Measles - an emerging political football - Must Read Alaska
Connect with:
Saturday, September 25, 2021
HomeThe 907Measles — an emerging political football

Measles — an emerging political football

gif ad for must read alaska donations

THE INFECTIOUS DISEASE HAS NOT SPREAD IN ALASKA — YET

Between Jan. 1 and Feb. 21, the Centers for Disease Control has reported 159 cases of measles in 10 states, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.

Measles is a highly contagious disease. It can be deadly, particularly for those who have other medical issues or frailties. Like mumps, pertussis, tetanus, and diphtheria, it’s prevented through vaccination.

While 159 is not a big number, it’s more than all the cases in the U.S. in 2017. As of Friday, 71 of the cases were in Washington state, where Alaskans travel routinely. Both Alaska and Washington state have lower-than-average immunization rates.

[View the U.S. map of immunization rates at the CDC]

The current outbreak led to a congressional hearing on Feb 27 that was not widely covered by the media, what with all the other political drama of the week concerning the testimony of Michael Cohen.

“I do believe that parents’ concerns about vaccines leads to undervaccination, and most of the cases that we’re seeing are in unvaccinated communities,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC told the House Committee on Energy and Commerce:

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services issued a public health advisory in late January with information about the disease and vaccinations.

Does the country have an emerging epidemic, or are fears overblown?

All of the outbreaks have been linked to people traveling overseas who were not vaccinated against the disease, and who brought it home with them. The Philippines, where many Alaskans also travel, is a hot spot for measles, with over 11,000 cases this year alone. One cruise ship traveler to Alaska last year had measles and ended up in the hospital in Ketchikan. The teenager had acquired the disease in Thailand and had not been vaccinated.

In 2000, measles was declared eliminated in the U.S. But a growing number of American parents have become wary of the large number of vaccinations being forced on young children, with concerns that some of the vaccinations may lead to serious side effects such as autism or death. Thus, the herd immunity that protected the unvaccinated has diminished.

The anti-vaccination movement is growing across the globe, to the extent that the World Health Organization identified it as one of the top 10 global health threats of 2019.

The hesitancy comes from sincerely held believes that there are unknowns regarding vaccines, as well as strong streak of libertarian resistance to having government force vaccines on children.

In late January, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency in response to confirmed cases of measles in Clark and King Counties, where more than half of all confirmed cases of measles in the United States have occurred. Now, lawmakers in Olympia are considering tightening the “opt-out” rules that allow parents to avoid immunizing their children by simply checking a box that states they have a religious or personal belief that exempts them from the mandatory shots.

While 17 states allow a “personal belief” exemption, Alaska is not one of them, which means only religious exemptions exist for not immunizing children before they are allowed to enroll in school or at some day care facilities. If an outbreak occurs in a community, those non-vaccinated children can ben excluded from school attendance until the disease runs its course.

YOUR OPINION?

What is your opinion on mandatory vaccinations for Alaska’s children? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Donations Welcome

Share

Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • I don’t know about the safety of current measles shots but we’ve always had the feeling that the fever caused by a measle shot for our daughter 41 years ago caused her deafness! The doctor denied it but was that just fear of a liability situation?

    • Yep, but they don’t want to admit it, sad to say. Your daughter should have been cooled with wet towels to force her temp down and given a zink IV to thin her blood out and boost her immune system. We need vaccine reform.

  • NO

  • Mandatory vaccination not only lowered mortality rates, it removed the fear of a lifetime of physical infirmity.
    I had an uncle that had polio. He was an elementary teacher because small children are more accepting of those who are different. The anti-vax crowd began under a lie. But, its affects were minor; they have since transformed into a public hazard. We can hope that education of the anti-vax crowd will help, but it’s difficult to prove a negative. Particularly when one is totally convinced in their blief.

    The requirement to vaccinate is still needed. If parents insist on not vaccinating their children based upon a lie, then their children should not be allowed to attend or participate in events with public or private schools. You may home school your child, but not participate in any events or activities that are normally available to home schoolers.

