By Anne Dachel
Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump. The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD, an online supplement retailer for patients with special needs.
There are almost 800 stories about the dangers represented by unvaccinated currently on Google News. A doctor in the NY Times calls non-vaccinating parents "pretty dumb."
These articles don't concede that vaccines have serious side effects. The only problem is convincing non-vaccinating parents. Five employees at Disneyland came down with measles. Two were vaccinated. The other three have an unknown vaccination status. Shouldn't we find out if all five had been vaccinated?
In all the stories out there on measles and exempting parents is the word AUTISM---that curious, mysterious, inconsequential disorder we CELEBRATE every April.
Even those who are Jewish and Christians are selectively covered.
Will we soon be at a time when we have to have proof of vaccination to go out in public?
Jan 21, 2015, Christian Times: Measles Outbreak 2015 News: Measles Makes Comeback As Outbreak Spreads ...
"It's pretty ubiquitous now throughout the county," said Dr. Eric Handler, Orange County's public health officer and a pediatrician. "Clearly, we have an unprotected population that needs to be immunized to halt the spread of the disease."
. . . "The vaccine is entirely safe," said Cherry. "Information about adverse effects like autism are just not true."
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one or two children out of every 1,000 who get the measles will die. One child will suffer convulsions and be left deaf or mentally retarded following a severe swelling of the brain.
A recent measles outbreak originating at Disneyland that has infected more than 50 people has returned the issue of declining immunization rates to the national headlines.
California health officials report that the outbreak began at the Anaheim theme park in mid-December and quickly spread throughout the country, helped along in part by the growing influence of the anti-immunization movement, which sees vaccines as unhealthy and linked to disorders such as autism. Multiple studies have shown no link between vaccines and autism. . . .
According to a compilation of state data by the San Francisco-based radio station KQED, 26 percent of kindergarten students last year at the Chabad Academy of San Diego and Beth Hillel Day School in Los Angeles opted out of vaccines last year. In 2012, 14 percent of kindergarten students at the Seattle Hebrew Academy in Washington state opted out, according to the radio station KUOW in Seattle. . . .
"We eliminated measles transmission in the U.S. in 2000," said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and a strong advocate for universal vaccination. But, he added, "When you have an erosion of herd immunity, the most contagious diseases come back first."
In New York, private schools have much greater freedom to decide whether to accept parental objections to vaccinations on religious grounds. At the Ramaz School, a modern Orthodox day school in Manhattan, principal Rabbi Haskel Lookstein issued a ruling that vaccinations are considered "p'kuach nefesh," a Jewish legal standard under which religious requirements are suspended to protect human life.
"It's a condition of attending Ramaz," Paul Shaviv, its head of school, said of vaccinations. "It's absolutely required for the protection of the health of the students."
In 2005, the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Conservative movement ruled likewise, unanimously, that vaccination was required under Jewish law, save for medical exceptions. But elsewhere in the country, the rules are not so strict or the community is not so supportive of immunization.
Last August, Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetzky, an influential haredi Orthodox rabbi in Philadelphia, told the Baltimore Jewish Times, "I see vaccinations as the problem. It's a hoax. Even the Salk vaccine [against polio] is a hoax. It is just big business."
Jan 21, 2015, Los Angeles Times: Disney measles outbreak: Resort asks staff for proof they're protected
Disneyland Resort employees who had contact with measles-stricken coworkers have been asked to stay home unless they can show they've been vaccinated or take a blood test to show they're immune, Disney officials told the Los Angeles Times.
On Tuesday, company officials confirmed to The Times that five Disneyland Resort employees had been diagnosed with measles. Two had been vaccinated, health officials said, and the vaccination status of the other workers is still being investigated.
Jan 21, 2015, New York Times: When Measles Spreads From Disneyland, It's a Small World After All
Most of those infected were "under-immunized," which can mean they have been vaccinated against some illnesses but not others, or have not had all the recommended doses of a vaccine for their age. . . .
To say that this worries me is an understatement. As a health journalist, I have spent years writing about the importance and safety of vaccines, always explaining that their enormous benefits far outweigh their risks.
Jan 21, 2015, New York Times: Measles Cases Linked to Disneyland Rise, and Debate Over Vaccinations ...
