FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement from Every Child By Two on Anti-vaccine Activism in Minnesota that has Directly Resulted in a Measles Outbreak
Today, one of our worst fears has been confirmed: dis-information about the safety of vaccines has resulted in an outbreak of measles among dozens of young children. According to the Washington Post, these families were directly targeted by anti-vaccine organizations parading as those trying to help children with autism.
The current measles outbreak in Minnesota is now up to 41 cases and growing by the day. It has been the result of individuals who sought to frighten the parents of American-born Somali children into believing in the discredited link between vaccines and autism. Anti-vaccine activists including Andrew Wakefield met with leaders of the Minnesota Somali community on numerous occasions beginning in 2010, spreading lies and false promises to further their own agendas. As a direct result, a large majority of the children born subsequent to these meetings were not vaccinated against the highly contagious measles virus.
The worldwide scientific community concurs that there is no connection between vaccines and autism. There is, however, a clear connection between failure to vaccinate and the contraction of deadly diseases such as measles.
Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation, offered the follow statement in response to the Post story: “It is heartbreaking that families are still being given dangerous misinformation about what causes autism, and in response, not vaccinating their children. The science is crystal clear and unambiguous on this issue: vaccines save lives, they don’t cause autism. Withholding life-saving vaccines will do nothing to reduce the risk that a child will develop autism, but it will absolutely increase the risk of that child contracting a vaccine-preventable, possibly fatal disease.”
“We are saddened to learn of yet another measles outbreak. I and my good friend Betty Bumpers cofounded Every Child By Two in 1991, due to a measles outbreak then which sickened more than 55,000 people and led to the deaths of over 120 individuals, many of whom were young children,” stated Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter. “For nearly three decades we have striven to educate parents about the critical need for timely immunizations for their children. We have fought a tremendous battle against the dis-information campaigns that have left families confused about the safety and necessity of life-saving vaccines for their children.”
The mission of Every Child By Two (ECBT) is to protect families and individuals from vaccine-preventable diseases by raising awareness of the critical need for timely immunization for people of all ages, increasing the public’s understanding of the benefits of vaccines, ensuring that all families have access to life-saving vaccines, and advocating for policies that support timely vaccination.
ECBT’s Vaccinate Your Family (VYF) program is one of the largest social media platforms on vaccines, reaching over 11 million individuals each year. VYF informs families about the value of vaccines and counters dis-information about the safety of life-saving immunizations.
A new study found that the HPV vaccine might also lower the risk in young men of oral infections that can cause mouth and throat cancers.
The study, published by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, was the first to focus on whether the vaccine might prevent oral HPV infections in young men. No men who had received at least one dose of the vaccine were later found to have infections of HPV strains linked to cancer, while more than two percent of unvaccinated men were found to have the infections.
“When we compared the prevalence in vaccinated men to non-vaccinated men, we didn’t detect any infections in vaccinated men. The data suggests that the vaccine may be reducing the prevalence of those infections by as high as 100 percent,” Dr. Maura Gillison, professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, said.
Gillison and her colleagues examined oral HPV infection in men as previous research has shown that certain HPV-related cancers, such as those in the back of the throat, are more common in men than women.
“There may be additional benefits to vaccinating your son or daughter” beyond those benefits already known, added Gillison.
The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) confirmed five additional cases of mumps in Hawaii residents on Thursday, bringing the total number of cases in 2017 to 47.
So far, none of the cases have required hospitalization.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mumps declined steadily following the introduction of the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine, and since the pre-vaccine era, there has been a more than 99% decrease in mumps cases in the United States.
“This is a contagious illness, more contagious than the flu and spreads much the same as the flu,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park.
Between January 1 and April 22 of this year, 42 states and Washington, D.C. reported mumps infections in 2,570 people, according to the CDC.
Regan et. al Clinical Infectious Diseases
Mothers who received seasonal TIV during pregnancy were significantly less likely to experience stillbirth compared with unvaccinated mothers. These results support the safety of seasonal influenza immunization during pregnancy and suggest a protective effect.
Oboho et al. The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Pregnant women are at higher risk for serious illness and complications, including death, from influenza. For expectant mothers hospitalized with flu, early treatment with the influenza antiviral drug oseltamivir may shorten their time in the hospital, especially in severe cases, suggests a study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. The findings also underscore the importance of flu vaccination for this risk group.