By Barbara Loe Fisher
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 51 lab-confirmed cases of measles public health officials say are linked to the happiest place on earth.
According a Jan. 23 Health Advisory issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “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.
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 percent of children entering kindergarten13 have gotten two doses of MMR vaccine, which is also true for 92 percent of school children ages 13 to 17 years.14
Plus, less than one percent of children under age three are completely unvaccinated and 92 percent of them have gotten one or more MMR shots.15 In some states, the MMR vaccination rate is approaching 100 percent.16
According to Dr. Cherry, measles vaccine acquired herd immunity is in effect with a measles vaccination rate of more than 90 percent.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
Why is a big deal being made out of 51 cases of measles reported in the U.S.?