A measles outbreak that began at Disneyland is spreading across California and beyond, prompting health officials to move aggressively to contain it - including barring unvaccinated students from going to school in Orange County. The outbreak has increased concerns that a longstanding movement against childhood vaccinations has created a surge in a disease that was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000. . . .
Dr. James Cherry, a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at the University of California, Los Angeles, said the outbreak was "100 percent connected" to the anti-immunization campaign. "It wouldn't have happened otherwise - it wouldn't have gone anywhere," he said. "There are some pretty dumb people out there.". . .
"It's premature to blame the increase in reports of measles on the unvaccinated when we don't have all the facts yet," said Barbara Loe Fisher, the president of the National Vaccine Information Center, a group raising concerns about inoculations. "I do know this: Fifty-seven cases of measles coming out of Disneyland in a country with a population of 317 million people is not a lot of cases. We should all take a deep breath and wait to see and get more information."
A handful of doctors seem sympathetic to these views. Dr. Jay Gordon, a Santa Monica pediatrician who has cautioned against the way vaccines are used, said he had "given more measles vaccines" than ever before but did not like giving the shot to younger children.
"I think whatever risk there is - and I can't prove a risk - is, I think, caused by the timing," he said, referring to when the shot is administered. "It's given at a time when kids are more susceptible to environmental impact. Don't get me wrong; I have no proof that this vaccine causes harm. I just have anecdotal reports from parents who are convinced that their children were harmed by the vaccine." . . .
California tightened its "personal belief" exemption law last year, requiring parents to submit a form signed by a health care provider. But Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, added a religious exemption at the last minute; parents who choose that option do not need a doctor's signature.
Jan 21, 2015, USA Today: Measles outbreak raises question of vaccine exemptions PediatricianJaime Friedman: 'These parents who don't vaccinate don't seem to care about anyone but themselves.'
Five Disney employees developed measles after someone with the virus visited Disneyland or the adjacent Disney California Adventure Park between Dec. 15 and Dec. 20. Health officials have not figured out the identity of the patient who started the outbreak.
Disney has offered vaccinations and immunity tests to employees "out of an abundance of caution," says Pamela Hymel, chief medical officer at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Employees who may have had contact with infected co-workers are being tested for measles and will be on paid leave until they're medically cleared. . . .
California, Oregon and Washington recently made their exemption process more rigorous by requiring "informed refusal." Parents must talk to a health professional about the risks of failing to vaccinate or take an online course before being granted an exemption.
Nearly 95% of children are fully vaccinated against measles, according to the CDC. But vaccination rates vary from a low of 82% in Colorado to 98% in Mississippi. . . .
Although states set vaccination laws, school districts can grant exemptions, says William Schaffner, a professor at Vanderbilt School of Medicine in Nashville. Some school districts are more permissive than others. In Oregon, more than 7% of schoolchildren are allowed to skip vaccines.
In some individual schools, up to 30% of children have been allowed to skip vaccines, Chavez says.
"That's a powder keg waiting for a match," Schaffner says. . . .
In some individual schools, up to 30% of children have been allowed to skip vaccines, Chavez says.
"That's a powder keg waiting for a match," Schaffner says.
Jan 20, 2015, KCRA Sacramento: Study shows some neighborhoods may be hesitant to vaccines
KCRA could only show us one vaccinating mom and a pro-vaccine doctor. Evidently those with concerns about vaccines weren't available for comment.
Video: "The recent measles outbreak at Disneyland has now spread to four states and it's renewing calls from the medical community about the need to vaccinate against diseases. . . .
"'It makes sense that people who live in the same neighborhoods and go to the same places, would see things similarly.'. . . ."
The NVIC is cited in the report: "It's a group that is not anti-vaccine, but advocates for a choice in this decision when it comes to vaccinations, says parents shouldn't be forced into this decision. . . . intelligent people come together, look at the information and they make their own informed choice."
The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD. Lee Silsby is one of the most respected compounding pharmacies in the country and is committed to serving the needs of the Autism community. OurkidsASD is an online retailer for nutritional supplements for patients with special needs. OurkidsASD carries thousands of products from more than 60 brands and offers free ground shipping on all orders.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism and author of The Big Autism Cover-Up: How and Why the Media Is Lying to the American Public, which is on sale this Fall from Skyhorse Publishing.