Measles Vaccinations: Gaps in the Herd Immunity.

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Saturnine Pariah, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. Saturnine Pariah Hell is other people Valued Senior Member

    One would think that the overwhelming evidence in favor of proper vacation would be enough to destroy or just topple any blatantly cognitive bias linked argument that vaccines are dangerous. But I suppose in an ironic way anti-vaccine advocates seem stubbornly immune to such empirical data or facts—the price of which is a major public health risks to the children they seem so ardent to protect from the same scary vaccines that would protect them from measles.

    A recent study conducted by Infectious Diseases Society of America, suggests that nearly 9 million American children from the ages of infant-hood to their late teens are susceptible ,or at risk, of contracting measles (IDSA, 2015). The reason, this particular segment of the population have not been properly inoculated against the measles virus (IDSA, 2015).

    What are the primary reasons, for this gap in the nation's herd immunity? Drum roll please *drum roll* as was found by the IDSA the factors include and are not limited to the following,

    1: Medical Reasons: the child’s immune system is unable to handle the vaccine ( IDSA,2015).

    I’d like to see the statistics on the occurrences of the conditions that prevent measles vaccinations , or how often a child has an immune system so weak or underdeveloped, even at the right age for inoculation, that it can’t even handle a weakened or dead form of measles.

    2: Age: The child is not old enough for the immunization or measles vaccine ( IDSA,2015).

    This is legitimate, but very temporal, once the child is old enough, what would be the parents' excuses then? Oh, wait, that’s where reasons 3 and 4 come into play!

    3: “Personal Reasons” ( IDSA,2015).

    The article wasn’t specific on the aforementioned factor(s) , but I suppose there is room for suggesting that a modicum or even a large part of those “Personal Reasons” stem from the fear conjured by the Anti-Vaccine movement, or a negligence on part of the parents in delaying these measles vaccinations.

    4: Religion: (IDSA, 2015).

    I’ve seen my share of cop outs, but this one is just as egregious as it is comprised of stupidity.

    “Oh sorry, it’s against our faith to vaccinate our small child against a virus like measles that is potentially life threatening to him/her, so will jut opt out of it ."

    It’s tragically beautiful, knowing that these type of parents exists, it just leaves me in awe and I just try to wrap my head around their rational—or lack thereof. If I ever heard such a statement like the one I fabricated above in real life, it would be comparable to seeing a unicorn – that suddenly turned inside out— and then exploded. Its’ horrific to look at, but you just can’t look away, and you are left asking WTF?

    Fortunately, the rest of the nation’s populace is more conscientious of the importance of measles vaccines, as 92-94% of American children are vaccinated against the measles virus (IDSA,2015). Heard immunity is fairly robust in this regard, however, herd immunity can only work if the strong majority are immune, and as the IDSA had suggested, a sizable number of children are still left in-between the cracks of this armor. Thus they are liable to contract this possibly fatal yet incredibly preventable disease (IDSA, 2015)

    The exact statistics found by the researchers working for IDSA are as follows

    12.5 % of all American Children—8.7 million— are not fully protected from measles by vaccination. Broken down even further, 24.7% of children ages three and younger are at risk for contracting measles ( IDSA,2015). 4.6% of seventeen year-olds have received no doses of the MMR vaccine ( IDSA,2015).The IDSA estimates that if the population of vaccinated children drops below 98% of the aforementioned levels ,then 14.2% of American children would be vulnerable to measles( 2015).

    Ultimately, herd immunity has helped to maintain low levels of measles outbreaks in the US, however a decline its members’ numbers can and will only allow for greater or more frequent outbreaks of measles to occur in the United States. In this regard, it is prudent, nay necessary that the rhetoric of the anti-vaccine movement is rendered laughable and without any means or power of coercing or shifting public health policies.

    Just a visual aid for the scale of this issue, as per given by the wonderful folks of the CDC:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Infectious Diseases Society of America. (2015, October 8). One in eight children at risk for measles, analysis shows: Undervaccination leaves nearly 9 million vulnerable to contagious disease.ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 8, 2015 from
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  3. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

    I agree with everything you said. But the government can do much more than they are doing. First no unvaccinated child should be allowed into a public school, unless they have a history of not tolerating any vaccine. If people want to have a religious exemption they need to go to a private school or home school. Sorry but their sorry excuse of a reason just doesn't cut it if they are putting the children of the people that pay for public schools at risk.
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  5. Saturnine Pariah Hell is other people Valued Senior Member

    Agreed, but we could only expect heavy push back and retaliation from religious individuals using the tired old rhetoric that since they are the parents, and since it's their religious beliefs, they decide and have finale say for what is good for their child. Which is rather selfish and myopic in scope when considering that this is a issue that affects the vast public at large. Under my paradigm not inoculating your child is a form neglect or endangerment, not only to the children of the parents whom refuse to give them this protection, but to other parents' children as well.

