Anti-vaccination crap undermines attempts to eradicate measles

Anti-vaccination crap undermines attempts to eradicate measles

A paper in medical journal The Lancet last week shows that poor vaccination uptake in some European countries has lead to measles outbreaks across Europe, with just five countries in Europe accounting for 85% of cases. The growing 'exportation' of measles from Europe to regions thought to be clear of measles has undermined immunity elsewhere and setback the worldwide eradication program.

After the previous discussion of the measles outbreak in Cheshire, a timely paper in The Lancet last week highlighted how daft anti-vaccination nonsense is.

Measles in Europe: an epidemiological assessment1

The study collated data (inc. incidence of measles and vaccination rates) from 32 European countries in 2yrs, 2006 and 2007, and found that 5 countries of the 32 account for 10,329 (85%) of a total of 12,132 cases of measles.
Most cases were unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated children; however, almost a fifth were aged 20 years or older. (table below)

The majority of 'imported' cases in Europe in 2007 were from other European countries (Switzerland the highest) and typically from countries with the highest measles occurrence rate - those of course mostly occurring in children not vaccinated properly, or at all. (figure below)

New Scientist also summarizes the report noting that measles has been imported into areas previously declaring eradication, like Latin America. Effectively, anti-vaccination campaigns in European countries have undermined collective immunity in other regions due to vaccination uptake in some countries - including Germany, the UK and Italy - being too low to stop the spread of measles.

The commentary on the paper lists various reasons for incomplete vaccination uptake in different countries:

The UK is only slowly recovering from its unsubstantiated scare that the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination was linked to increased risk of autism.5 Also, the suspension of the National Measles and Rubella Vaccination Campaign in the Ukraine6 shows how vulnerable vaccination is to unfounded reports of side-eff ects. Whereas Germany has its anthroposophic communities and measles parties, the Netherlands struggles with religious objectors in the bible belt, which, after the last outbreak in 1999–2000 is again moving towards critical numbers of susceptible individuals, suffi cient to sustain a larger outbreak.

The goal of eliminating measles by 2010 seems a lot longer off due to the failure to achieve universal uptake.
Well done the anti-vaccination lot. Twats.

note: anyone curious to see full-text I'll email you a pdf

Posted By

Choccy
Jan 17 2009 01:04

Share

Attached files

Comments

Jenni
Feb 22 2009 21:51

Fuck i love science.

Choccy
Feb 23 2009 01:07

What a mess.
To be honest Mareika, you'd be as well reading the Lancet paper in the OP before spouting shite about coercion.

As on the previous threads here, no-one is fond of 'forced-vaccinations' but the unassailable claims to individual liberty run into shaky ground when that liberty (say to not have your kids vaccinated) undermines the rights of other people (say, the kids your kids will share a school with), to a decent level of health.

I mean, just LOOK at the papers, anti-vaccination shite has a real-world effect and actively undermines herd immunity. Not only that, but countries that successfully eliminated measles are now facing imported cases from countries where vaccination rates are considerably lower.

If the call isn't for forced vaccination, I think it's perfectly reasonable that parents of children would object to un-vaccinated kids being allowed in school to which their children go.
I'd be pretty pissed off if some selfish cunt, based on nothing more than a flimsy now-discredited single retracted journal paper, risked the health and safety of other children by refusing to have their kids vaccinated.

As for JoeK's post on an open access science, luckily greater access to information these days, the advent of open-access publishing (like PLoS etc) and even science blogging means that it's much easier to be better-informed about what is and is not good science and what is and what isn't bullshit.

The sheer volume of blogging on peer-reviewed scientific research means it much much harder to get away with flimsy shoddily designed research and the manipulation of data and falsification of results. The increasing open-ness of research means that bullshit gets spotted a lot qucker than it used to. It can only be a step in the right direction.

Mareika
Feb 23 2009 04:12
Quote:
What a mess.
To be honest Mareika, you'd be as well reading the Lancet paper in the OP before spouting shite about coercion.

Ummm, ??? Sorry, but I don't understand this. What coercion am I spouting about?

Choccy
Feb 23 2009 11:50
Mareika wrote:
Quote:
What a mess.
To be honest Mareika, you'd be as well reading the Lancet paper in the OP before spouting shite about coercion.

Ummm, ??? Sorry, but I don't understand this. What coercion am I spouting about?

Apologies, that was sloppy, it should be Peter and MoralO re: the coercion stuff, and you re?: the strawman of industry conspiracy, which in the case of MMR isn't particularly relevant.

Choccy
Feb 23 2009 11:54
Joseph Kay wrote:
that is to say science can be subversive when the establishment is based on deceit; dismissing science on account of thalidomide is like dismissing mathematics on account of Hiroshima.

Indeed, like our trusty Ben Goldacre comments in last week's Bad Science
:
This study is a fascinating example of the academic community turning in on itself, and using the tools of statistics and quantitative analysis to identify a nasty political and cultural problem, and give legs to a hunch. This could and should be done more, in all fields of human conduct.
...
In an ideal world, all drugs research would be commercially separate from from manufacturing and retail, and all journals would be open and free. But until then, since academics are obliged to declare all significant drug company funding on all academic articles, it might not be too much to ask that once a year, since their decisions are so hugely influential, all editors and publishers should post all their sources of income, and all the money related to the running of their journal.

peter mcgrath
Feb 23 2009 12:31
Quote:
If the call isn't for forced vaccination, I think it's perfectly reasonable that parents of children would object to un-vaccinated kids being allowed in school to which their children go.

