of those people have been vaccinated.38 39 That was true for pertussis outbreaks in the U.S. 30 years ago, too.40 41
Now public health officials are finally admitting the truth that many scientists have been publishing for a long time: you can be fully vaccinated for pertussis, get infected and show atypical or no symptoms and spread whooping cough to vaccinated and unvaccinated persons.42 43 44
In fact, Dr. Cherry himself admits that there are millions of undiagnosed B. pertussis whooping cough cases every year in America,45 even though 95% or more of America’s school children have gotten multiple doses of pertussis containing vaccinations.46 In 2013, Dr. Cherry wrote, “Neither B. pertussis infection or pertussis vaccination elicit long-lasting immunity. Infection and illness repeatedly occur in all ages throughout life.”47
So much for the myth of pertussis vaccine acquired herd immunity.48
It isn’t very scientific to blame pertussis or influenza outbreaks on unvaccinated people. And it isn’t very scientific to blame measles outbreaks on unvaccinated people, either. In some outbreaks of measles in California last year, nearly 20% of the people had been vaccinated.49 The CDC says that 12% of the measles cases associated with Disneyland were vaccinated, some of them with at least two doses of MMR vaccine.50
Measles vaccine acquired herd immunity is a dissolving myth, too.51 52 53
Public health doctors are scrambling to explain leaks in measles vaccine immunity54 55 and have come up with this lame excuse: they say they just discovered that 1 measles vaccinated adult in 10 is now susceptible to measles because vaccine immunity wears off.56 They call it “waning immunity.”57
More MMR Shots Coming?
Now get ready for the sucker punch: Dr. Cherry told a TV network last week that the solution to waning measles vaccine immunity is to “give additional doses” of MMR vaccine to adults.58 59
That’s right. Let’s just mandate more MMR shots for millions of Americans and make Merck’s stockholders really happy.60
But who is Dr. Cherry kidding? We all know that adults are way too hard to pin down—unless you threaten them with loss of a job or medical care or put them in prison—so I predict that the third MMR shot will more likely target high school students and people trying to get a college education.61
Dr. Cherry’s solution to reported measles cases at Disneyland reminds me of when doctors told parents in 1990 that they didn’t realize one dose of MMR vaccine would fail to provide lifelong immunity after all, so kids are going to have to get a second dose of MMR.62
Inconvenient Scientific Truths About Measles Vaccine
The inconvenient scientific truth about measles in Disneyland and around the world is that public health doctors do not know how many vaccinated people can be infected with measles, show few or no symptoms and transmit measles to other people.63 Government health officials do not conduct rountine active surveillance of vaccinated people to find out if they are experiencing asymptomatic or atypical measles and transmitting it to others. In addition, there are published studies demonstrating that people given live virus measles vaccine can be infected with vaccine strain measles virus and shed vaccine strain measles virus.64 65 66 Health officials do not conduct routine active surveillance of people getting live MMR vaccine to monitor for vaccine strain measles virus infection, shedding and the potential for transmission.
Most doctors and parents don’t know that the CDC warns, “During outbreaks, measles vaccine is administered to help control the outbreak, and in these situations, vaccine reactions may be mistakenly classified as measles cases. A small proportion of measles vaccine recipients experience rash and fever 10–14 days following vaccination.”67
Yes, MMR vaccine can cause vaccine strain measles infection that looks just like measles.68
Plus, other common viral infections—like adenovirus infections—can look just like measles with rash, fever and conjunctivitis symptoms69 70 and be misdiagnosed as measles UNLESS there is expensive RNA lab testing done to confirm that what looks like measles really is wild type measles.71
Plans to Further Damage California Vaccine Exemptions
And now for the second sucker punch, at least for families living in California: Dr. Pan, the pediatrician politician who lobbied in 2013 to pass a bill restricting non-medical vaccine exemptions for children to attend school, told one California newspaper last week that he intends to introduce new legislation to do more damage to the ability of parents to weigh the benefits and risks of vaccination and make voluntary vaccine choices for their children.72
Will California health officials take away religious and conscientious belief vaccine exemptions and leave doctors like Dr. Pan and Dr. Cherry in charge of who gets a public education?