    Opting for homeschooling just to avoid vaccinations seems rather extreme, and moving these children into private schools—while having a strong majority of its' students being there, just to be un-vaccinated for religious reasons— seems more akin to adding dry hay to an even dryer kindle-box. At least with the former, these isolated individuals are protected to a degree by the nation’s herd immunity. With the latter however, all it would take is a few infected individuals to make an outbreak happen, and it would all the more devastating on that population that is not shielded by macro immunity.
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  7. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

    While they are at it, public schools should require all students to get flu shots every year. It's a fact that most adults that come down with the flu usually pick it up from their kids who get exposed yearly. Those adults then go to work and pass it to there co-workers. Next, most of those so called anti-vaxers hide behind religion not because they are believers but because they have been able to get away with it. The rest of the nation should follow California's lead in not allowing religious exemptions when it comes to the required vaccinations for school children to attend school.
  8. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

    Is the whole "religious exemption from vaccinations" thing some long-winded way of trying to get to heaven faster?
  9. milkweed Valued Senior Member

    Why? Your kid is vaccinated. I was vaccinated, my kid was vaccinated and there were people who were not vaccinated, all around me, my kid, and no doubt you too.

    Such is life.

    ~~ The predominance of H3N2 viruses this season has caused a significant burden of serious disease in older people ...

    (that is the 2014/2015 outbreak).. Most everyone I know got the flu last year and most had their flu shot. So what is the focus of the 2015/2016 flu shot?

    -- an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
    -- an A/Switzerland/9715293/2013 (H3N2)-like virus

    So If you had the H3N2 flu last year, you should be immune this year. Why is that significant?

    ~~ The study states, ” In particular VE (vaccine effectiveness) against influenza A (H3N2) among those who received the 2014/2015 influenza vaccine without prior vaccination in 2013/14 was higher (43%) than among participants who were vaccinated with the same A (H3N2) vaccine component in both 2013/14 and 2014/15 (- 15 %)”

    “A negative effectiveness suggests the vaccine made people more susceptible to the flu,” Dr. Dickinson says, “We need to do further research to understand why this has happened.” ~~

    Yeah, more study is needed. Thats why flu vaccines should not be a law.

    Table. Adjusted vaccine effectiveness estimates for influenza seasons from 2005-2015 Link Below:

    Point is, there is a wide variation in flu vaccine effectiveness, AND its best years are not very good. So people with a high risk of flu complications should seriously consider getting the vaccine. As far as making it a law... well thats where we part in agreement. Its just not that good yet and I get to decide when and if I want to be a guinea pig.

    Doesnt matter to me if others decide not to get shots because of their religion. No one is stopping me from getting my own.
  10. Saturnine Pariah Hell is other people Valued Senior Member

    I suppose, but the only real religious groups that have any negative views or are opposed to vaccinations, are adherents to Christian Science or the Dutch Reformed Church.
  11. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Because not getting most of the population vaccinated means that deadly diseases that have been almost eradicated may return, and kill large numbers of people. Avoiding that is why.
  12. milkweed Valued Senior Member

    My neighbor, should he choose not to immunize his kid, does not prevent me from getting immunized.
  13. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Correct. But if your son is immunized, and the immunization fails (or he cannot be immunized for some reason) then your neighbor just might be the reason you go to your son's funeral. And people take that pretty seriously.
  14. milkweed Valued Senior Member

    The reason would be that the immunization failed and my son was genetically unable to survive a common and typically non-life threatening illness.

    Natural causes. And thats why it shouldnt be a law.
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Yep. But most people don't want their children to die, and will support laws that keep them alive. You may be an exception. That's fine - but in a democracy you don't get to put everyone else at risk for your beliefs.
  16. milkweed Valued Senior Member

    Really? Then why dont we require visitors to the USA to have proof of vaccination, the most common vector for these outbreaks.

    And in a democracy, you dont get to force me to undergo a medical procedure I dont want.