    • Polio causes permanent damage. Definite grounds for vaccination. Measles and chickenpox on the other hand are not typically life threatening and you are immune once you have had them. There is research, and I would need to do some digging to find again, the now far to common occurrence of shingles is because of the chicken pox vaccine. Shingles evidently only occurs in those that have had chicken pox. It is a strange virus and used to be associated with the very elderly. Now younger people are getting it, and it has become common. Typically before the vaccine for chickenpox, adults would get an ‘immunity booster’ every time chicken pox season rolled around, which also kept them more resistant to shingles. Now, we no longer receive that immune system boost as chicken pox are so rare. I have friends that have had shingles repeatedly, as young as in their 30’s. For a virus that is rarely life threatening, it seems the chicken pox vaccine is a bit of overkill and has opened the door for an increase in shingles. I have no idea if the chicken pox vaccine keeps people from getting shingles also but the shingles vaccine is iffy and no guarantee you won’t get shingles.

      Hence I believe the very seriously life altering diseases like polio and small pox, rubella, are probably important to be vaccinated against. The more benign childhood illnesses should be on individual basis. If people are concerned for themselves or children than get vaccinated.

  • This is a matter of personal choice and should have nothing to do with politics. If vaccines really work, people who are vaccinated shouldn’t worry about anyone who doesn’t want to be vaccinated because the disease couldn’t spread to anyone who had been vaccinated. But if one is a vaccine manufacturer, he would favor an unjust law to force everyone to buy his vaccine.

    • Paul,
      I agree with you.
      It should not matter whether the decision is based on Philosophical, Scientific or Religious Justification.
      Mandatory drug injections into children or adults question the authoritarian approach of our government…
      Are Pharmaceutical Lobbyists pushing the current Agenda?
      Like you said, if the vaccines work so well, what is the vaccinated mass worried about?
      Americans need to look at the research and science behind the preservatives and heavy metals currently found in most vaccines.
      Many of these chemicals are known Carcinogens.
      Lastly, a 15 person average in 10 states is far from an “outbreak”…. more like “inbreaks” within isolated communities.
      Did these cases come from vaccinated children who did not acquire immunity?
      Can the CDC isolate this Measle strain and determine if it is a vaccination strain?

      • And the measles vaccine doesn’t guarantee someone won’t get measles. It reduces the chance. Also one or two of the required three vsccine doses can achieve immunity. Perhaps if big pharma made vaccines less risky by using less preservative heavy metals, eliminating vaccine ‘cocktails’, and allowing for regional and individual need with families consulting with their primary care doctor, we might achieve less resistance and improved vaccinations.
        Our daughter reacted severely to her second round of vaccines as a baby. It was scary and we still don’t know exactly what she reacted too but possibly the preservative. Our pediatrician exempted her from all vaccines until her body had matured – which ended up being when she entered college as an NCAA student athlete. At that point we had titration to determine levels of immunities. She had had only one mmr vaccine ‘cocktail’ out of required three, yet was fully immune to mumps, measles and rubella. ?

  • I’d like to pass a law that if you don’t believe in science on issues such as vaccination then you can’t benefit from the fruits of science in other areas. In other words, no shots means no TV, no computers, no airplane rides. If you want to live in medieval times then you live it all the way.

    • Would this same law apply to those who believe in anthropogenic global warming? They believe that all of the modern conveniences are the cause of the earth warming, but they continue to use the modern conveniences.

      • Oh I love this book. It’s called Brave New World. Is that still in the middle school curriculum these days? No?

    • There is a default in your logic because vaccines have science go both ways and to only trust pharma scientists and not the independent scientists. It’s funny how provaxers haven’t ever look at the science they just have deep faith in doctors.

  • Young people have no memory of measle outbreaks and the results.
    For some children, measles can lead to:
    Pneumonia (a serious lung infection)
    Lifelong brain damage
    Deafness
    Death

  • I don’t understand the reason why a person would choose not to protect themselves against disease. The side effects of the immunization are nothing compared to contracting a horrific disease. The children of ani-vaxer’s don’t get a voice in this. Wait until one of these parents watch their poor child suffer or die, needlessly.

  • Talk to some parents, or grandparents in my case, who had happy, healthy normally developing kids until that MMR at about 18 months. I’m not an anti-vaxer, and no, James, I’m not anti-science; probably know more about most areas of science than you do, but they are jamming young kids full of vaccines at a rate far greater than we experienced and they’re doing it for the convenience of parents and daycare providers and the profits of pharmaceutical companies.