I agree. A school should be able to refuse kids on that basis. Parents who choose not to have their kids immunised would just have to accept that other people may want to disassociate from them and their kids because of that decision. Any call for the state to enforce immunisation across the board is just authoritarian nonsense though. I still don't see how it can be acheived without criminalising people for non-compliance, which in real terms means parents ending up in prison and kids ending up in care homes, aside from the obvious hypocracy of anarchists supporting the excersise of state power when it suits the purpose some preferred utility.

Choccy
Feb 23 2009 12:51

Of all the functions of a state, forced-MMR isn't one I'd be particularly bothered about.

confusciuos
Mar 9 2009 15:12

I am sitting on the fence about it but floating towards anti from personal experience.If vaccinations create immunity why would the vaccinated people worry about the unvaccinated people giving them a disease?They are supposedly immune.Second thing-LIVE virus shot into a child can give them measles they may never have had which I saw happen.VACCINATIONS CAN CONTAIN SMALL AMOUNTS OF LIVE VIRUS-SCIENCE FOR YOU-I HAD CHICKEN POX VIRUS SHOT-then I got chicken pox.Then now when I get old I get to get shingles.THANKS.Science-Chicken pox is a relative of the herpes virus.Shooting virus into people dead or alive is just grose and if a live virus gets away you get the "tertiary diseases" like who knows where he virus lies dormant in otherwise healthy people.Thanks for the shingles.Shot in 1970.A medical crime and heroic act at the same time.Who really knows if it saves people or not.Some are good some are dangerous.Its not that black and white.If you have pan allergy like I do you may want to have less vaccinaions less often.

Choccy
Mar 9 2009 15:32
confusciuos wrote:
I am sitting on the fence about it but floating towards anti from personal experience.If vaccinations create immunity why would the vaccinated people worry about the unvaccinated people giving them a disease?They are supposedly immune.

It's similar to how bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics, and why your doc tells you to be sure and finish a course of antibiotics.

Group immunity can only be ensured if all members of the group are vaccinated, thus eradicating the virus. If one or two scabby piece of shit people don't get the vaccination, then the virus can survive in small amounts, and it's this small amount that can, through evolution, develop a resistance to vaccination treatments.

People who have had the vaccination have a very good reason to be worried about others not getting the vaccination, because over time, the vaccination can be rendered useless if the virus develops a resistance to the treatment.

Jenni
Apr 24 2009 17:55

bringing this up again as it's getting particularly worrying in brighton: there's been a noticeable increase in measles cases in the hospital i'm at- 3 in the last week, 13 in the last month. all the kids have to be isolated, if it continues to escalate it's going to start putting a strain on space and resources very quickly. uptake of MMR in brighton is absolutely appalling at something like 60-65%. bloody hippy parents sad

Choccy
Apr 24 2009 18:09

apparently putting lots of other kids at risk because of batshit ill-informed kneejerk bollocks about how bad jabs are is 'anti-authoritarian' roll eyes

Devrim
Apr 24 2009 18:09

I was at a hospital the other day, and got into a conversation there with some nurses and doctors about this, and they genuinely couldn't believe that people were refusing to have their kids inoculated in the West, and thought that the state should make it compulsory. One woman didn't quite get it, and asked me if there were really people in Britain who are so poor that they couldn't afford to get their kids inoculated.

Devrim

Choccy
Apr 24 2009 18:15

I'd like to re-direct people to the mp3s on Goldacre's blog of a London radio MMR discussion
frightening

Jenni
Apr 24 2009 22:57
Choccy wrote:
apparently putting lots of other kids at risk

yeah, many of them are babies under the age of 13 months who aren't old enough to be vaccinated yet. arguably they should be vaccinated earlier. but the better argument is just not being fucking stupid about giving your kids MMR.

Quote:
batshit ill-informed kneejerk bollocks about how bad jabs are is 'anti-authoritarian' roll eyes

sorry don't get this bit?

Choccy
Apr 24 2009 23:25
Jenni wrote:
Quote:
batshit ill-informed kneejerk bollocks about how bad jabs are is 'anti-authoritarian' roll eyes

sorry don't get this bit?

really?
People objecting to MMR often do it on the basis that they are rejecting authorities trying to 'force' them to do stuff, and combine it with deep misinformation about the evidence to support the anti-MMR claims.
Batshit ill-informed = no evidence to support their claims, indeed evidence to the contrary
kneejerk anti-authoritarian = automatic ill-founded distrust of medical interventions, even those with masses of supporting evidence

Jenni
Apr 24 2009 23:26

oh, yeah. don't know quite how that was difficult to understand now. embarrassed

Choccy
Apr 24 2009 23:50

wink

GotchaLookin
Jul 11 2009 22:46

Admin - spam deleted. Feel free to contribute to discussion, but as a real person with an opinion, not only cut and paste with spam links.