    However, you most certainly have the option to test for antibodies to see if the vaccine took, if your worried about your neighbor not keeping up with his/her shots. Or if you plan to visit disneyland or an amish community. Or the Philippines for that matter.

    But your really not concerned with these issues are you? The reality is its just an excuse to complain about other people. To feel some sense of superiority. Ego even.
  17. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    It's always easier to blame a certain hated class for a disease than admitting the reality of immunization's uneffectiveness. They did it with Jews and the black plague. They did it with gays and AIDS. They did it with illegal immigrants and leprosy. It's the first step towards genocide.
  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

    That is correct. Your children will then not be allowed to attend school, to protect the rest of the population. Your decision.
    Ah, once again you are losing the argument, and hence start resorting to personal attacks. I find a lot of anti-vaxxers do the same, since they very quickly run out of rational arguments.
    KilljoyKlown likes this.
  19. milkweed Valued Senior Member

    But see, you just cant keep the facts straight. I was immunized. My kid was immunized. I keep saying this over and over but your thought process cannot function outside of the biased parameters you've been self-conditioned to rely on. Its the neighbor whos kids wont be going to school and its your fault, not mine. I am not worried that the vaccine didnt work for me/my kid.

    I am sure you see it all around you.... part of that superiority thing again.
  20. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

    That's true, however what if you have a child that was still to young to be vaccinated or an older child with an egg allergy or some other allergic response to the prepared vaccine? They would then be exposed to a health risk, that could be avoided if your neighbors were vaccinated. Under those conditions how would you feel about your neighbors, and would you still feel the same if your child got sick because of your neighbors?
  21. Bells Staff Member

    I never realised that selfishness was now a certain class of people.

    What a dishonest and disingenuous statement. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    And for your information, vaccines for the plague, AIDS and leprosy are much desired. Let me guess, you would whine about that too?

    Would you be saying the same thing for a HIV vaccine which has the potential to help eradicate it and cure it? Because they consider a HIV vaccine to be necessary if they wish to cure it. Would you be against that too? Will you be screaming it's "uneffective" from the roof top? I wonder if the millions of people (homosexual and heterosexual) who are infected and those who died as a result of HIV would feel the same way about it.

    What about the plague? Would you be against a vaccine for that too and consider it "uneffective"? Currently it (the plague) still ravaging populations in third world countries. Are you suggesting that we should not be attempting to eradicate it through the use of vaccines, much like we were able to eradicate small pox? Wait, you are an anti-vaxxer, so you like the thought of leaving such diseases in the population and killing people.

    How about leprosy and tuberculosis? Are you an anti-vaxxer for those too?

    Vaccines are very much effective. Diseases like small pox would not have been eradicated and exterminated from the human population if they were not effective. Measles, which kills thousands of people around the world, was eradicated in the US and elsewhere, but sadly, anti-vaxxers are now ensuring that will not be eradicated from their population, which means children will die. The same with whooping cough. And if you think these diseases do not kill, meet Riley Hughes:

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    He died at 4 weeks of age from whooping cough. Why and how? Because anti-vaxxers do not vaccinate themselves or their children, reducing herd immunity and endangering the most vulnerable and those too young to be vaccinated. Those like Riley. That is the true human cost of your position.

    Reap what you sow well.
  22. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Then no worries.
    Again with the personal attacks. Sorry you can't discuss this rationally.
  23. milkweed Valued Senior Member

    It is a difficult thing to ponder, honestly; as any parent, I would have my own bias' influencing how I would 'feel' about any number of things regarding my own kid. Though I do appreciate the fact you didnt go to the extreme "what if your kid DIED" as many others would resort to in discussion..

    That said, in the end, if my kid got sick and survived without complications (as most do), it is likely that I would reflect on that as a long term benefit. My kid was unable to develop an immunity via modern medicine due to the allergy and has now become immune. One less thing to worry about.

    Now if a serious or fatal infection occurred, I would run a gamut of emotions including rage/blame towards the neighbors - and that is assuming they were the source of infection. Would those feelings lessen over time? I dont know. I am sure I would contemplate a whole bunch of stuff as I tried to balance the feelings of loss with trying to survive the agonizing depression, so I would have to assume I would include balancing thoughts with things like, if it wasnt the neighbor kids, it could have been a traveler, or someone at the state fair, or someone at the 4th of July fireworks, or a trip to Disneyland, all things I dont know that I would have contemplated 5 years ago, if I was the parent of a child who could not be immunized.

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