Using Disneyland to Move the Goalposts
The hype about 166 cases of measles reportedly linked to Disneyland73 has more to do with covering up vaccine failures and propping up the dissolving myth of vaccine acquired herd immunity than it does about protecting the public health. It has a lot to do with defensive doctors trying to blame a minority of parents who are refusing to place irrational faith in them and their moving goal posts,74 and are choosing instead to think and act rationally.75
That third MMR shot is coming to America and so is a massive Pharma-led lobby attempt to demonize and punish76 77 all Americans who defend the human right to exercise informed consent to medical risk-taking, including vaccine risk-taking.78 The calls to strike down those who do not use every dose of the growing list of government-mandated vaccines, is on a fast track.79 80 It will include banning the unvaccinated from exercising the right to get a public education, medical care,81 employment and many other human and civil rights.
Americans Have A Choice to Make
The battle lines are clearly drawn. Now Americans have a choice to make: will we stand up and fight to protect our human right to make voluntary decisions about which vaccines we buy and use, or will we permit liability free drug companies and government health officials to take that freedom from us? 82
1 Xia R, Lin RG. Disneyland measles outbreak: infected woman took 2 flights before diagnosis. Los Angeles Times Jan. 13, 2015.
2 CDC. U.S. Multi-State Measles Outbreak, December 2014-January 2015. CDC Health Alert Network Jan. 23, 2015 (2 p.m.ET).
3 Editorial. Blame Disneyland measles outbreak on anti-science stubbornness. LA Times Jan. 15, 2015.
4 Sourcewatch.org. Astroturf: Virtual Astroturf (the “Echo Chamber” approach to advocacy). May 20, 2012.
5 Gil P. What is “Trolling?” About.com 2015.
6 Buckels EE, Trapnell PD, Paulhus DL. Trolls just want to have fun. Personality and Individual Differences 2014.
7 LA Times. Re: Jan. 14, 2015 article “Disneyland, holiday travel a perfect mix for measles’ spread.”
8 UCLA. James Cherry, M.D. Biography.Accessed online Jan. 26, 2015.
9 Nagourney A, Goodnough. A Measles Cases Linked to Disneyland Rise and Debate OverVaccinations Intensifies. New York Times Jan. 21, 2005.
10 Chang A. Measles Outbreak Casts Spotlight on Anti-Vaccine Movement. Associated Press Jan. 23, 2015.
11 Humphries S, Bystrianyk R. Dissolving Illusions Disease, Vaccines, and the Forgotten History. Jul. 27, 2013.
12 CDC. Measles Cases and Outbreaks During 2014 (U.S.). Jan. 23, 2015.
13 CDC. Vaccination Coverage Among Children in Kindergarten—United States, 2013-2014 School Year. MMWR Oct. 17, 2014; 63(4): 913-920.
14 CDC. National, Regional, State and Selected Local Area Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents Aged 13 to 17 Years—United States, 2013. MMWR Jul. 25, 2015; 63(29): 625-633.
15 CDC. National, State and Selected Local Area Vaccination Coverage Among Children Aged 19- 35 Months–United States. MMWR Aug. 29, 2014; 63(34): 741-748.
16 CDC.Vaccination Coverage Among Children in Kindergarten – United States, 2013-2014 School Year.MMWR Oct. 17, 2014; 63(4): 913-920. (HI, MI, NC, UT).
17 Cherry JD, Harriman KH. Why Do Vaccine-Preventable Disease Outbreaks Occur in the U.S.? Measles. Medscape 2012.
18 Hinman AR, Orenstein WA, Schuchat A..Vaccine Preventable Diseases, Immunization and MMWR 1961-2011. MMWR 2011; 60(04): 49-57.
19 Cherry JD, Harriman KH. Why Do Vaccine-Preventable Disease Outbreaks Occur in the U.S.? Measles. Medscape 2012.
20 World Health Organization. Measles Deaths Decline But Elimination Progress Stalls in Some Regions. WHO Jan. 17, 2013.
21 Christensen B. Bottiger M. Measles Antibody: Comparison of Long Term Vaccination Titres, Early Vaccination Titres and Naturally Acquired Immunity and Booster Effects of the Measles Virus. Vaccine 1994; 12(2) 129-133.