    I have a smallpox vaccine scar on my left arm. I stood in line out on the sidewalk in front of the Health Department to get a polio vaccine back in the days when every issue of Reader’s Digest had a story about some kid who would spend the rest of their short, miserable life in an iron lung. But in those days we had maybe a half dozen vaccines before we started school at five or six. Today, they get dozens before they’re two, and there is a good argument that some children, especially male children, are having their immune systems simply overwhelmed by vaccination.

    I don’t know if I ever had measles, think I had one variety maybe; know I had mumps and chickenpox. Was immunized against diphtheria and whooping cough, so never had them. So, when I got those childhood diseases, I simply stayed home and my mother took care of me, and if she had something to do, one of my grandmothers could take care of me. On at least a couple of occasions my sister and I had some childhood disease at the same time.

    What happens today, is nobody wants to take off work to take care of a sick kid, so they immunize them at birth practically; they’d do it pre-natally if they could figure out how. I’ve never been much of a proponent of paid parental leave, but having to learn about “spectrum disorders” and the like has convinced me that a couple of weeks or so of paid leave to take care of a sick child would be one Helluva lot cheaper than millions of little boys with autism.

  • This isn’t about the vaccinated. This is about the kids like my daughter who are too young to be vaccinated and can easily die if they contracts measles. The first MMR vaccine isn’t given until one year of age and the booster isn’t until 4-6 years of age.

    It also protects those that cannot be vaccinated due to health reasons, and our elderly with compromised immune systems.

    So you’re right, I’m not concerned about anti-Vaxxers for my health (yes, I’m fully vaccinaed) but more so for the health of our babies and our elderly.

    It’s this “let it be on someone else” mentality that causes outbreaks like this. Other countries walk for hundreds of miles for a vaccine to save their children but here we decided that one discredited doctor is Gospel and we let celebrities dictate our choices instead of listening to YEARS of research.

    We’ve become too desensitized to diseases. If everyone knew someone with Polio, maybe we wouldn’t have this issue.

    • You could begin with researching exactly why Dr. Wakefield lost his medical license.
      Or, if your doctor’s advice is the Gospel truth, ask them a few questions. Why do they wait until a year for MMR? What percentage of people experience primary vaccine failure? What percent of adults are immune? If you’re fully vaccinated does it mean you’re fully immunized? What does all of this mean for the theory of vaccine-induced herd immunity? Have they ever read a study by immunologist Yehuda Shoenfeld or other scientists who are sounding an alarm on vaccines after their years of research? What are the reported reactions, anyway? How do they know with absolute certainty who will have a reaction? Are vaccines tested against an inert placebo?

      None of my actions are based on anything a celebrity has said. These are only a few of the more than 80 questions I’ve asked my doctor. She didn’t know the answers. But she sure did want to shoot up my baby. And some legislators, who don’t know the answers or even enough to ask the questions, are working to force parents to vaccinate their kids in order to attend school.

      And all of this doesn’t even touch on the religious problems with vaccines…..

      I am so encouraged to see that there are many commenters here who know their stuff 🙂 It makes me hopeful because you all know we’ll have a battle on our doorsteps soon!

  • We need vaccine reform, but we haft to admit we have a problem in the first place. I just went to the State Alaska Vaccine Assessment Program February 20th. They want to complain against anti vaccine people but don’t want to dress the issues. They don’t want to admit there is any problems with vaccines at all. They don’t think we need a vaccine safety guidance, like one shot at a time, not too early and never when a kid is sick. They don’t think we need a vaccine reaction safety protocol to treat kids when they DO have a reaction – like forcibly cooling the child down with wet blankets and a Zink IV to thin the blood out and boost the immune system so they don’t have brain swelling that turns to brain damage. This is the problem on the part of our health providers – WILLFUL IGNORANCE!! How are parents to trust them when they won’t tell us the truth? How are to trust them when they hurt our children and don’t remedy it? We can’t. We won’t. I was the only one from the public there. I was welcomed and I was polite. The next meeting is Thursday, May 23rd at 9:30AM at the BP Energy Center. https://www.akvaccine.org/akvaccine.nsf/pages/calendar.html

  • am not sure if Doctors and Scientist are either really stupid or truly evil. There is no mystery here. Why are smart people avoiding vaccines for their families? Too many toxic vaccines are killing and hurting our children. I am not anti-vaccine, I am for Vaccine Safety and honest science. 
    In 2016, in the U.S, the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) received 59,117 reported injuries and deaths. However based on a Harvard Study paid for by the CDC, it was discovered that less than 1% of injuries and deaths are reported to VAERS. So for 2016 using the CDC statistics we have the following adverse problems.

