I occasionally like to take a break from my regularly scheduled programming to give a laurel and hardy middle finger to the anti-vaccine movement. Here is yet another reason to say, “Fuck you.”
Last year was the worst year for measles in the U.S. in 15 years, health officials said Thursday.
There were 222 cases of measles, a large jump from the 60 or so seen in a typical year. Most of the cases last year were imported — either by foreign visitors or by U.S. residents who picked up the virus overseas.
U.S. children have been getting vaccinated against the measles for about 50 years. But low vaccination rates in Europe and other places resulted in large outbreaks overseas last year.
Generally, the Americans who got measles last year were not vaccinated. At least two-thirds of the U.S. cases fell into that category, including 50 children whose parents got philosophical, religious or medical exemptions to skip the school vaccinations required by most states, CDC officials said.
One child was almost killed. This is on top of recent outbreaks of whooping cough, which almost took the life a six-week old baby in Boulder.
All of this is connected with plunging rates of vaccination, particularly in granola-oriented areas where a huge percentage of parents have bought into various vaccine myths. And while some vaccines are not administered because of philosophical objections or medicals reason, a huge number are still because of the scientific fraud that indicated vaccines caused autism.
Our political class has not been nearly as noisy as this subject as they are on, say, Mitt Romney riding a horse. Diseases never go away. Vaccination saves lives. There are some small movements in the right direction, but we need a larger push to call the vaccine-autism link out as pseudo-scientific bullshit.