22 Heffernan JM, Keeling MJ. Implications of Vaccination and waning immunity. Proc. R. Soc. B June 7, 2009; 276(1664): 2071-2080.
23 Barrett S. Economic Considerations for the Eradication Endgame. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 2013; 368.
24 Fisher BL. Women, Vaccines & Bodily Integrity. NVIC Newsletter Jan. 24, 2013.
25 Sky News. Pregnant Nurse Fired for Flu Shot Refusal. Dec. 19, 2013.
26 Roos R. CDC’s flu warning raises questions about vaccine match. CIDRAP Dec. 5, 2014.
27 Fisher BL. ANOTHER Epic Fail for Influenza Vaccines. NVIC Newsletter Jan. 7, 2015.
28 CBC News. Flu vaccine only 23% effective in U.S., even less effective in Canada. CBC News Jan. 15, 2015.
29 CBC. Flu vaccine paradox adds to public health debate. CBC News Jan. 16, 2015.
30 McLean HQ, Thompson MG, Sundaram ME. Impact of Repeated Vaccination on Vaccine Effectiveness Against Influenza A (H3N2) and B During 8 Seasons. Clin Infect Dis 2014; 59(10): 1375-1385.
31 Currat F, Vergu E, Ferguson NM et al. Time Lines of Infection and Disease in Human Influenza: A Review of Volunteer Challenge Studies. Am J Epidemiol 2008; 167(7): 775-785.
32 Quino TL, Brice GT, Hayes S et al. Influenza Outbreak in a Vaccinated Population — USS Ardent, February 2014. MMWR 2014; 63(42):947-949.
33 MedImmune. FluMist Quadrivalent (Influenza Vaccine Live, Intranasal):Highlights of Prescribing Information
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38 Witt MA, Katz PH, Witt DJ. Unexpectedly Limited Durability of Immunity Following Acellular Pertussis Vaccinated in Pre-Adolescents in a North American Outbreak. Clin Infect Dis 2012.
39 Brooks DA, Clover R. Pertussis Infection in the United States: Role for Vaccination of Adolescents and Adults. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine 19:603-611. 2006.
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42 FDA. FDA Study helps provide an understanding of rising rates of whooping cough and response to vaccination. Press Release: Nov. 27, 2013.
43 Warfel JM, Zimmerman LI, Merkel TJ. Acellular pertussis vaccines protect against disease but fail to prevent infection and transmission. Proc Natl Acad Sci 2014; 111(2): 787-792.
44 Dashi As, Karimi AK et al. Serologic Evidence of Pertussis Infection in Vaccinated Iranian Children. Iran J Med Sci Dec. 2012; 37(4): 260-265.
45 Cherry JD. The epidemiology of pertussis: a comparison of the epidemiology of the disease pertussis with the epidemiology of Bordetella pertussis infection. Pediatrics 2005; 111(5): 1422-1427.
46 See References #13-14.
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50 CDC. US Multi-state Measles Outbreak, December 2014 – January 2015. CDC Health Advisory Jan. 23, 2015.
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53 Zhao H, Lu PS et al. Low titers of measles antibody in mothers whose infants suffered from measles before eligible age for measles vaccination. Virology Journal 2010; 7(87).
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55 Rosen JE, Rota JS, Hickman CJ et al. Outbreak of Measles Among Persons With Prior Evidence of Immunity, New York City, 2011. Clin Infect Dis Feb. 27, 2014.
56 Briggs B. Have You Had Your Measles Shot? Maybe You Need Another. NBC News Jan. 21, 2015.
57 Chen CJ, Lee PI, Hsieh YC et al. Waning population immunity to measles in Taiwan. Vaccine 2012; 30(47): 6721-6727.
58 Briggs B. Have You Had Your Measles Shot? Maybe You Need Another. NBC News Jan. 21, 2015.
59 Marshall Clinic. Clinic to St
Barbara: Has anyone checked to see if a group of the undocumented dreamers visited Disneyland during this period? One of the purposes for people coming another country with a visa or other official documentation, is to make sure they are healthy and have all of the shots that are required.Have they tested to see if the measles are of strains that we normally have in the U.S. or are they strains from other countries? The people I know in the U.S. whose children have not received all or some of the vaccines required to go to school feed their children very healthy food and give them supplements to normalize their immune systems.