    43,200 deaths
    109,100 permanent disabilities
    413,200 hospitalization
    1,028,400 Emergency room visits

    From their own statistics the flu shot is the most dangerous one since it is given annually with no testing.
    Will you sacrifice your child or yourself to achieve the mythical herd immunity?

  • Ever think maybe the reason measles is an issue is freshly vaccinated kids shedding, not washing their hands well enough, and leaving the diseases everywhere by doing what kids are well known for, touching everything?
    ?

  • A public health threat is the rationale for considering a possible policy on mandatory vaccines. But is there a public health threat? When was the last death in this country from Measles? According to the CDC as of February 21, 2019 there were 159 cases of measles reported, that is hardly an outbreak in a population of over 326 million people when the last death was in 2015. How much of a public health threat is needed to justify forcing people to accept a government-imposed risk for vaccines?
    Vaccines are recognized as unavoidably unsafe by the U.S. Supreme Court and by Congress. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 that established the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has paid some $4 billion in damages from vaccine injuries and deaths and HHS estimates that less than 1% of adverse reactions are reported.
    Unlike other pharmaceutical drugs, there has NEVER been a rigorous safety study sufficient to show that vaccines are both safe and effective. Such studies would require an adequate number of subjects, a long duration (years, not days), an unvaccinated control group (“placebo” must be truly inactive such as saline, not the adjuvant or everything-but-the-intended-antigen), and consideration of all adverse health events (including neurodevelopmental disorders). If these vaccines are so safe, why the refusal to do an independent vaccinated vs. truly unvaccinated placebo study?
    Did you know that vaccine manufacturers cannot be sued or held liable if a vaccine injures a person?
    Since pharmaceutical companies have no-liability for adverse vaccine reactions and vaccines are mandated, the incentive to develop safer products is much diminished. Furthermore, Big Pharma’s fraudulent behavior in the past number of years, has resulted in drug makers paying out more than $19.2 billion in criminal and civil fraud penalties. Add to that enormous conflicts of interest involving lucrative relationships with vaccine purveyors, research into possible adverse effects that is squelched, and industry whistleblowers that are ignored and it would seem that skepticism of the pharmaceutical industry is well founded and doesn’t imply skepticism of science.
    It is critically important that after being fully informed of both the benefits AND the risks of a medical procedure, including vaccines, that patients and parents have the right to reject or accept that procedure. It is inhumane and medically unethical to consider mandating any procedure that involves risk, for where there is risk there must always be choice. Mandating liability-free vaccines that have not been properly tested is in direct opposition to the first tenet of the Nuremberg Code: The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.
    If we are not free to make informed, voluntary decisions about which pharmaceutical products we are willing to take and give to our children, then we are not free in any sense of the word.

  • If vaccines are safe then WHY is there a federal trust fund (taxpayer funded) to compensate VACCINE INJURED people that has paid out billions for injurys INSPITE OF the fact that the majority of physicians who administer vaccines will deny even obvious vaccine injuries exist and therefore hinder access to that trust fund. The taxpayer funded trust fund exists to indemnify the manufacturers of vaccines against any claims for harmful vaccines. Vaccines are often preserved with mercury …. sometimes identified as thirmersol.

    And again, if you chose to have your child vaccinated why worry about them catching something for which they are vaccinated …. If vaccines are effective ??

  • Ever see or been an older person with the pox? Shingles? Measles? Mumps? Not sure if we just complain louder or if it actually hits adults harder, but it is brutal. If it doesn’t kill you, you want to die. I vote vax.

    • Shingles are on the increase because of the chicken pox vaccine. You can do quick internet search for that info. If you are an at risk adult then get vaccinated. I got chicken pox at age 18. I survived. That was before the vaccine.

  • “Thus, the herd immunity that protected the unvaccinated has diminished.”
    Herd immunity is a myth. It requires 90-95% immunity rates (from vaccination or acquired immunity), but since pharma and doctors started spreading this story, we’ve come to know that vaccine-acquired immunity doesn’t actually last long, so you need booster after booster or you lose your immunity. Most vaccinated people in this thread complaining about anti-vaxxers are themselves not immune, but don’t know it. In reality, our country likely has more like a 50% immunity rate. There is no herd immunity.

    Reagan’s 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act removed liability from vaccine manufacturers and shifted the responsibility for compensation for the approximately 1% of vaccine victims who know to report to VAERS to American taxpayers instead. We’ve paid over $4 billion since the program’s inception, and the U.S. Supreme Court itself in 2015 declared vaccines “unavoidably unsafe.” There are copious amounts of research catalogued by the National Institutes of Health strongly suggesting linkages between various types vaccines and autoimmunity, cancer, autism, SIDS, miscarriage, stillbirth, brain encephalitis, and even death in teenagers (look up the Gardasil vaccine, which by the way only covers a narrow spectrum of possible HPV infections). Those who insist that there are “years of research” and that “science says” have obviously never gone to the trouble of actually spending some time on PubMed researching this topic. There are no double-blond, saline placebo-controlled studies on vaccine safety, period. Comparing the effects of a vaccine to those of an injection containing the same adjuvants and toxins proves nothing and is not even at the lowest bar of research credibility.

    I know what it’s like to have a compromised immune system, and my child had a larynx defect for her first six months that could have made a common cold deadly for her. But I don’t want anyone to go get vaccinated for us. In fact, please don’t—you’ll just shed your live viruses over the 30-day period the inserts will tell you about if you bother to read them, and being vaccinated will give you a false sense of security and cause you to be more lax about things that really make a difference, like eating healthy, having a strong immune system, having sufficient amounts of vitamin C and A, and washing your hands. Disease rates fell BEFORE the rise in vaccinations, and because of increases in nutrition and standards of hygiene.

    But bottom line, our bodies, our health, our risk, our choice. I am not going to light my child on fire to keep someone else warm. My responsibility to my family is greater than my responsibility to anyone else.

  • Many of you may not know that there recently was a study done here in the US comparing the health of children who had no immunizations vs partial immunizations vs fully immunized.
    “Pilot comparative study on the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated 6- to 12- year old U.S. children:” –> http://archive.is/PwUrN

    Also, there is a clear visual presentation based on CDC source material for the lack of efficacy or the lack of impact by vaccines at the link below. Using the following link See “Figure 1.” –>
    https://www.cdc.gov/Mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4829a1.htm

    Thus, the Vaccine Assistance Act (and Salk Vaccine) had no impact according to the CDC’s own data.

  • 1. I’m curious why you ignore the testimony of Dr. Toni Bark given on the risks of vaccines?

    2. The WHO also recommends a vitamin A protocol for anyone diagnosed or exposed to measles.

    3. The WHO also admits their vaccine is worthless. According to the WHO, there are 24 genotypes of measles .. but the current vaccine strains are ALLLLL contained within a single genotype “A” – which.. is no longer circulating… You folks are vaccinating against …. what exactly? Each other’s live virus genotype A measles vaccines ?!?!

    See: Introduction – paragraph 2… last 2 sentences. ?

    https://jcm.asm.org/content/55/3/735

    3. According to data collected by the CDC and HHS, more Americans have died and experienced adverse reactions from measles vaccines than measles itself in the past twenty years. And studies and polls conducted in medical fields indicate an estimated LESS THAN 1% of adverse reactions to vaccines are even reported. Don’t see any journalism on THAT epidemic.

    4. Vaccine manufacturers aren’t liable for deaths and injuries their vaccines cause. With the above data, I’ll take my chances with “measles” which interestingly enough, according to many studies, works synergistically within the cells to protect against not only against measles for the rest of your life with zero boosters, it also works to protect against certain cancers! Interestingly enough, the vaccine insert says it has not been tested for carcinogenic risks.. but some of the ingredients are known carcinogens.. aannnndddd the manufacturers also produce cancer drugs.. you do the math! or some REAL journalism.. your choice! At least I will recognize your HUMAN RIGHT to have a choice!

    #wedid #hearthiswell #vicp #vaers #informedconsent #nuremberg #hippocraticoath

    “Where there is risk, there MUST be a right to INFORMED CONSENT”

%d bloggers like this: